Day 17


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

BY Bailey Gillespie

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?

Post Comments (39)

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:


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