September 12, 2022 — Looking again at Bartimaeus’ Reponse

“Do you remember the story of the blind man named Bartimaeus who was healed by Jesus?” Stan asked me one morning while we waited for Ricky to bring our breakfast.

“A little,” I responded. “Isn’t he the one who called out to Jesus when He was passing by, and Jesus asked him what he wanted?”

“That’s him,” Stan said. “And when Jesus asked him that question, Bartimaeus said that he wanted to regain his sight.”

“And Jesus healed him,” I replied. “Right?”

“He did,” Stan said. “But I was looking at this story again the other day and I was wondering about it.”

“What were you wondering?” I asked.

“That maybe Bartimaeus didn’t have the totally correct response to Jesus’ question,” Stan replied.

“Didn’t have the correct response?” I said. “In what way? Jesus asked him what He wanted, and he responded.”

“Yeah, I know,” Stan replied, “but I wonder if what he should have said, as well as what I should say when Jesus asks me the same thing, is ‘Whatever you want to give me’.”

“Whatever He wants to give you?” I said. “Kind of like being open to whatever God has in mind, rather than asking for a specific thing, is that it?”

“I could be wrong, or course,” Stan replied, “but it seems that way to me. If I come before God in prayer with the knowledge that He knows all about me, all about what’s on my heart, and all about what I want, maybe God would prefer that I ask for whatever He wants to give me, whether or not that’s the same thing I would ask for.”

“That kind of approach,” I said, “sounds like it could be a disciple’s prayer.”

“How so?” Stan asked.

“Well,” I replied, “if I don’t ask for what I want, that’s like denying self. And if I do ask for whatever God wants to give me, that’s like taking up what He has for me to take up. And, of course, then comes the third step of following Him.”

Stan added, “However, wherever, and whenever, which is always!”


Bible verses to consider:

And they came to Jericho. And as He was going out from Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the road. And when he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” And many were sternly telling him to be quiet, but he began crying out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him here.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take courage, arise! He is calling for you.” And casting aside his cloak, he jumped up, and came to Jesus. And answering him, Jesus said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” And the blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, I want to regain my sight!” Mark 10:46-51.

And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, that I can come before you in prayer. I confess that too often my prayers are self-focused in that I want only what I want, rather than what you have and want for me. Please help me to follow every step of your lead in coming before you in prayer so that my prayer is for you to grant me whatever you want regardless of whether it agrees with what I want. Please show me what’s on your heart that you want and have for me. Thank you that I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Think on this: Have you accepted God’s free and gracious provision of the finished work of the cross so you can come before Him praying in the name of Jesus? If you do not have the assurance of salvation and redemption, why? What is standing in the way? If you are a Christian, how are you doing with your prayers? Do you ask God for only what you want rather than asking Him to grant you whatever is on His heart and mind, regardless of whether it agrees with your desire? If you sense the need for change in how you approach God in prayer, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?

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