When I was growing up, I was always a little scared of God because I’d been told from a young age that God knows everything about me – where I am, what I say, what I think, what I feel and some of those things I really didn’t want God to know about!
This also affected my prayer life. I used to think, OK God, you know me better than I know myself and you know better than me what I need, and it would be a real effort to come to God and to ask him to be at work in my life. I was fine asking for everyone else and praying for any need around me or in the world. But when it came to praying for me and sharing how I was, I would struggle because of this idea that God already knew plus I often felt embarrassed that if God knew everything about me, he wouldn’t be impressed.
And then I came across a story that is found in Mark’s gospel about Jesus and his interaction with a blind man. And I’ve returned to it recently and have been reflecting on it again. It’s Mark 10:46-52 and it says:
46 Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
48 Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”
So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” 50 Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.
51 “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.
The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”
52 “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road. Mark 10:46-52
3 things spring out of this for me:
- The beggar had the courage to turn to Jesus and ask for his help, even though others around him told him to shut up thinking why on earth would Jesus want to speak to him. That just made him shout all the more.
- Jesus heard him and invited him into his presence.
- He knew what the man needed, but he asked him the question “What do you want me to do for you?”
Today, I want to encourage us to have the confidence to come to Jesus, irrespective of what we think of ourselves – he invites us to come, and he hears us. But he then asks us: What do you want me to do for? What is it that you want Jesus to do for you today?
Perhaps at the end of this devotional, you want to spend some time with Jesus and answer these questions:
What do you want Jesus to do for you today in
- Your life
- Your area of influence
- Your community
- Your church
- Your world?