What do you want me to do for you? (v. 51)
Just 15 verses earlier, Jesus asks James and John, two disciples we might label “Type A,” another version of this question. He denies their request for prestige, telling them it’s not his to grant. The incident ends with at least ten angry disciples and words from Jesus about who they should think they are.
Not far down the road, Jesus asks Bartimaeus this question, then fulfills the blind man’s request. The one who cries for mercy and asks to see again receives physical sight and is blessed with spiritual sight also. Jesus gains another follower as he makes his way to the cross.
What do you want me to do for you?
How would I answer this question if I’d been following this baffling, charismatic rabbi on the dusty road from Jericho to Jerusalem? I’d like to think that I would answer, “Show me how to love God and love my neighbor.” Or perhaps, “Teach me how to put aside old hurts and love those who don’t love me.” Or even, “Help me to find my way into the kingdom of God.”
What I’m afraid I would have said is: “A hearty lunch and a cold beverage would be great about now.” Or, “I could really use a new pair of sandals.” Or worse yet, “I don’t like the sound of what’s ahead—I’d be so grateful if you’d tell me that I can skip this next part.”
What does Jesus want me to answer? What would it take for me to see my need to be whole again, and ask for healing to help me follow Jesus the rest of the way?
What do I want Jesus to do for me?
God, help me seek the wholeness you offer so I will follow you forever. Amen.