DayBreaks for 2/26/16: A Not-so-Stupid Question
Mark 10.46-52 captures the story of the healing of the blind man, Bartimaeus. Bartimaeus, as I’ll call him, (not to be confused with Bartimaeus Simpson!!!) cried out for Jesus to have pity on him. Notice what happened when he and Jesus wound up face to face: Jesus asked him a seemingly stupid question, “What do you want me to do for you?”
An outsider would say, “Well, Jesus, isn’t it obvious? I mean, here’s a blind man, he can’t see! What do you think he wants you to do for him, give him a new pair of shoes?!?!” Ahhh – but there was more behind Jesus’ question than the obvious, I think.
By asking the question, Jesus made Bartimaeus stop and think. What did he really want from this “Son of David”? He could have asked him for anything: a home, a chariot, to win the Jericho lottery that week, for a beautiful wife or loving children. But he didn’t. He wanted to see! But Jesus question is still important for another reason: Bartimaeus needed to consider the implications of having sight. It’s like Jesus was asking, “Are you really ready for the responsibilities of being able to see? Have you thought it through?” All of his life, Bartimaeus had been a beggar. He’d never had to work, and while the wages of begging probably weren’t all that great, now he’d have to learn a skill, a trade. He couldn’t beg anymore. Being able to see is a wonderful gift, but it also carries with it the responsibility of seeing reality and reacting to it appropriately.
- Jesus wants us to ask him for what we really want – and he wants us to carefully consider what we ask for and the price of getting what we want;
- Jesus, by coming into the world, has cleared up our vision, and because we have “seen” Him, we have seen the Father (John 14.9). Now we have no excuse for our blindness or remaining ignorant of the evils and wrongs done in this world and along with being able to see comes the responsibility to act as those who can see.
Have you cried out to the Lord to ask for something? Jesus response to you is the same as that to Bartimaeus, “What do you want me to do for you?”. It is a wonderful thing to follow Someone who cares enough to ask that kind of question and powerful enough to give us whatever we ask for. But he’s not a cosmic vending machine who exists just to grant our requests. He gives us things to use for His purposes, He has given us sight to see the truth, and He expects us to live changed lives as a result of being able to see the difference between right and wrong, truth and falsehood, light and darkness.
Just as the promise of Isaiah 35.5 came true for Bartimaeus, “Then will the eyes of the blind be opened…”, Jesus won’t refuse you, either. Carefully consider what you ask for and also ask for the wisdom to use your sightedness correctly.
TODAY’S PRAYER: Father, open our eyes to see your glory. May we see your will for us clearly and may we live it faithfully. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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