46 And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.” 50 And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. 51 And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” 52 And Jesus said to him,“Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed Jesus on the way.
Jesus asked such a simple question and He already knew the answer. Everyone in the crowd knew the answer. It was as plain as the nose on the man’s face. If he could have seen his nose he would have agreed. Here is where it diverts from the expected path, because Jesus wasn’t looking for the obvious answer He was looking for the conversation. Jesus wanted a relational conversation. He knew what was needed, but He wanted to hear the man ask for it and to trust. When Jesus calls, trust is involved. And not just any old trust, but a trust founded on a belief. Proverbs 3:5-6 says; “5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” There is a level of trust here that allows Bartimaeus to show his own needs, wants, desires and aspirations. But, Jesus as always, wanted to get to the heart and soul of the moment and He wanted those around to see and believe. Jesus wanted witnesses to the exchange between Him and this blind beggar and for those there to witness the man’s trust. Jesus uses every moment to the fullest.
Now, Bartimaeus wore a beggar’s cloak, yet when Jesus called him he threw it off. You would think he knew he wasn’t going to need it any more. There is a level of trust shown there. Beggars wore cloaks that signified their position in society as a beggar. So everyone knew Bartimaeus as a beggar. I’m sure it didn’t hurt that he was blind. That was probably a dead give away. But listen again to what it says, “throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus”. He seriously knew what he was expecting from Jesus. He put his trust right out there and that is something that Jesus wants from us. Jesus wants us to trust Him and trust that he knows what is best for us. Bartimaeus trusted that Jesus could and would heal him if he just asked. It must have had something to do with his position along the road. He had heard things about Jesus and wanted the opportunity to speak with Him. Now here’s his opportunity and what does Jesus do, but ask him an obvious question. It might have even been the question that Bartimaeus was hoping to hear.
Everyday Jesus asks us that same question… “What do you want me to do for you?” You wake up in the morning and right there before you is a brand new fresh day. Unopened, clean, untouched and ready to be used by you. So Jesus asks you “What do you want me to do for you?” He knows you so well, yet He wants you to tell Him. To talk to Him. To converse with Him. To trust Him. To have a relational conversation with Him. You know the kind I’m talking about. The kind you have with a friend, a spouse, a neighbor (without the gossip), a family member even. He longs to hear from you. Talk to Him in prayer, but not with the usual corporate prayer, but more conversational. Not the “Lord take care of this”, “please help me with this”, “heal so and so of that”, “thank you for the other thing”. But more like, “Lord today was hard, it really took me by surprise I really am thankful you were there with me”, or “you know Jesus I had a fun time today with my family. Keep them safe on the road”. Conversational like with a friend. One of the most notable conversations was in John chapter 3. Nicodemus and Jesus. They talked and listened and Nicodemus learned. Petitions are one thing, but relational conversations are another. Relational conversations build, dare I say it, intimacy. They build closeness. They build understanding. They build relationships. It’s not possible to have a petition only conversation with someone all the time. That becomes an all take (the petition or request) and no give. One sided. One can’t very well keep or have any friends if that’s how you treat them. No..., conversations are meant by sheer definition to be relational. One definition of conversation is “association or social discussion; intimate acquaintance”. That sounds to me like a relational conversation.
For us to build a relationship the conversation has to be relational. You need to relate to the other person to build a closeness and an intimacy. That means we need to take our prayer time from petition time (wants, needs, etc) to a more relational time (how are you, I’m fine, here’s what happened in my day, what’s been going on with you?). Still asking for needs and and requests for others, but in a more conversational way. With more interaction with Jesus like you are talking to a friend. This type of conversation will bring a closeness and intimacy like you’ve never known. It builds TRUST and it builds CONNECTION and it builds a path of conversation that strengthens the bond between those speaking. Being interested in Jesus and allowing Him to be interested in you will create a friendship and a relationship that will strengthen and grow.
Jesus wants relationships with each and everyone of us. He wants us to trust that He knows what is good for us. It’s important for growing and learning more about Him. So What Do You Want Jesus To Do For You Today? What can you tell Him about how things are going and how you are doing that will start the conversation off and get a trusting relationship started in a whole new way? Open up to Him and share with Him your feelings and your fears. Talk to Him like He is your friend and family member, because He is! Take the time to build your relationship with Jesus in conversational prayer time!
This devotional was given on Easter Sunday April 5, 2015 at New Beginnings Community Church at the Easter Morning Breakfast.