If Jesus Christ walked up to you and asked, “What do you want me to do for you?” What would you say? This question, as well as others, came into my mind as I was reading Matthew.
(29) As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him.
(30) Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”
(31) The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”
(32) Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.
(33) “Lord,” they answered, “We want our sight.”
(34) Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.”
My first questions were: What was up with that crowd? Why would they tell the blind men to shut up? They obviously had their reasons, but were they good reasons? My question to you is: What reasoning tells you to be quiet, to not ask for help?
Maybe you don’t feel you deserve the help, or perhaps you think you can handle the problem on your own. Perhaps it’s the crowd saying the erroneous belief that: “It’s the sovereignty of God, and He has a reason for you being sick, out of work, lonely…” Or possibly you don’t think you can ask for help because you caused your problem. You’ve made mistakes in parenting or perhaps your health is failing because you’ve never eaten properly. I think there are a slew of reasons for not asking; in fact, I’m sure one of the Devil’s major objectives is to keep us from asking.
Instead of listening to the crowd and shutting up, these two men yelled louder! Sometimes we all need to be bolder, firmer and yes, louder against the voices in our heads of condemnation, pride, or public opinion. We need to simply ask with confidence that our Lord hears and cares.
In Matthews 7:7a, Jesus tells us to “Ask and it will be given to you….” Jesus compared our heavenly Father with an earthly father and goes on to say:
“If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”
My next question was: What’s good? James 4:3 says, “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with the wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” “Wrong motives,” that’s not good. James 1:5 says: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” “Wisdom,” now that’s good! James 5:15 gives us two more “good” things to ask for, healing and forgiveness. A “prayer offered in faith will make a sick person well…If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.”
Hebrews 4:16 tells us to “…approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” It’s not always about our tough circumstances disappearing, but it’s about having divine intervention: strength, patience, peace, and love, to get through them. In 2 Corinthians 12:9, Jesus told Paul “…My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness….” When we have a need that we by our power can’t control, and we ask for help, that’s when we get to see the power of Christ at work in us. To see our circumstances transformed by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ is a good thing!
As I continued reading in Matthew 7:11 about how our “…Father in heaven give[s] good gifts to those who ask him!” I came across the next verse, which disturbed me. “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you….” Wait a minute—where do “others” fit in? I thought we were talking about me. In John 15:16 and 17, the same scenario takes place: “…I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other.”
I realized that what our Lord Jesus Christ and our Father in heaven want is for us to bear good fruit. When we’re walking in the strength of our Lord, we can be his resource in taking care of others’ needs. In other words, we could be his answer to their prayers. That’s good fruit! Our giving can help others, our words can encourage others, our light can dispel darkness and help people see and know Christ. In John 15:11 and 12 Jesus explains: “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete…Love each other as I have loved you.”
Yes, Jesus cares about our personal needs, but he knows that when we are about loving others we then can experience his joy. I’ve noticed also that when I’m caring for others, I’m not stewing about my problems, which, by the way, doesn’t help matters. I think we all know people who only think about themselves. They focus on their needs and their feelings, and most of the time they are miserable.
I recently was at a memorial service in which the pastor opened up with a humorous quip. “Live your life so that your pastor doesn’t have to lie at your funeral service.” Then he proceeded to share about two kinds of people, givers and takers. The man who passed away was a simple, quiet man who was a giver, and everybody in the room, hundreds of people, had been affected by his encouraging words, caring nature, and generosity.
I realized that to be a giver, a lover of others, you didn’t need to have a special personality, a lot of talent or a lot of money. You just need to care and to decide to give, to decide to listen and decide to ask our Lord for help in caring for others.
So back to where we started: two men answering the simple question that Jesus asked. “What do you want me to do for you?” Their answer: We want our need to be met. “We want our sight.” Jesus touched their eyes and immediately they received their sight, but the best part comes next. “They followed him.” The best part, the most fruitful part of our lives will come when we follow Jesus. Yes, many of our prayers will be, “Help me, Lord.” We need his help so that we can follow in his footsteps and be his source of help for others, bearing fruit that lasts.
So my final question is:
What would you like God & Jesus to do for you?
Go ahead, ask!