Bartimaeus

Open Your Bible

Mark 10:46-52, Psalm 146:1-10, Isaiah 42:1-8, Romans 4:3-5

When you’re an adult, the question “What do you want for Christmas?” gets a lot harder. The things that make it on your list usually become more humanitarian, like social justice in your city, the health of your family, revival in the Church, and sure, maybe even a substantial tax return. Like an expectant child on Christmas morning, you hope against hope that your desires will come to pass. But they’re more like prayers now, and as we all know, prayers aren’t the same as a shopping list for gifts.

When you read today’s story, did you ponder your own answer to Jesus’s question? At first glance, when Jesus asks the blind beggar Bartimaeus what he wants Jesus to do for him, it might seem like a trick question (Mark 10:51). Does Jesus really want to know our wants?

Though the first part of the phrase, “What do you want,” may seem to lend itself to opening a can of self-indulgent responses, it’s the second part, “me to do for you,” where Christ’s heart really lives. He really does want to know what we want. (And let’s be honest, He already knows anyway.) But when I read the rest of His question, I see Him using it as an opportunity for building a bridge toward relationship.

Bartimaeus didn’t accost Jesus with a list of things he wanted but rather cried out, “Have mercy on me, Son of David!” (Mark 10:48). Bartimaeus wanted what so many of us take for granted: to see with his eyes (v.51). Having one of his core faculties restored was the beggar’s biggest need, and this encounter was a chance for Jesus to display His heart of generosity and kindness for one of His children.

Prayer doesn’t work like a Christmas list, nor is it just a string of idealistic hopes. We can’t manipulate God into giving us what we want. But we do have the promise that He hears us, and the intimacy that is deepened during those moments of vulnerability when we express our felt needs to the Lord are worth everything.

Like Bartimaeus, let’s ask for Christ to show mercy to us—and not just us but in all the realms that we hope for. We are already in His hands, the best possible place to be. Let’s trust that, whatever He chooses to do, God knows what is best for us and will act accordingly and in His perfect time. May we be brave enough to answer the same question posed to Bartimaeus: What do you want Jesus to do for you?

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39 thoughts on "Bartimaeus"

  1. Ada McCloud says:

    Excellent question. I’m going to have to really think about it.

  2. Alicia McCann says:

    Yes Lord, let me trust what you want to do in my life and in your timing

  3. Jennifer Anapol says:

    I love that God knows what we need and want before we ask him. I pray I would trust in his leading and provision in my life. Most of all, that I would trust that he knows what is beat in my life.

  4. Beth Ann McCormick says:

    I desperately long for Jesus to call my boyfriend to Himself. For Tyler to understand that Jesus is Lord and to know Him as Father and Friend. To cry out to Him as Bartimaeus did.

  5. Haley Franklin says:

    Amazing perspective! Oh until that day we see Jesus face to face. Thank you Ashley.

  6. Juliana Eshleman says:

    Amen! A big theme in my life this spring and summer has been to be vulnerable before God. He is “El-Shamma”- the God who hears, and is continually inviting me into deeper relationship with Him. I need to work on carving out time to sit in his presence and be open before Him.

    1. Freyjah Fey says:

      I am with you on this Juliana. With everyone working from home this is a challenge. I actually lock myself in the bathroom just to steal away for 15 minuets. Some mornings I pull my car around under some shade and have quiet time with the Lord in my car. That’s my favorite prayer closet. :)

  7. Taylor says:

    “What do I want Jesus to do for me?” Heal my best friend’s mom. Thank you Lord that You are generous and kind, that You hear our prayers and that you are merciful. You love us so much. Please be with my best friend’s family and they walk through these unimaginable times. Please strengthen me as well to continue showing up for my walk and walking alongside her. Thank you that one of the bright sides of COVID is that I get to be home and readily available to be with my friend. I am so thankful for that time we share together <3

  8. Ashley Thomas says:

    Although I have read and heard this story many times before, today it occurred to me that the first person Bartimaeus saw was Jesus. I can’t even fathom what that must have been like for him. Of course he instantly followed him. I would think most, if in the same situation, would do the same. We all take our senses for granted. I don’t want to imagine not being able to see or hear or taste or speak, yet many people are dealing with those very things. As a child, I grew up very poor. I didn’t have “things” to entertain me. I loved nature and being outdoors. I still do. I loved listening to the radio because I could sing and dance along. Music still speaks to me in ways plain words never can. The same goes for art. You can create a lot from very little. I thank God for the simple things he has given me. I can’t wait to see Jesus face to face like Bartimaeus.

