"What do you want me to do for you?" Mark 10:36, 51

I have been posting my blog weekly since last June. Last week was the first I have missed since then. I acknowledge that missing my commitment is not the best way to start the New Year. Excuse? I have tons: a broken furnace, frozen pipes in my kitchen and laundry room, a blown electrical fuse which cut off my internet, to name a few. Last week was a revolving door of service technicians! But this is a new week. So I decided before I finally take down the Christmas tree (don’t judge), I will dig into God’s Word.

To rewind a bit, last summer I was challenged by the questions that Jesus asked during His ministry on earth. I came across one that I had missed—What do you want me to do for you?

Actually, Jesus asked this twice—to different individuals, but they are both recorded in the same chapter. The first time He asked it of His disciples, James and John. Their answer revealed the spiritual condition of their hearts at the time. They replied, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” (Mark 10:37) Jesus gently rebuked them, and reminded them that He came “to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).  The cross would come before Glory. Following Jesus implies the same for us: “But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all” (Mark 10:43-44). James and John were looking first for glory and recognition. What was in it for them? But that was not what Jesus came to give. We’ll see what He came to give through His second interaction.

Jesus and his disciples then came to Jericho where there was a great crowd. Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, called out “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:48) Jesus then asked the very same question that He had of James and John. “What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:51) Coincidence? Certainly not. The blind man answered, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” There was no rebuke on Jesus’ part. Instead He recognized the heart and faith of the man. “Go your way: your faith has made you well” (Mark 10:52). Bartimaeus immediately recovered his sight, but then confirmed his faith by his actions—He followed Jesus on the way. Bartimaeus did  not ask for the gold watch, the trophy, or a privileged position.  His request for sight, while a physical desire, came from a heart that was humble and poor in spirit. His reply came from a willingness to receive what Jesus came to give—he asked for mercy.  

What do you want me to do for you?

If Jesus was before me now asking that question, how would I answer? Does my answer reveal any selfish ambition?  Is what I want Him to do aligned with His will and a desire to follow Him more closely? Do I want all that Jesus came to give or are there things I desire that are of this world and not of His? Jesus came to do plenty for us—forgive our sins, give us assurance of eternal salvation, offer us peace, victory and comfort. Are my hands empty, ready to receive all that I don’t deserve but that He wants me to have?