There’s only one voice that can awaken me at roughly 5a.m. without receiving an irritated response in return. His timing seems inconvenient, yet intentional and intimate. I’m barely conscious, and still His spirit testifies with mine that He’s spoken. His words are striking, inviting, and full of friendship.
“What do you want me to do for you?”
I wish I could tell you I immediately responded to His kindness. I fell asleep and didn’t remember His question until I was getting ready later that day. As I pondered His invitation, I kept asking myself, “Where have I heard those words before?” A quick google search sufficed my inquiring.
“And answering him, Yeshua said, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ The blind man said, ‘Rabbi, I want to see again!’” -Mark 10:51 (TLV)
This account in scripture is surprising, lathered in hope, and beautifully illustrates The Father’s great desire toward us (Mark 10:46-52). Yeshua is headed toward Jerusalem, fully aware of His near fate to carry the cross, when He comes to Jericho. The usual crowds surround the scene, but a noisy, persistent man seizes His attention, “Son of David, Yeshua! Have mercy on me!” (v. 47). Yeshua calls the man toward Him as he quickly jumps at his chance to be in the presence of the Great Healer. There was only one problem. He was finally face to face with his hope of deliverance, yet he couldn’t see Him. Then, Yeshua asks the strangest question.
“What do you want me to do for you?” -Mark 10:51
Isn’t it obvious what this man desires? He’s blind! It didn’t take a prophet to know what he wanted. It only took common sense. Of course he wanted to see again! So why does Yeshua ask this blind beggar what he wanted from Him? Here’s what I’m learning. He wants us to ask. He desires our petitions. He craves our appeals. He longs to hear the sweetness of our voice (Song of Solomon 2:14). But why?
I would argue His utmost desire is one thing – friendship.
He’s after relationship. He’s after intimacy. He’s after communion. Beloved, He’s after you.
His greatest delight in all of creation, we were designed to walk in moment by moment relationship with Him. This type of communion is cultivated in the garden of asking. Like any bond shared with a friend or spouse, friendship is built on faith/trust + an ever increasing level of knowing one another. Both of these building blocks are sustained and increased through the simplicity of asking. Let me explain.
Though often unaware of the muscle we’re exercising, our asking conveys our faith level to The Lord. When we petition Him, we’re communicating that we trust His heart and believe His promises. If we doubt that God is able, willing, or even cares, why would we talk to Him about what’s lingering in our hearts? Yet if we believe He is the absolute carrier of truth and that His intentions are always good, we would ask as a child who is never ashamed to appeal to her mother. Yeshua said it like this,
“Ask, and it shall be given to you. Seek, and you shall find. Knock, and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it shall be opened. ‘For what man among you, when his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or when he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!’” –Matthew 7:7-11
He cares about our faith and is only pleased through faith (Hebrews 11:6) because He knows it is the evidence of great friendship. Yet how can you be friends with someone you don’t talk to or trust? And though friendship is nurtured in faith through asking, it doesn’t stop there. Intimate friendship is expedited with a deepened level of knowing one another – God knowing you, you knowing God. This is sufficiently illustrated in our previous question of interest.
“What do you want me to do for you?”
With the utmost brilliance, Yeshua inquires of Bartimaeus’ specific desire. The blind beggar had already demonstrated his faith in Yeshua, as he had persistently and unashamedly cried out to Him, and even recognized Him as the Son of David, the Messiah of Israel (Mark 10:47-48). But The Lord took it a step further when He asked Bartimaeus what he specifically wanted. I’d like to propose that the Father is less interested in fixing us – in opening our blind eyes – as He is in knowing us. He wants to be invited into the deepest places of our hearts. He wants to know our longings. And perhaps this greater knowing actually leads to breakthrough, great transformation, and receiving what we asked for.
“The blind man said, ‘Rabbi, I want to see again!’ Yeshua said to him, ‘Go! Your faith has made you well.’ Instantly he regained his sight and began following Yeshua down the road.” -Mark 10:51-52
Here’s the beauty of it. Bartimaeus didn’t just gain what he was asking for. Yes, he secured a brand new pair of eyes, but he also received an invitation into the most intimate friendship. His faith in Yeshua’s identity jump-started a relationship that knowingness deepened and sustained. This is why the transformed Bartimaeus began “following Yeshua down the road” (vs 52). He wanted to be with his friend!
Isn’t this the most beautiful invitation? Friend, hear the great Lover draw you in today. He’s delighting in you, singing songs of joy over you, and gently whispering, “What do you want me to do for you?” Don’t delay in pouring your heart out. Ask Him your question. Petition with your longing and appeal with your desire. Give Him your faith. Let Him know you. He’s oozing with goodness to be poured upon you. Perhaps you’ll receive the thing you asked for. Perhaps when you do, you’ll find the greater thing you gained was a real friend.
Today’s writer is Jill Sazera, WoCo’s Director of Faith. From Georgia and currently living right outside D.C., Jill spends her days flying the friendly skies. When she’s not on an airplane, you can find her discovering new coffee shops, mingling in music, and going on long drives. She’s a lover of all things fall, could break out in dance at any moment, and gets her fuel from long mornings with Jesus. You can reach Jill by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Instagram @jillsazera.