    1. Jen Brewer says:

      ❤️❤️❤️

  9. Cori says:

    A good reminder as I recently applied for my dream job: “We are already in His hands, the best possible place to be. Let’s trust that, whatever He chooses to do, God knows what is best for us and will act accordingly and in His perfect time.”

  10. Liza Hathorn says:

    Praying for peace and comfort and God’s hand on every single prayer request mentioned!
    Just as Bartimaeus had faith that Jesus would heal his blindness, we too must have faith that Jesus will give us what we need with his gracious hand. His will be done!

  11. Traci Gendron says:

    I want Jesus to heal my son. I’m so afraid to believe at times because not everyone receives healing. I think it puts a barrier up between myself and God.

  12. Dorothy says:

    Dear sisters, I want start with to two prayer requests, my cousin has been exposed to COVID-19 at the gym she goes to. Also, I found out yesterday, Finley’s (the little girl I care for) sister was exposed to COVID-19 last week and didn’t find out until yesterday so I have been exposed.
    Much of the scripture spoke to me today. I needed to be reminded that God is in control and I can rely on Him. Bailey wrote a very thought provoking devotional and when I read “We are already in His hands, the best possible place to be. Let’s trust that, whatever He chooses to do, God knows what is best for us and will act accordingly and in His perfect time. May we be brave enough to answer the same question posed to Bartimaeus: What do you want Jesus to do for you?” I knew I really needed to take time and just be with God and Christ.
    Lord thank you for being there for us when we need You. Thank you for having my back and allowing me to lean on You. I praise You and thank you for You for carry my burdens. Amen.

  13. Diana Fleenor says:

    CHURCHMOUSE: I ask with you for the healing of your granddaughter.

    I love how the desires of our hearts are transformed over time for those of us who have been given a new heart and a new spirit through the regeneration work of the Holy Spirit, those who come to faith in the person and work of Christ Jesus our Lord. When this question, “What do you want me to do for you?” came to me years ago, I wanted healing of this oppressive illness. Though many times the Lord has given me a reprieve from the severity of it, it continues to be with me today.

    As I consider the question now, I have a new way of thinking about it. I want for this suffering to not be wasted (coining a phrase from John Piper). As I see the oppression coming from racism, I also see and have experienced the oppression which comes to those with disabilities, including those of us with complex situations. These hard-to-understand disabilities tend to turn even church people away. They don’t know what to say or do so they stay away. It’s an oppression of omission.

    As my heart groans and laments with those experiencing the painful injustice of racism, I also ache with those who face a different kind of injustice through disability. Being reminded that Jesus is the Servant who was prophesied to come to “bring forth justice to the nations” gives me such hope! Yes, this is what I want — for the Lord to bring justice to the nations. What part do I play? What part do we, the church, play? Let us be ambassadors of this Light.

    O Lord, forgive us of our past failings to care well for oppressed people. Pour out your power to equip your church today, I pray. Amen.

  14. KimN says:

    This is one of my favourite accounts in the New Testament. I love the courage and boldness of Bartimaeus in calling out for Jesus.The crowd tells him to be quiet but he calls louder!
    This a challenge for me. When the world tells me to quiet down my faith, do I live it louder? When Jesus calls me to come, do I jump up and leave everything behind? When Jesus grants my heart’s desire, do I follow Him more surely down the road?
    Bartimaeus said he wanted to see and the first thing he saw was Jesus!

