I find it fascinating that the Lord sometimes asked people what they wanted Him to do for them. He already knows everything. Everything. Nothing is hidden from him. Matthew 6:8 says, “Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”
Matthew 20:29-34 records the story of two blind men who were sitting by the side of the road. As Jesus passed by, they cried out to Him to have mercy on them. He stopped and asked, “What do you want me to do for you?”
In Mark 10:46-52 and Luke 18:35-43, a similar story is recorded. This time it was a blind man named Bartimaeus who called out for Jesus to have mercy on him. Again, Jesus asked, “What do you want me to do for you?”
The two blind men answered Jesus’ question by saying, “Lord, we want our sight.” The blind man’s reply was, “Lord, I want to see.” In both instances, they immediately received sight and then followed Jesus.
Does it seem odd that Jesus asked what these blind men wanted Him to do for them? Surely He knew they wanted to see. Jesus had recently quoted Isaiah 61 in reference to Himself, including the phrase that He would bring recovery of sight for the blind. They knew He could do it. So why did He first ask what they wanted?
In John 5:1-9, Jesus found a man who has been paralyzed for 38 years lying near a pool of water that was said to have healing properties. Blind, lame, and paralyzed people waited around this pool in hopes of being healed. Jesus asked the man, “Do you want to get well?”
Isn’t this similar to His question of the blind men? Of course the paralyzed man wanted to get well! His answer was interesting. He told Jesus that there was no one to help him into the pool. Jesus told him, “Get up. Pick up your mat and walk.” And the man was instantly cured. He picked up his mat and walked.
Do we ask Jesus to do things for us without truly thinking about what we really need Him to do? Have we grown comfortable in the complacency of our lives? Do we want to be well? Sometimes that which is familiar becomes comfortable, even if it’s wrong or not healthy. We can get stuck in a routine because we know what to expect and it isn’t risky. What deeper needs might we have? Are we willing to admit that we are “sick” or in need of something that only Jesus can give, something more than just taking care of the obvious?
The blind men wanted their physical sight — but each of them, upon receiving sight, also then followed Jesus. Perhaps they had heard about this amazing Son of God and wanted to have the sight to match their growing faith in Him. They walked by faith, not by sight, and when they got their sight, their faith was increased all the more.
The paralyzed man had told Jesus there was no one to help him into the pool. Perhaps he knew that only Jesus could give him the kind of healing he really needed. After he was cured, he stood up and walked with the strength that Jesus alone could give.
Tell Jesus what you really need Him to do for you — physically, emotionally, and spiritually. No more sitting and begging, waiting on others to give you something that will never be as good as what only Jesus can give.
• Lisa Jisa and her family have been residents of Ahwatukee Foothills since 2000. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.