UNWILLING TO BE SILENCED
Lord, thank You for answered prayer.
Read LUKE 18:31–43
Jesus Predicts His Death a Third Time
31 Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. 32 He will be delivered over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him and spit on him; 33 they will flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again.”
34 The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about.
A Blind Beggar Receives His Sight
35 As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36 When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. 37 They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”
38 He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
39 Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
40 Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, 41 “What do you want me to do for you?”
“Lord, I want to see,” he replied.
42 Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” 43 Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Every beautiful thing that life has to offer demands the habit of relentlessness.” (Edmond Mbiaka)
The thing that stands out in this story is the dogged persistence of the blind beggar. He calls out once and is silenced, but he will not be deterred. The verb in verse 38 is an ordinary shout to attract attention. However, the verb in verse 39 is entirely different, with connotations of the instinctive scream of raw emotion, an almost animal cry. It indicates the utter desperation of this poor man, who understands that this may well be his only chance to encounter Jesus of Nazareth, of whom he must have heard much.
Remarkably, Jesus stops and commands the beggar to be brought to him. His next question is even more profound – “What do you want me to do for you?” (41). It seems a bit silly – the blind beggar obviously wants to see! Jesus, however, sees more than a blind beggar, and he arranges a beautiful moment of quiet for an important and probing question. It seems that he wants to actually hear the honest answer of the man’s heart.
Often, prayer starts with real desperation. The blind beggar’s determination is inspirational – nothing will stop him from getting an audience with Jesus. This is more than a gentle, sentimental desire – it is a passionate, intense longing, which comes from the very depths of our hearts. When we tap into that place, we find a surprising universe of stillness and quiet dignity, in which Jesus asks us this same question: “What do you want me to do for you?” Prayer involves recognizing the opportunity to encounter Jesus, discovering the sacred space in which we can speak to him, and then responding to his probing questions, knowing that he sees not just our many needs but also the person behind them.
How desperate are you? Take some time today to get into a place of stillness with the Lord, and to hear His knowing question: “What do you want Me to do for You?” What is the deepest answer of your heart to this loving request? Tell Him.
Lord, Your people thank You for giving each of us a private audience with You, the way You gave it to this blind man many centuries ago.