As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord, I want to see,” he replied. Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God.
I’m a retired Southern Baptist pastor. Grew up in the Lutheran Church. Somewhere in between I became a Presbyterian. I attended ultra-conservative Southeastern Bible College and then slightly less conservative Samford University. Oh yeah. I can’t forget about the influence of a boatload of TV and radio preachers.
All those influences have shaped my view of the Bible and God. Well, I have to throw in personal experience. A long life relationship with God has been arguably my best teacher.
Along the way, I discovered that the Baptists think they’re right. So do the Lutherans. Yep, Presbyterians, too. I suppose we all have a tendency to think our way is the right way… the only way to interpret theology.
Sound doctrine is vitally important, but not so much as to place religion over relationship.
In our focus text from Luke’s gospel, Jesus was on the road to Jericho and accompanied by a crowd of followers. A blind man sitting on the roadside called out to Jesus, but he was rebuked by the leaders of the procession. Essentially, they told him to “shut-up!” The blind man paid them no mind, called out louder.
Why did the followers of Jesus order the man to be quiet? We’re not told. Maybe it was his unorthodox approach or his appearance. Possibly they objected to the manner in which he screamed his request. More likely, they were listening for what Jesus had to say. He taught as He walked.
Fortunately for that man, Jesus wanted to hear what he had to say. I love the question Jesus asked. “What do you want me to do for you?”
Jesus didn’t ask the man for his doctrinal position, denominational affiliation, or his opinion on existentialism. The man had already exhibited all Jesus needed to know. He had FAITH.
“Lord, I want to see.”
“Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.”
Of course, you know the rest of the story. The man was healed and praised the Lord.
Admittedly, I am shy and I don’t like to ask anybody for anything, that is, except for one Person. Jesus, the one who asks, “What do you want me to do for you?”
I just don’t like to bother or impose upon people. I guess I figure they might be like the leaders of the procession who told the blind man to shut up. Over and over again, God tells us to “come to Him.” He wants us to bear our hearts and unload our burdens on Him.
Way back in high school, I attended District Band in Winchester, Virginia. The weekend event required us to stay in homes of local volunteers. For supper my first night there, my host prepared Tuna Casserole. She served it with a generous offer, “I made plenty. You can have all you want.” Now, that tuna dish was one of the most amazing things I had ever eaten. Oh, how I wanted another serving. But — I just couldn’t bring myself to ask for more. I didn’t want to be a bother, even though she had made the generous offer.
Allow nothing to stand in the way of taking advantage of Jesus’ generous offer to come to Him. Not religion or the opinions of naysayers who dismiss a close personal relationship with Jesus as foolishness. Not your own personality quirks. Nothing.
You believe that He is — and can and WILL do what He has promised. Then go to Him and make your requests. He’s waiting and listening.
Jesus wants to know, “What do you want me to do for you?”
For more on this topic, check out this article: God’s Super Deluxe Bundle of Blessings
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 2 (April – June) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.