Day 17

Bartimaeus



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 (38)

38 thoughts on "Bartimaeus"

  1. Liz A says:

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

  2. 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”

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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❤

  6. MARTHA HIX says:

    ❤️

  7. 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.

  8. Nancy Singleton says:

    Praying for your granddaughter, Churchmouse.

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