It is all about “WANTS” today. Jesus has said this twice in today’s Bible reading. We can note two things here: Jesus is offering something to His audience. It is like He has a blank check in front of Him and is willing to fill it up for you. But you need to give the right answer.
And He said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?” (Mark 10:36)
So Jesus answered and said to him, “What do you want Me to do for you?” (Mark 10:51)
The result was quite unusual. A group of close disciples of Jesus failed to get Jesus to give them what they wanted. On the other hand a blind man who was a stranger to Jesus received exactly what he wanted from Jesus. What is the difference in their wants and requests?
The following readings are from the New Testament, Mark 10:32-52 (quoted from the Holy Bible New King James Version (NKJV)). My notes are in bold letters and italics.
Prior to asking the disciples what they had wanted for Him to do for them, Jesus continued calmly to go to the place of destiny. He warned the disciples of what to expect there. They were afraid. Despite their fear of the persecution He continued to tell them details of the ‘bad news’ followed by the ‘good news’. But they heard something else instead. They had followed Him closely for over three years but they hardly knew Him and what He would do for them. Why? They were preoccupied with their own personal agenda.
32 Now they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was going before them; and they were amazed. And as they followed they were afraid. Then He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them the things that would happen to Him: 33 “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles; 34 and they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again.”
Here we read of an incongruous response and carnal request from the disciples: They asked for political positions and power to control others. Jesus noted their distractions and evil intentions (still being fully preoccupied with the world and its lusts), He spoke to them what His mission really was and how they would need to emulate Him.
35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Him, saying, “Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask.”36 And He said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?”37 They said to Him, “Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory.”
38 But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”
39 They said to Him, “We are able.”
So Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism I am baptized with you will be baptized; 40 but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared.”
41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be greatly displeased with James and John. 42 But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant.44 And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Here is the contrast to the above failure: an example of a request to Jesus that Jesus will not refuse. Be saved. Be healed. Be made whole. Be set free to follow Jesus as His disciples. Jesus has shown His purpose on earth. When the blind man aligned his want (personal agenda) with Jesus’ purpose on earth, his request was granted immediately.
46 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, Son of David, 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, “Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.”
52 Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.
Other readings for the 9th week day five: Psalm 34:1-10; Leviticus 25:47-27:13; Proverbs 10:22