As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”
The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” Jesus stopped and called them.
“What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.
“Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.”
Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him. (Matthew 20:29-34)
I like to play the “What If?” game a lot. This morning as I sipped my beloved cup of coffee while sitting in my favorite over sized chair and reading this passage in Matthew, I felt the urge to play the “What If?” game.
What if Jesus walked into my room, stood in front of me, and said, “Paulette, what do you want me to do for you?”
Well now. That is one heck of a “What-If?” don’t you think?!
I’ll admit, I chewed on this one for a while. Before I jump in and share where I finally landed, let me point out a few things in the passage that, in my opinion, should stand out.
First, when the blind men heard it was Jesus, they demonstrated their faith that he was the Messiah by how they addressed him. Apparently, in their minds, the issue of Jesus being the Son of God and the promised Messiah, had already been settled.
Their faith was solid.
Secondly, they were obviously desperate. Desperate enough to shout. And who cares if everyone around them tried to get them to shut up? That just made them all the more determined to be heard. It worked, because it got them an audience with the King.
Desperate, stubborn and determined.
Thirdly, they knew what they wanted. There was no hesitation or pause before they answered and told Jesus what they so desperately wanted. My heart melts every time I read “Jesus had compassion.” Jesus. The Son of God. Creator of the Universe. The promised Messiah. The King of Kings. He feels compassion toward the desperate. Wow.
Jesus acts when He feels.
“Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.”
“What do you want me to do for you?”
Like I said, I chewed on this one for a while. My answer was not as immediate as the two blind men. I had to think about it for a minute. Here’s where I landed:
Lord, I want you to give me ears to hear you.
I realize your response may be completely different from mine. I don’t think there is necessarily a wrong response to this. (Well, that’s not entirely true. If your response was “I want you to give me a brand new Porsche” then you may be slightly off-track. Just sayin’.) Let me explain my response.
Currently, I am in a different place in my life than I have ever been. I’m calling it the “Hit the Gas” season. God has granted me more favor than I could have ever dreamed of. Hear me clearly: I am WELL AWARE that this favor is not for MY good, nor to prosper ME, rather it is for the good and prospering of OTHERS. God has opened amazing doors for ministry opportunities that, quite frankly, are blowing my ever-lovin’ mind. I have a dream that I whole-heartedly believe can help change the world. Yep, you heard me right. Change the world. (More on that later!)
This dream of changing the world comes with much responsibility. God revealed something to me about myself this morning. Let me paraphrase what I heard:
Paulette, you have learned to trust me with the really BIG things. I am so pleased that you are able to say with full confidence that you believe me to do the IMPOSSIBLE in you and through you. I know you believe that I am the same God that split the Red Sea. You are willing to charge hell with a squirt-gun believing you will win. You have full confidence in my willingness and ability to do the impossible. However, while you are so focused on changing the world, you sometimes miss my voice in the moments. And when you miss my voice, you miss the opportunity to die to yourself. When you miss the opportunity to die to yourself, you slip into disobedience. The impossible cannot happen where there is disobedience.
You see, God is showing me that He wants to trust me with really big things, but He can only trust me with big things if I am surrendered to him in the little things. Moment by moment.
Hence, my answer to Jesus’ question. Lord, give me ears to hear you. If I will tune my ears to the voice of my Savior, I will hear him speak to me in those moments when I’m tempted to be selfish, or tempted to run my mouth about so-and-so for doing such-and-such. If I have ears to hear Jesus, then I will hear him whisper to me the needs of the woman right in front of me and know how to answer her, or how to lead her, or how to love her well. If I have ears to hear Jesus, then I will discern the decisions he wants me to make in the big matters and the small matters.
I so want to hear Jesus when he speaks. I so want to be obedient. Not because I have to. But because I want to. Because I love Jesus. I really, really love Jesus.
What about you? How would you answer Jesus if he asked you,
“What do you want me to do for you?”