“And Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘What will you that I should do unto you?’  The blind man said unto him, ‘Lord, that I might receive my sight’.”

Mark 10:51

His questions are always for our benefit and His response is always for our good and His Glory.

Was there ever a more obvious need and seemingly absurd question than the one posed in today’s Manna?  Bartimaeus was blind—and it was evident from his sightless, possibly filmed-over eyes that he was blind.

So, the question is “Why would Jesus ask an obvious blind man ‘What do you need from Me?’ or ‘What would you like for Me to do to/for you today’?”

In some ways His question is similar to the one He asked the poor lame man at the Pool of Bethesda that day:  “Will you be made whole?” (Jn. 5:6).  No doubt the others lying around him, “waiting for the moving of the water” (v.4), thought to themselves “What kind of question is that to ask of someone who’s been lying here for 38 years?  Does He think he’s been lying here for his health?!?”

Oh how easily we forget “His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways—they are much, much higher” (Is. 55:8-9).  And, we’d do well to always remember that!

Jesus knew exactly what He was doing that way when He called Bartimaeus to His side.  His words and actions were for THEIR benefit, not His—just as they were that day when He raised Lazarus from the dead (Jn. 11:12-15, 40-42).

James Weldon Johnson, a black preacher from another generation, said it well one day in his book God’s Trombones:  “Young man, young man, your arm’s too short to box with God.”  Therefore, we should always be very slow in getting irritated when God doesn’t act the way we think He should or answer our prayers when we expect Him to or in the way we wanted.

He is God—and we’re not.  Therefore, when we hear a question like “What do you need from Me?” we should always remember He already knows our need and His asking an obvious question is to see if we know what we need or where we are (e.g., Adam in the Garden—Gen. 3:9).

Dear Pilgrim, is that what He’s asking you today:  “What do you need from Me?”

Strength?  Wisdom?  Relief?  Forgiveness?  Patience?  Healing?

Or, is your answer more “creaturely”—like “Money, respect, a better house/car/clothes, etc.”?

If so, do not be surprised if His answer and/or actions are a bit different than you expect.

In Bartimaeus’ case, his own obvious need (blindness) was what Jesus met that day.  Yet, his persistent, passionate plea for Mercy from the only One Who could give it was what caught Jesus’ ear that day, not his sightless eyes.  Jesus knew his was a voice of faith (v.52), which moved Him to touch him the way He did even as He did Isaiah that day (Is. 6:6-7).  So, what do you need from Jesus today, Pilgrim?  Cry out to Him as Bartimaeus did.  Then watch/wait.

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated October 26, 2009

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