If God said, “What do you want me to do for you?”, what would you ask for? Here are two stories of people who asked Jesus for something.
Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”
“What do you want me to do for you?” He asked.
They replied, “let one of us sit at your right hand and the other at your left in your glory.” (Mark 10:35-37)
Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (that is, the Son of Timaeus), was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”
So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.
“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.
The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”
“Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road. (Mark 10:46-52)
Who do you identify with most and why – James and John or Bartimaeus? They both asked Jesus to do something for them, but with very different motives and very different results.
James and John wanted power and prestige but Jesus offers something far more valuable – himself. Following Jesus is about service, not status. Contentment, satisfaction and fulfilment don’t come from status seeking, or anything else – they come from God. We make these things more important than God. The Bible calls this idolatry – turning something God has created into a substitute for God. Turning a good thing into a God thing.
Bartimaeus the beggar called Jesus “Son of David” and asked for mercy. He was willing to make a fool of himself in the eyes of others, and he even threw away his only possession. He only asked for mercy. He received it and followed Jesus. He knew what the most important thing was.
What do you want Jesus to do for you?