Charles R. Swindoll — 'Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.'
Rev. Susan Smith Walker Emanuel Reformed Church
Mark 10:46-52 46 (B)Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, (C)Son of David, (D)have mercy on me!” 48 Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. Then they called the blind man, saying to him, “Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you.” 50 And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus. 51 So Jesus answered and said to him, “What do you want Me to do for you?” The blind man said to Him, [a]“Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.” 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way; (E)your faith has [b]made you well.” And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.
In the New Testament, Jesus heals blind people four times. In Matthew 9:27-30, he touched the eyes of two blind men and they were healed. In Mark 8:22-25 Jesus spit on the eyes of a blind man and after laying hands on him, he could see clearly. In John 9:1-7 Jesus mixed his spit with mud and after putting the mud on the blind man, he could see. The difference between those three healings and this one in Mark 10 is how Jesus healed him and the question He asked, “What do you want me to do for you?” It must have been obvious that the man was blind, so why would he ask such a question? This question teaches us a deeper lesson about asking the Lord to help us.
Jesus saw something in the thoughts of this man that must have led him to ask, “What do you want me to do for you?” Perhaps Jesus saw that this man had a lot of problems and he was hoping that the Lord would solve them all at once. He was a beggar, so he was stressed out financially. He was alone because in his distress the other people around him were telling him to be quiet rather than cry out with him. Didn’t they care that he was blind and a healer was close at hand? When he cried out, he didn’t say “Heal my blindness!”. He said, “Have mercy on me!” Mercy is compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm. Perhaps he was filled with guilt and shame for things he had done. Even so, when Jesus asked him to say what he wanted, he picked the most urgent need. By faith Jesus gave him what he asked for.
Sometimes we need to focus and ask the Lord to help us on our most urgent need, rather than expect God to fix everything all at once. We have a lot of problems, but which one is the most urgent? Where do we need God’s help the most? Do we believe that Jesus can help us at our greatest point of need? Could we identify that need if Jesus asked us “What do you want me to do for you?”
Rev. Walker is the pastor of Emanuel Reformed Church www.emanuelreformedchurch.com and she can be reached at 828-962-8196 or firstname.lastname@example.org