“What do you want me to do for you?” It’s the same question Jesus posed to James and John when they asked him to grant a request. James and John wanted positions of importance; they wanted status above their peers. It does not take much thought to recognize the inward focus of the sons of Zebedee. James and John had been with Jesus for nearly three years. They had been with him as part of his inner circle, his closest disciples. Now, as Jesus was talking about going to Jerusalem, these brothers wanted to secure for themselves places of importance.
As they came into Jericho, Jesus and the twelve encountered a crowd along the side of the road. Among the crowd was a blind beggar named Bartimaeus. Once he could see, now he cannot. He called out to Jesus, but the crowd tried to stifle his cries, for to them he was a nuisance. Bartimaeus, however, was a man of faith. He knew Jesus could heal him so he called out to Christ for mercy. Summoning him, Jesus asked, “What do you want me to do for you?” “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.”
How many today are blind to the sin of the world? How often do those who call themselves followers of Christ deny him and follow the ways of a fallen and broken humanity? The world is filled with inward focused people seeking status or places of importance. Within the Church, there are far too many Christians who fail to recognize their sin, and do not take the time for worship. Few earnestly study scripture and only a small percentage engage in acts of service for the sake of their neighbor. In this light, consider what your response might be when Jesus asks, “What do you want me to do for you?” Bartimaeus cried out, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
As we seek mercy from our Lord Jesus, the request is the same, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” We want to see Jesus for who he truly is. We want to know the truth concerning God’s redeeming of that which was lost to sin. In our asking, we want to recover the joy of being called beloved children of God. Then, having received mercy, may we be like Bartimaeus and follow along the way of our Lord.
Lord and Christ, let us recover our sight, that we may receive your grace and follow your ways. Amen.