  15. PamC says:

    Praying for Julia Churchmouse. Thank you Tina

  16. CeeGee says:

    One more thought: What can Jesus do for me? A song comes to mind in answer to that question:
    “Open my eyes, LORD, I want to see Jesus.”
    Amen

  17. Liz A says:

    Jesus have mercy on me. Bring salvation & transformation to Mario

  18. Lindsay C. says:

    For me, the questions “What do I want Jesus to do for me?” or “Where do I most need mercy?” have a way of getting past all my superficial wants and going to the root of my pain. They allow me to realize that areas of my life causing discontentment are actually insignificant. And truthfully, Jesus has already done it all. He gave His life for mine.

    It reminds me of one of my favorite songs, Death was Arrested.
    “Alone in my sorrow and dead in my sin
    Lost without hope with no place to begin
    Your love made a way to let mercy come in
    When death was arrested and my life began”

  19. CeeGee says:

    All of your thoughts have blessed my heart this morning!
    RACHIEL – your comment about putting your faith in something you can’t see was so insightful (no pun intended)! Maybe this event was recorded not so much to highlight the faith of Bartimaus but to encourage us in that while we can’t see Jesus we know He loves us and wants to bless us and we can trust/put our faith in Him. I will carry that thought in my heart today. Thank you!
    CHURCHMOUSE – Agreeing in prayer with you for your precious Julia and family, for the medical team ministering to her. Be blessed my SRT sisters!

  20. Maura says:

    Faith in the One who heals, our Creator, Savior, Shepherd who is faithful. Lord God life is complicated but You make it beautiful in the midst of all the sorrow, you bring joy, in the darkness, You are our light. Praying with faith for Julia, Churchmouse for Jesus touch in this procedure and as we know Lord you can do all things please heal your precious Julia. Let her feel you near her in all she has going on this day. And be near all those dealing with depression this day Jesus break down the walls of isolation and help them to let the Light and joy you bring in. In your holy name Jesus I pray.

  21. Tina says:

    Praying your prayer alongside you dear friend. Praying a want of healing for little Julia.. Jesus. You are the giver of our hearts desires.. Amen.

    Sending love wrapped in prayers across the pond dear friend…xx❤

  22. MARTHA HIX says:

    ❤️

  23. Angie says:

    Sarah D. – Congratulations on your job! May God go with you, protect you, and shine through you as you serve.

    Rachiel – You shared yesterday that you serve others and are “nice” because you genuinely love people and God. That is beautiful and I would encourage you to keep it up. I think of Galatians 6:9 “Do not become weary in doing good for at the proper time you will reap a harvest if you do not give up.” At the same time I encourage you to ask yourself two questions: Is this what Jesus would have me do? What is my motive? Once something has been done, lay it down at the feet of Jesus, for His glory. Don’t allow your mind to revisit it. If your brain returns to it, lay it back at the feet of Jesus and thank Him for the opportunity to love in His name. I’m not giving these suggestions from a book I have read (although the ones mentioned yesterday sound very good), I’m sharing what has worked for me. When everything I am or do is given back to Jesus, the fulfillment comes in knowing I gave Him my best. I don’t compare to anyone else. It isn’t done hoping to earn His love or other people’s affection. It is weird at first to do, and be, and feel like no one notices; except then, this fullness comes. I know God knows and I pray that the glory…all the glory went to Him. It is so freeing. May God be so very near to you, guiding and blessing you.

    Churchmouse, you, your family and Julia are in my prayers.

  24. Nancy Singleton says:

    Praying for your granddaughter, Churchmouse.

  25. NanaK says:

    Bartimaeus believed—He believed JESUS would hear him calling out. He believed JESUS would heal his blindness, and he believed JESUS was the light he had longed for….so he followed JESUS.
    What do I want JESUS to do for me? “Remain faithful, execute justice, give food to the hungry, free prisoners, open blind eyes, raise up oppressed, protect, help…” and yes, “frustrate the ways of the wicked.” Ps. 146:5-9

    Waymaker, Miracle-worker, Promise-keeper, Light in the darkness, that is who YOU are, that is who YOU are!
    I believe!!!
    “The LORD reigns forever…Hallelujah!!!”

