Bible Reading: Luke 18:35-43
As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, "Jesus of Nazareth is passing by." He called out, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" 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!" Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, "What do you want me to do for you?" "Lord, I want to see," he replied. Jesus said to him, "Receive your sight; your faith has healed you." Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God.
We may not like it when someone makes a spectacle of themselves in public, and maybe for some they just want to be noticed. For others though, it is the only way they have to get attention. And again, we may have differing opinions about mass rallies and protests, but for some people it is the only way they can see to bring about change for something they are passionate about.
When he found out that Jesus was passing by, the blind man in our story today was passionate about meeting him and called out to Jesus for mercy. Those around him probably didn’t want this prominent Rabbi to get embroiled with a blind beggar and told him to be quiet. But that didn’t stop him continuing to shout out to get Jesus’ attention, which he succeeded in doing. Within a great crowd of people, Jesus noticed and had time for one individual who was in need and was calling out to him.
He fact that Jesus ordered the man to be brought to him indicates something of Jesus concern for the poor and the needy, and so his question to the man "What do you want me to do for you?" might seem a bit superfluous.
For the blind beggar, though, being healed by Jesus would have far-reaching implications for his life; he would no longer be able to beg for his livelihood. Begging for a living was clearly not a great way of life, but in a small, caring community it probably had some security and gave him an identity. If he was healed, he would then have to find work and earn a living. Jesus wanted him to think through the implications as he gave his answer.
For us too, encountering Jesus should have far-reaching effects on our lives. Can you recognise things that are different in your life because you are a follower of Jesus? Are there changes in the way you live your life that he might be asking of you now?
If Jesus was passing by today, and said to you "What do you want me to do for you?" What would you answer? Why not do that right now; he can see you amidst the crowd, he is will hear you and he will respond.
Lord Jesus, like the blind beggar you met as you approached Jericho, ‘I want to see’. Remove from me any spiritual blindness to what you want to do in my life, and any blindness of indifference to the needs of those around me.