Then Jesus asked him, "What do you want me to do for you?" The blind man said to him, "Rabbouni, I want to see again." (Mark 10:51)
3 stories. Me, Jay Ren and Bartimaeus. Me is me. Jay Ren is 1 year old David and Lian Chui’s baby boy. Bartimaeus was a blind man and full-time bagger along the Jericho road. I want to buy books. Jay Ren probably wants his toy. Bartimaeus wants to receive his sight. I went to bookstore. Jay Ren was still on his mother’s shoulder. Bartimaeus… well, was begging along the road between the city and administrative center.
‘What do you want me to do for you?’ asked one polite staff. ‘Oh, I just want to buy books.’ An obvious answer to an obvious question. ‘Can I help you?’ she asked again. ‘Emmm, it’s okay.’ I said. ‘I don’t know what to buy yet. Thanks’
‘Uuuu... mumumu… What do you want Jay Ren boy?’ his newly appointed clown asking him. ‘Da… da… ma... ma… yeee.. eee…’ Jay Ren mumbled. Toy or food? Who knows?
‘What do you want me to do for you?’ Jesus asked. Bartimaeus said to him in spit second, “Rabbouni, I want to see again." No hesitation. No mumbling. Straight forward. The request is expressed simply and boldly. He looks for one thing: A complete recovery of sight.
This question may seem an odd one to ask a blind man. (What do you want? Well, hello? Give me sight, please.) But Jesus kindly wants him to reflect on what he truly wants from him. Richard, which book do you want to buy? Jay Ren, what you really want? You, yes you, want do you want Jesus do for you?
R. Alan Cole observes, ‘Here is a man who knows what he wants; no wavering in prayer for him. (James 1:6) The title he used for Jesus, rabbouni, translated as Master here, shows greater respect, if anything, than the common ‘rabbi’, ‘teacher’, frequently used of Jesus both by his disciples and others.’
He knows what he wants. No wavering and with great respect. He heard Jesus’ name before and now he was near. He had no time to waste. So when Jesus asked him, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ He simply said ‘I want to see again.’ Have you ever wonder, Jesus, Son of God, asking Bartimaeus. He knows your heart. The question is designed to summon faith rather than to gain information, since it is clear enough what the blind man wants.
Our prayer must be specific. Andrew Murray writes, ‘Each believer has his own circle, family, friends, and neighbors. If he were to take one or more of these by name, he would find himself entering the training school of faith which leads to personal dealing with his God.’
There are cases when we don’t know what to pray for. Prayer of submission for cases in which we cannot know God’s will. Bartimaeus prayed by faith. ‘Prayer of faith finding God’s will in some promise of the Word plead for that promise until it comes.’
This is not a genie in the bottle request, ‘Master, what is your wishes?’ This is the Master asking His servants, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ Genie grants 3 wishes. Jesus gives unlimited requests. Genie examines your lust. Jesus examines your faith. Genie doesn’t want anything to do with you. Jesus wants your heart and further relationship with you.
Prayer must be specific. I want to buy books, too general. Jay Ren wants something, no one knows. He was mumbling. Bartimaeus wants to see again. Jesus told him, "Go. Your faith has made you well." At once the man could see again, and he began to follow Jesus down the road. (Mark 10:52)