When God Asks the Questions: what do you want me to do for you?

Light at the end of the tunnel…
The Old Biltmore Hotel, Santa Barbara CA October 2011
 This reflection comes from a sermon by Pastor Don Johnson on Luke 18:35-43 – the healing of the blind man by the roadside. You really need to read verses 31-34 as well. 
It’s quite a story. I’ll paste it in for you at the bottom of this post.

There is only one week left.
One week before that fateful ride into Jerusalem.
One week before everything turns upside down.
Jesus knows the time is near; his disciples haven’t a clue.
They’re on their way up the road, climbing to the city,
to the temple, to the festival.
And the ancient crossroads city of Jericho is on the way.
As usual, the teacher is dropping dark hints 
about what’s coming.
As usual, the disciples don’t get it.
 So instead of engaging Jesus in conversation about this  
 mysterious word of prophecy,
they change the subject.
“Wow, guys – look at these crowds!
They’re lining the roadside!
See them whispering to each other about Jesus passing by?
Why in the world is he being SO negative 
when it’s clear as day that what we’ve got going here 
is a regular ‘Jesus Fan Club!’
Good thing we’re the founding members.”
Then, up ahead – there, by the side of the road.
Do you see him?
Can you hear him?
My word, that beggar is noisy!
What’s that he’s yelling?
“Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
“Shush it up, man! Can’t you see we’re going somewhere?  Keep it down – don’t bother us, we’re leading the parade here 
 and we don’t need some scruffy, blind beggar 
getting in the way.”

But the man shouted all the louder:
“Son of David, have mercy on me.”

And that pretty much stopped the whole climbing party.

Jesus, almost angry, demands that the beggar be brought  
 right in front of him. And as he approached, 
Jesus asked the man an interesting question:
“What do you want me to do for you?”
He didn’t say, “Well, what’s all the shouting about?”
He didn’t say, “So, whaddya want?”
He didn’t say, “Shazaam – your problems are over.”
He looked him in the eye – those eyes that saw nothing – 
and he asked him a deeply personal question:
“What do YOU want ME to do for YOU?”

And a simple answer came: “Lord, I want to see.”

And Jesus does that Jesus thing again:
“Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.”
What faith?
Hey, wait a minute. Just a doggone minute.
We’re the ones following in your wake.
We’re the ones who’ve been with you every step 
of the last three years.
And he’s the one with faith?
Yes, boys.
HE’S  the one who gets it.
As soon as he’s told that Jesus is on the road,
he calls out the truth,
the truth that so far no one else has understood.
“Son of David” – a title for the Messiah, and the Messiah alone.
“Have mercy on me” – a prayer that is offered to God alone.
And immediately, his sight is restored –  
and he joins the Fan Club. 
As a true disciple, one who praises God for gifts received, 
 one who recognizes in Jesus the promise of God fulfilled. 
 One whose witness draws others into praising God, too.
So, I guess the question is:
What do I want Jesus to do for me?
Do I see who he truly is?
Do I believe what I see?
Do I believe deeply enough to get real when he asks me:
What do you want me to do for you?
I want to see, too, Jesus!
I want to see like you see.
I want to have your eyes for the world, 
for the people I love, 
for the people I don’t love. 
I even want to have your eyes for me.
Jesus, Son of David – Son of God, have mercy on me!”
Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be delivered over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him and spit on him; they will flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again.”
The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about.

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.

Joining with Michelle and Jen today, and also with Emily , if she’s still open!


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  1. I have come hard against that question Diana. It was during a difficult time, when I was praying desperately for I wanted. When He asked that question, I realized in that moment that what I really wanted was not my will but His.
    Thank you for this. It is beautifully written and so thoughtful.

  2. There’s something to be said for those times when we don’t know what words to put on what we’re asking Him. And thankfully He’s glad enough to listen to His Spirit speaking for us.

    But… Sure seems there are times when He wants us to gather up those words. He wants me to own what I’m asking.

    You catch me remembering I’ve been a part of that fickle fan club too…

  3. I want to see. Truly see.

  4. Diane, this post is challenging to me. I know what I want, and I know what I want is His will. However, I don’t always have the faith that He can do it, if I’m honest. Why is it so hard sometimes to believe the One who can do everything and anything?

  5. Thank you for such a beautiful post. I am inspired in so many ways.