What drives you to Jesus?

He begged for more than alms, he begged for mercy.

In both yesterday and today’s Gospel reading Jesus asks, “What do you want me to do for you?” Yesterday’s request by James and John was born of ignorance mixed with pride, today’s of hope for restoration and maybe a little anger.

As Jesus and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ …Jesus stood still and said, ‘Call him here.’ …So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ ‘My teacher, let me see again.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go your faith has made you well.’ Mark 10:46ff

Bartimaeus wasn’t always blind. Something transpired in his life that robbed him of his sight. His blindness physically reduced him to the role of an insignificant beggar, yet his spirit retained the memory and the experience of being a person of consequence. In Jesus, he hoped for more than alms because of who he was, a blind beggar. He hoped for mercy.

Mercy, the quality that looks beyond the present reality to the original and intended plan of God. Mercy, originating in the caring heart of the beholder, not in the pitiable state of the one seen. Bartimaeus begs Jesus “Please don’t see me as I am now, a blind beggar in need of alms, see the real me, the me I am meant to be, a person returned to wholeness.”

Yesterday, James and John were bold in their request of Jesus because of their intimate relationship with him. Today, Bartimaeus’ boldness is energized by desperation. Both motivations for approaching Jesus are equally welcomed by him. Jesus will use your intimacy with him to take you deeper into his love. And your desperation to lead you into greater wholeness. “Let nothing separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus.” [Romans 8] Run to him with your heart’s desires. You are welcome in his presence. He longs to ask you, “What do you want me to do for you?”

For more thoughts about your desires leading you to a deeper walk with the Lord read  “What do you really want?” and “Choose Life.

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5 thoughts on “What drives you to Jesus?

  1. At the end of his ordeal, Job declared, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you” (Job 42:5). Job had knowledge of God, but what he lacked was an authentic experience with God – the difference between knowing about God and truly knowing him. Bartimaeus calls Jesus Son of David, and teacher. Clearly he had heard some things about Jesus, enough to give him hope. Now, with Jesus before him he cries out for mercy. Jesus’ question is less a blank check and more a heart check, “What do you want me to do to show mercy to you?” Bartimaeus knew enough about Jesus to understand he was merciful, but what he really wanted was to know the mercy of Messiah first hand. “Restore me.” I love how you described Batrimaeus’ back-story and heart. Through his circumstance he wanted an experience with Jesus, not just Jesus’ stuff.
    Too often it seems we just want Jesus to make our lives easier rather than really wanting Jesus himself. Jesus changed Bartimaeus, then it was up to Bartimaeus to change his circumstances. Yet now Bartimaeus knew God’s mercy and faithfulness, giving him the faith to “do all things through Christ who gives [him] strength” (Phil. 4:13). We need to ask ourselves if we are willing to come to Jesus to encounter him and allow him to change us, or if we come to Jesus to get more stuff.
    Thank you Debby. Way to get the theological wheels turning!

    michael
    http://www.TheEconomyOfTheSoul.com

    • Thank you Michael! Good thing we are promised a blank check when we call out to Jesus. Think what a mess we’d be in if it were up to us! I love how your thoughts add and fill out the thoughts the Lord has given me. Let’s keep it going! Debby

  2. Pingback: What questions do you have for God? « The Mentored Life

  3. Once again, Debby, beautiful words of life. This definitely hits at the heart of it for me personally and also is a profound reminder to keep this question before me always as I sit with my clients and pray for Jesus to give me eyes to see his children as he does:
    Bartimaeus begs Jesus “Please don’t see me as I am now, a blind beggar in need of alms, see the real me, the me I am meant to be, a person returned to wholeness.”

    Here Jesus will trade us beauty for ashes.
    Thanks, Debby!!

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