What do you want me to do for you?


“What do you want me to do for you?”

Jesus asks this of Bartimaeus, the blind beggar, who is sitting by the side of the road, shouting “Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10: 46-52) The disciples are trying to get him to shut up, but Jesus stops in the middle of the crowd and says, “What do you want me to do for you?” Bartimaeus answers simply, “Rabbi, I want to see.” And Jesus tells him, “Go, your faith has healed you.” In the blink of an eye, Bartimaeus can see, and joins the crowd following Jesus.

“What do you want me to do for you?”

Earlier in the chapter, Jesus offers the same question to James and John, but with a different outcome. These Sons of Thunder don’t ask Jesus, they tell him, “We want you to do for us whatever we ask.” (Mark 10:35). Their mother makes the request in Matthew’s version. Jesus practically rolls his eyes as he patiently says, “What do you want me to do for you?”  Their request is simple also – make us more important than the other disciples by giving us the most prestigious seats in heaven. Jesus responds, “You have no idea what you are asking,” and then goes on to tell them that those decisions are not up to him, but to the main guy, God. They leave unhappy and now the other disciples are mad.

“What do you want me to do for you?”

Imagine Jesus looking into your eyes with love and compassion and asking you this question. What would be your answer?


My requests would be pretty selfish – I have several situations in my life I would love to see changed. Then I feel guilty – surely I shouldn’t be asking God to fix my problems. But look at Bartimaeus – he asked for the most basic need he had and Jesus healed him, no questions asked. 

So why didn’t He grant the request of James and John? 

Perhaps Jesus knew that their desire to sit by Him in glory was covering up deeper insecurities. Maybe if James and John had come to Jesus and said, “We don’t feel loved and appreciated by you. Our mother is driving us crazy. The other disciples look down their noses at us because we are young. We get so mad at them that we blow up, and then everything is worse,” maybe then Jesus could have met their need, shown his love for them, calmed their mother down, worked on the other disciples to treat them better. Maybe when they realized how much He loved them and how special they were to Him, they wouldn’t have been worried about their place in heaven and would have been more compassionate towards the throngs that followed after them. Maybe they would have gotten along better with the other disciples. Maybe their mother would have relaxed and quit worrying about her sons’ status.

“What do you want me to do for you?”

  

Jesus doesn’t say yes to all of our questions and requests. But when we are honest about what we are feeling and strip away the jealousies, anger, and hurt feelings, He meets our needs. He has not promised to give us everything we ask, but He has promised never to leave us alone. And He is infinitely patient with us along the way.  


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3 thoughts on “What do you want me to do for you?

  1. You’re always such a blessing through your writings. Griffin has only come home twice since he’s been off to college. I struggle every time he leaves. I need to share my feelings more with Jesus instead of just my requests. J

    Denise Ziegler

    ESOL Teacher

    New Hope Elementary

    1175 New Hope Road

    Dalton, GA 30720

    706-673-3180

    706-673-3182 (fax)

    Like

  2. I can relate to this very well. So many times, I find myself asking God for some generic request when deep down, I know my need goes much deeper than that. It’s hard to be honest with ourselves and allow our vulnerability to show.

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