  26. Cara Bruinius says:

    So, first post here. Hi! Newbie❤️. Do you all listen to the podcast too? That was so good to start this week. Especially their comments on Bartimeus. The crowd- may we be like the crowd (2nd time) and encourage people towards Christ. And this is my thought, the faith of B made him well. It was simple and it was stated with no flowery or profound language. Jesus heard it.

  27. Rachiel says:

    What I have noticed about these stories is the amount of faith these people had. Or maybe it isn’t even the amount. I mean it says if you have the faith of a mustard seed, you can move mountains. Maybe it’s just the fact that they had faith. They were so sure that God could save them or someone they loved. Do I have that kind of faith? Do I believe that God can deliver me from the strife of life? Yes, I guess I do. I’ve seen Him do it with my depression. He has taken me from the pit and given me rest. I guess I’m just in awe of their faith. They are so sure that if he acknowledges them or they can touch the hem of his garment, they will be saved. How amazing is that? Could you imagine seeing Jesus in the flesh? But sometimes, it can be hard to put your faith in something you can’t see when the world around is actually tangible. But I can never forget what God has seen me through. The valleys we have gone through together where he picked me up and took care of me. He gave me proof without me even realizing it.

    Thank you to everyone who responded to me yesterday. I appreciated it, and will be looking up that book.

    Chruchmouse-I’m praying for your granddaughter.

    1. Laurie Crary says:

      Amazing testimony. Thank you for sharing.

    2. Christine Salinas says:

      Rachiel , I’m curious about the book you mentioned. I read your post, but didn’t ‘t see a response regarding a book. I often feel the way you do – how do I continue to serve after being really really hurt.

  28. Terri M. says:

    Praying for you, your family, and especially your Granddaughter.

  29. Linda J says:

    And amen…

  30. Churchmouse says:

    I want you, Jesus, to heal our granddaughter Julia through this procedure today. Amen.

    1. Mari V says:

      Agreeing in prayer for Jesus to heal Julia!

  31. Tina says:

    Praise the Lord ! Praise the Lord , my soul! I will praise him as long as I live; I will sing to my God all my life.
    Psalm 146:1‭-‬2

    Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me.

    Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me.

    Thank you, Jesus, that you hear the prayers of each and every person here on earth, whether we are lowly, frightened, in need, black, white, sad, confused, lost, grieving, looking, searching, lost hope … the list may go on…

    But God..

    But God…

    He hears.. He sees… He knows, and He asks..
    ‘What do you want me to do…. for YOU?
    As one who serves, and I think my love language is service and giving, I am always floored and emotional when I am asked questions similar to this..
    What can we do to help?
    How can we best be used to ease your load?
    How can we love you?
    These are human questions, with a God led heart, and yet, I am moved by them…
    OMG. How much more when the Son of God should ask, ‘What do you want me to do for YOU?
    I know I am absolutely loved by God, and I know Matthew 7:7 too, I also know, I can trust Him..but there are days I struggle, not to let go, or not trust, but just struggle, and in those days a whisper of..’What can I do for YOU,’ in the form of a scripture, a friends hug, or call, the prayers of others, is such, such a blessing.. ‘the sight’ restored, the heart renewed, purpose on track, and ‘It is well, it is well with my soul’

    Thank you Lord jesus, that you care, that you hear and that you know what we need even before we have asked. Thank you that we mean everything to you, to the point of giving your life in place of ours, Thank you Jesus for loving us, as we are, Thank you Jesus, for asking..’What do you want me to do for you…’

    Thank you.

    Amen

    Praise the Lord ! Praise the Lord , my soul! I will praise him as long as I live; I will sing to my God all my life.
    Psalm 146:1‭-‬2

    Happy Wednesday Dearest ones, Be blessed and praying the Lord turn His face to shine on you and yours..❤

    1. Christina Marie says:

      Amen!

    2. Maricella Smith says:

      AMEN! Thank you Tina for your petition

  32. Kristen says:

    Thank You for hearing prayers. I often rush through prayers. I heard Dr. Charles Stanley talk about getting on your knees before God. Yes, you can pray standing, or however. But, I do think that it is good to bow before Him in prayer and spend time there.