How would you answer this question if Jesus was asking you? Maybe pay a bill or heal a disease or injury? Maybe to give you direction in a decision you need to make? Maybe you have no idea what you would ask Jesus to do for you.
As Jesus was leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. I have to wonder about their motivation in following Jesus. Were they really there to figure out who he was or were they just clamoring to see another great miracle? This is the last miracle recorded in the book of Matthew before Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem that would lead him to the path of the cross.
Sitting beside the road, two blind men heard that Jesus would be passing by. Again, I have to wonder if they there already sitting there, or did they position themselves there after they heard Jesus was going that way? If so, then they positioned themselves to receive a miracle. Either way, as Jesus was getting close to them, they cried out, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!”
The crowd, however, was too busy and too enthralled to worry with two blind men on the side of the road. Or maybe they were so caught up in what He was saying that they couldn’t hear him over the cries of the blind men. They warned the men to be quiet but instead the blind men cried out to Jesus even louder. That is when Jesus stopped and stood still. Over in the book of Mark where this same incident is recorded, Mark wrote that Jesus called the men to him and when he did, they threw off their outer coats so they would not be hindered in their haste to get to Jesus. They had his attention and they were not going to waste a moment of his time. This was their chance to be healed. There was no place for timidity or hesitation or doubt. They had to go all in now that they had His attention!
Jesus already knew what they wanted; just as he already knows the needs you have in your life. Yet still he asked, “What do you want Me to do for you?” Can you imagine the hush of the crowd as he stopped? All of them wondering if he would do yet another miracle? Jesus encouraged them to say what they wanted and by asking them, the crowd would be able hear their request and then be witness to Jesus granting the miracle, which could then increase their faith.
Jesus also knows the desires of our hearts. He wants us to come to Him and tell him our needs, longings, dreams, and heartaches. Jesus demonstrated his willingness and power to do anything for the blind men that they wanted and He still has the power today to answer the prayers of your heart.
The two blind men wanted to be able to see again and the moment they expressed their need, Jesus moved with compassion, touched their eyes and immediately they could see. The Bible then says that they followed Him.
When you pray, do you pray with the faith that would cause Jesus to stand still? Do you pray with such unrelenting force that the King of the universe stops everything he is doing to say, “What do you want Me to do for you?” Do you cry out to Him louder when the noise of doubt, depression, worry, anxiety, and fear try to threaten you into just being quiet? Do you call out, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David?”
One way to pray is to search for promises in the Bible that pertain to the need you have and pray the promise back to God. These two blind men had to have heard about the miracles Jesus was doing. Those miracle had drawn a crowd. He was the talk of the town. There is no way they had not heard. Can you just imagine the conversation the two blind men might have had? Maybe it went something like:
“Hey I heard the miracle maker is on his way out of Jericho.”
“Yes. I think He’s heading to Jerusalem for the Passover.”
“Do you think it’s true that He does miracles?”
“It must be. He’s drawn a big crowd all watching and waiting for him to do another.”
“Do you think He’s the Messiah?”
“He has to be. Where else would he get the power to do these miracles?”
“If we can get to the road before He gets there, maybe he will heal us too?”
Together they make their way to the road and position themselves where they know Jesus will be passing by. I don’t know that it happened this way. We also know that because they were blind, they were beggars. It was just the way they earned money since they were not able to work a job. In Bible days, it was not uncommon for beggars to sit by the road and beg from people as they entered and left the city. So perhaps they were already there. Regardless, they recognized that this man who was doing miracles was someone special and important. When addressing him they called him, “O Lord, Son of David.”
There is a parallel we can draw from this story as well. Without Christ, we are spiritually blind. After Jesus healed them they followed Him. There is no such thing as following after Jesus blindly. For the two blind men, Jesus draws them to Him by giving them physical sight and by doing so, he also drew their hearts to Him. If you are spiritually blind, call out to Jesus and he will immediately give you spiritual sight and then you will be able to call him Lord also.
Jesus honors both faith and prayers. The problem we have is that too often after we ask a few times we assume God isn’t listening or doesn’t have time to answer us or that his answer is no and we give up. Or maybe once we get the attention of the Almighty, we hesitate in our fear or embarrassment and don’t ask. Or maybe we have a second thought and decide we can do for ourselves and don’t need God’s intervention. Every day, I learn a little bit more about how much I need God. Whenever I try to take things in my own hands, I only end up with one big mess and then call out to God to fix it! How much frustration and heartache could we save ourselves by calling out to Him first and trust him with the answer, then wait expectantly for it?
What if the next prayer is the one that brings the breakthrough and the answer rushing from Heaven to us? Do stop praying. Call out to Him. He will stop and ask, “What do you want me to do?” Whether the answer is immediate or not, He hears and He is already at work to bring about His perfect will. Trust Him!