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. 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.”

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. PamC says:

    Praying for Julia Churchmouse. Thank you Tina

  8. 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

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