So Jesus answered and said to him, “What do you want Me to do for you?” Mark 10:51a
Jesus was speaking to Bartimaeus. He was leaving Jericho on his way to Jerusalem and the cross. Bartimaeus, undeterred by the crowd and their call for decorum, cried out for mercy. Persistently. Loudly. Jesus heard him and called for him.
What do you want me to do for you?
This is an obvious but yet compelling question. Face to face with the Son of God, how would I answer? How would you answer?
Bartimaeus asked for his eyesight, and Jesus willingly restored it.
Interestingly, James and John were faced with that very same question just a few verses earlier. They had approached Jesus with a request. “Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask.” Then they asked for power and authority, for favor and position and prestige. Jesus deflected their request without granting it.
The differences between the two requests couldn’t be more stark. One was wrapped in desperate humility. The other was rooted in selfish ambition. One cried out to the promised Messiah. The others hit up the leader of their group. And once again, it was need versus wants.
It won’t be long before I call out to Jesus. He will answer, because He always does, and say, “What do you want me to do for you?”
Needs or wants? Pride or humility? Will I seek His approval for my great plan? Or will I ask for the mercy I so desperately need?
How will you answer?