Week 1, Day 3: What do you want me to do for you?
READ: LUKE 18:35-43
Isn’t it interesting that Jesus asks the blind beggar, “What do you want me to do for you?” You would think it’d be kind of obvious! And yet, in asking, Jesus draws two things out of the man, who responds “Lord, I want to see” (Luke 18:41).
First, the man verbalizes his desire for wholeness. There is something powerful about speaking something out, about giving concrete form to what we think and feel. Saying something out loud or writing something down for the first time — something that, up until that moment, had just existed in the jumble of our thoughts — can make it real in a new and more tangible way — even to us. The first time my wife and I said “I love you” to one another, back when we were dating, had an impact on our relationship: it took it to another level of seriousness and commitment.
Second, Jesus gives the man an opportunity to express his faith in Jesus as the one who has the ability to bring this wholeness about. Sometimes, when we are in the middle of a hard situation, we may begin, first, by trying to dig ourselves out; sometimes that works. But with the more difficult experiences, the circumstances in which too many things are out of our control, we may have no way of changing our own situation. One of the most common titles attributed to Jesus is that of Savior — that is, a deliverer or rescuer. In the blind beggar’s case, Jesus saved by rescuing him from blindness and restoring sight to him. But physical healing is just one part of the holistic restoration that Jesus longs to bring.
According to the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, recovery from addiction requires a number of steps. Step One is admitting our powerlessness and our inability to control the addiction. Step Two is believing in a power beyond ourselves to restore us, and Step Three is turning our will and our lives over to the One who can save us.
The same is true with sin. French philosopher Simone Weil wrote, “All sins are attempts to fill voids.” And those attempts always have consequences, whether for ourselves or for someone else. Jesus wants to save us from ourselves; from sin and all of its consequences: death, fear, anxiety, shame, alienation, hatred; and from the ultimate wasted life — narrowly-focused, self-obsessed, unfulfilling lives. But what do you want from him?
REFLECT & RESPOND
Head: The words “I love you” are tremendously powerful when they express an inner reality. Are there any examples from your life where you spoke out for the first time something you were feeling and saw the impact—positive or negative—on the other person?
Heart: How would you answer Jesus if he were to ask you, “What do you want from me?”
Hands: As you go about your day, take note of the number of things that are out of your control. (Be warned; it’ll probably be more than you like!)
If there is something in your life that you want to be rescued from, ask Jesus to help you.
LOOK & LISTEN
Check out Stories of Recovery: https://www.fullerinstitute.org/recoverystoriesfuller/. Feel free to watch as many as you would like, but at least watch the story of Dr. Richard Mouw, former president of Fuller Theological Seminary. It’s about ten minutes long.
"All sins are attempts to fill voids."
- Simone Weil