46 Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
48 Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”
So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” 50 Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.
51 “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.
The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”
52 “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road
What Do You Want Jesus To Do?
I am angry today. It started as sadness yesterday, but as the day wore on it became anger. I tried to reach out to someone but it didn’t seem to work well. It seemed that they were ignoring me or just preoccupied with their own agenda. If Jesus comes to me through this passage and says, “What do you want from me?” I would ask for him to open the other person’s eyes. I would maintain my victim stance and have him change the world around me and not me. As I lay in bed stewing in my own juices, I thought of how immature I was being. Yet something in me embraced the destructive emotion as a kind of control. This negative emotion was something I had against the other person. In my twisted state, it gave me dignity. I once saw a victim of physical abuse refuse to give up her anger against her abuser because it was the one thing she had over him. However, the perpetrator was dead and the only one her hatred and unforgiveness was hurting was herself.
Do you really want to be healed ? You are suffering from the effects of sin. Do you really want the sin to be gone? Does your spiritual blindness allow you to do your job like the blind beggar Bartimaeus? He would have to face a new life. Do you avoid your life being renewed each day? Do you, like me, look for relief rather than real change? Do you embrace entertainment and business or the savior? Today it feels easier to embrace the sin of my unrepentant anger. It masks my pain and relieves my despair. Do I really want to enter into the bold action of following Jesus if he will truly heal me and take away the sin I know so well? Which sin seems to serve you well? What do you want Jesus to do for you?
Blind Bartimaeus sees what the seeing disciples do not. He sees that Jesus is the Son of David and if he is given all that he wants he will have sight and follow Jesus. If Jesus’ disciples get what they want one will sit on his right and another on his left as they embrace power and prestige. What do you want?
My anger is fading because I am in your presence for devotions. I know that you would have discussion and forgiveness. More than that, you would heal whatever pain this broken relationship is triggering. You would reveal to me the source of the pain within myself and remove my need to blame another. I want relief. I want to stuff it and cease to feel it on the surface. I want to lock it in the primal part of my brain. I want what is short sighted and foolish. Work in me to grow me up. I want to have my way. I want recognition. I want respect. I want to feel good. But I think more than what is on the surface this morning I want to cast aside these things, like Bartimaeus cast aside his cloak, and I want to follow you.
- What does Jesus ask Bartimaeus?
- Why are we told that a beggar throws aside his cloak (hint:he would not be wearing it)?
- What do you think Bartimaeus became?
- What do you want Jesus to do?
- What will happen if Jesus gives you what you want?
Jesus I long for you to take away my need to be in control and to be strong. Let me allow myself to be weak and vulnerable. I can’t do this without you!
Jesus, I want to trust. Heal me of fear and anxiety.