“What Do You Want From Me?”

May 17, 2017
By Nicole Taylor, Director of Women's Ministries

Unintelligible words, mumbling, fussing, tugging on me, and crying. With a two year old in our home, there are times I have no idea what our little guy is needing. Thankfully, I am getting better at understanding the babble, and he is getting better at using real words! But sometimes, I just throw my hands up, at my wits’ end, and say, “What do you want from me?” My response is a far cry from how I read this same question from Jesus in the account of blind Bartimaeus from Mark 10:46-52.
 
The narrative begins with Jesus on His way to Jerusalem for the Passover. Crowds were all around Him, listening to Him teach as He walked. The road to Jerusalem cut directly through Jericho, where Bartimaeus was sitting and begging at the city gate. Jesus calls Bartimaeus over and speaks to him. His first words are “What do you want from me?”    
 
This question caught me off guard and has been ringing in my ears ever since. Jesus often asked questions in the Gospels. The questions were used to get people to think, to push them out of their comfort zone. These questions were an invitation to draw closer to Jesus. He doesn’t use this question to Bartimaeus as if He is at His wits’ end. On the contrary, Jesus is lovingly encouraging Bartimaeus to admit his struggle and believe that there can be healing.  For Bartimaeus the answer is simple: “Rabbi, I want to see.”  
 
Jesus invites each of us in and asks us the same question, “What do you want from me?”  However, we often shrug that question off.       
 
Maybe we believe that we should only pray for our needs. It would be too greedy to approach God with our wants, right? Asking about our dreams and desires is too much. We should be content with what we have been given. 
 
Maybe we think we are not worthy of Jesus addressing the desires of our hearts. We have messed up too big in the past. Surely God wants me to live with the pain and baggage that I have caused myself. There is no reason for God to offer healing to me.  I made the mistake.
   
Maybe we are too afraid. What if someone laughs at our wants? What if God doesn’t answer our heart’s cry in the way we desire? There is a fear in being vulnerable enough to put words to what we really want.
   
Maybe we believe that we are in control of the situation. There is no need to even go to God with our wants. We can manage and control things enough that we don’t need God. He’s just there in case of extreme emergency, not the daily desires of our hearts.
 
What do you want from Jesus? Maybe it is to get rid of the anxiety that has been bothering you.  The tightness in your chest and the butterflies in your stomach that just won’t go away. Perhaps it’s to get rid of the cycle of negative self talk that is in your head. It could be to find a job that allows you to better use your gifts and allows you more time with your loved ones. How about healing for your marriage?  
The truth is that God can handle all our needs and wants. He knows the deepest desires of our hearts and the thoughts that run through our minds. I would encourage you to speak them to Him. Throughout Scripture, we read of God doing immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine. (Ephesians 3:20) We read that if God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)  We read that if we ask for anything in His name, it will be given to us (John 14:13).  

The two year old who I sometimes I have a hard time understanding hears me sing “Jesus Loves Me” every night. While I can’t provide all the answers for him, I can point him to the Jesus who is lovingly calling out to him. The same Jesus who called Bartimaeus to himself is also calling out to the two year old, to you, and to me. It is Jesus standing before you, asking “What do you want me to do for you?” To answer that question requires taking a risk but there is an even greater reward! This question allows us the possibility of leaving what is behind and moving forward to something far better! So, what do you want Jesus to do for you?
Nicole Taylor, Director of Women’s Ministries