By Gail Armatys
“What do you want me to do for you?”
This is a question that my dad would ask when I’d come home from college and many times since. I never really thought about it then, but it is a powerful question motivated by love. If I told Dad I needed his help, I never doubted he would follow through.
This is the same question Jesus posed as he walked through Jericho on his way to the cross. Yet, when we seek his help do we doubt his follow-through?
How do you respond to the best question ever?
A Question of Faith
There once was a blind man, Bartimaeus, sitting on the side of the road begging. When he heard that Jesus was near he began shouting, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
The people around him told Bartimaeus to be quiet but he kept calling out even more. Then, Jesus stopped and told his disciples to call the man to him. When the man came, Jesus asked, “What do you want me to do for you?”
Bartimaeus told Jesus he wanted to see. “Go. Your faith has healed you,” was Jesus’ response. Immediately the man received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
Would you do the same?
Blind and Relentless Belief
Bartimaeus was probably lonely and begging in order to stay alive. Perhaps over the years he had gone to every healer in town and used every home remedy he could access to restore his sight. Nothing worked. Jesus was his last resort, and now he had the opportunity to talk with him face-to-face. Bartimaeus believed Jesus could restore his sight and change his life. Is Jesus your first or last resort? Do you believe he can change you and your life?
The first words heard from blind Bartimaeus were his desperate cries seeking compassion and forgiveness. “Have mercy on me, Jesus,” he pleaded. What if instead, Bartimaeus had hollered out in a flippant voice, “Yea, I heard you are some kind of miracle worker. I’ll believe it when I see it – literally.” Or he could have been timid in his request. “Umm, Jesus, if you wouldn’t mind – and have time – do you think you could try to help me see again?” Or demanding. “Hey, Jesus. I heard you were in town. Get over here and restore my sight. I’m tired of being blind.”
But those weren’t his words or his attitude. His were cries of desperate humility in search of Grace. Do you humbly bring your needs to Jesus seeking forgiveness and grace?
Bartimaeus was relentless and unashamed. When people discouraged him, he called out all the more. Being blind, his best possible opportunity to get an audience with Jesus was to use his voice. So he did. He even increased the volume and frequency in the midst of discouragement. He felt no shame in needing Jesus’ help or believing in his power. Do life’s hurdles easily discourage you or are you relentless in pursuing him and his purposes? Do you feel shame in seeking Jesus’ help and in letting others see your faith?
Upon hearing Bartimaeus cry out in faith, Jesus responded and called the man to him. (“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you,” comes to mind – James 4:8). Jesus could have ignored him or kept walking. Surely he had much to think about as he prepared to complete his mission in Jerusalem. Still, Jesus responded. His concern was for another even as his crucifixion was near. Do you draw near to God in faith believing he will answer?
Boldly and believing in Jesus power, Bartimaeus did not walk, but ran to him. Jesus tested his faith by asking Bartimaeus what he wanted him to do – believed he could do. Without mincing words or going on about the trouble he had endured, the blind man told Jesus specifically what he wanted… “I want to see.” Do you come to the cross boldly and tell Jesus your needs?
Jesus granted the blind man’s request because of his faith. The blind man immediately received his sight and followed Jesus down the road. Do you believe or do you doubt? Are you willing to follow Jesus?
When you come to the end of your own efforts for your own purposes, Jesus remains where he has always been…walking alongside you, ready to listen and respond. Today, in boldness and humility, believing in the power of the Holy Spirit to do more than you can ask or imagine, run to Jesus and answer the question he asks you, “What do you want me to do for you?”
He will graciously respond. You’ll see.
- Jesus asks you today, “What do you want me to do for you?” How will you answer?
- Jesus asks you today, “What do you want me to help you see?” How will you answer?
Father, I praise your name and thank you for Jesus’ love and desire to answer as I cry out. I pray to be humble, bold, and full of faith as I seek help to change my situation and me in order to accomplish your purposes. Your name alone be glorified. Amen.
Listen to Your HeartSong Here!
I Will Run to You/Hillsong