Sunday Musings: 2/21/10
As they were leaving Jericho, a huge crowd followed. Suddenly they came upon two blind men sitting alongside the road. When they heard it was Jesus passing, they cried out, "Master, have mercy on us. Mercy Son of David!" The crowd tried to hush them up, but they got all the louder, crying, "Master, have mercy on us! Mercy, Son of David!" Jesus stopped and called over, "What do you want from me?" They said, "Master, we want our eyes opened. We want to see!" Deeply moved, Jesus touched their eyes. They had their sight back that very instant, and joined the procession. Mathew 20 The Message
I've been reading through Matthew and I've noticed a couple of stories similar to this. People who are crying out to Jesus, or who ask for his help, and he responds like he did in this verse, "What do you want from me?". At first that response took me back. That doesn't sound like the Jesus I know. Maybe because I'm trying to make Jesus look like me: "What do YOU want (now)!?" But the more I read over these stories, the more I started to see his question in a different light. Obviously, he already knows what they want, what they need. Reading these stories, I don't get the sense that Jesus wants (or needs) them to state their request out loud. He's not asking because he doesn't know. He's not asking them because he wants to put them in their place, to hear them beg. He's asking them if they believe. When I read this I hear him saying, "What do you want from me?" What can I, a poor carpenter, a penniless nobody, do for you? And their response says it all, "Master", and "Son of David" and "we want to see". How bold, how sure they are of themselves. How sure they are of him. Do we ask things of people who we know aren't capable of giving us what we want? Not if we're smart. We ask of those who ARE capable and are willing. The text says that Jesus was "deeply moved" and healed them. I believe he was deeply moved because of their faith. Because of their belief. They believed he was who he said he was and they believed he had the power to heal them.
Do we have this same belief? When we need something, do we wring our hands and fret and cry? Do we nag or crab or whine or pout? Do we try to fix our situation through our own strength?
Or do we get on our knees and call out to Jesus? "Master, Son of David, have mercy on us. Hear our cries."