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Jesus’ Sovereign Offer

A Word for Today | Luke 18:41

Jesus’ passage through the city of Jericho on His way to the cross supplies us with proof of His compassionate love.  When poor blind Bartimaeus cried out for mercy, “Jesus stopped” our Lord gave His full attention to this soul in need (Lk. 18:40).  The account continues as the blind man makes a request that only Jesus could answer.  “What do you want me to do for you?” our Savior asked.  The blind man answered: “Lord, let me recover my sight” (Lk. 18:41).

Consider the wonder of what Jesus asked this poor man, showing the difference between Jesus and everyone else.  If a blind man came to me for help, I would never ask him this question, for the simple reason that I am not able to do what I know he wants.  I may offer to pray for him.  I will ask God to strengthen him in his trial and heal him if God sees fit.  I might discuss various social services and tell him how our church can minister to him.  But I would never casually ask him, “What would you like me to do?”  What he wants I cannot do!  Yet how different is God’s Son!  He wields the power of deity, so He can ask so audacious a question to a man who so obviously wanted a miracle.  And because He is able, as the Son of God come to heal and save, Jesus could ask, “What do you want me to do for you?”

There are two kinds of Christians: those who know this about Jesus and those who don’t.  Instead of coming to Jesus knowing that He asks us, “What do you want me to do for you?” we limit Him in prayer.  We forget his willingness to minister with power to the heart of faith.  It is true that it is His will and not ours that governs His sovereign power.  But within the will of God revealed in Scripture, there is nothing Jesus is not able to do.  First John 5:14 therefore states: “If we ask anything according to his will he hears us” (1 Jn. 5:14). 

There are many prayers that are manifestly in God’s will and yet we seldom pray them.  “Lord, give me strength to turn from sin.”  “Lord, give me a heart to love the things you love.”  The Bible contains great promises from God and we need to pray them, knowing that Jesus will answer.  Isaiah 26:3 says that God “will keep in perfect peace [the man] whose heart is stayed on [him].”  So let’s pray for this!  Psalm 32:10 says, “Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord.”  And then there is the prayer offered up by this poor man, the simple prayer so overflowing with faith, “Lord, I want to see.”  May the Lord encourage us to answer His loving offer in faith, “What do you want me to do for you?”  And may we above all else ask for the faith that will enable us to walk where even the eyes of sight cannot see.  Jesus answered Bartimaeus according to His infinite power: “Recover your sight; your faith has made you well” (Lk. 18:42).

In Christ’s Love,

Pastor Phillips

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