“Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.” (Mark 10:35)
Have you ever been so audacious to tell God what He was going to do? Yeah, me too…or, have you ever said, “God, I’ll do whatever you want, but in the back of your mind thought, but please don’t make me do__________?” Yeah, me too.
We may not realize it, but our prayer life is often ineffective, because our petitions have nothing to do with the sovereign will of God. Instead, they are our own mis-guided attempts to change God’s mind to fit with our selfish wants and desires. It could be God has answered our prayer, but instead of embracing it and thanking Him for what He has chosen to give us, we ignore it. We will never receive from the hand of God the deep blessings of the joy of Jesus until we start to pray, “your will be done.”
As the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with a request, their proposal was littered with pride. We are not far from such requests of Jesus ourselves. Even their initial request lacked humility, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.” (vs. 37) They request to sit as his right and his left in the kingdom. Their request has nothing to do with the glory of God, but everything to do with their own self-aggrandizement and Jesus does not grant it.
Within the same grouping of text their lies a different request from a blind man named Bartimaeus. He approaches Jesus quite differently and his request is granted. Why? I believe, because Bartimeus approached the Lord Jesus with a humble attitude and God was honored.
He cries out, “son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:47). Then, Jesus asks him, “what is it that you want me to do for you?” (vs. 51)
“I want to see,” he says.
Jesus fulfills his request and Bartimaeus receives his sight. Whenever we come to Jesus we must first check our hearts to see what lies there. Is it pride? Is it an unwillingness to receive from the father what He has chosen to provide for us? Is it a desire to use God has our own personal platform to promote ourselves? Are we making demands of him or are we crying out instead, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Lord, I am a sinner, but loved by you. Thank you for loving me with a depth of love I could never repay . Forgive me when I make such requests of you that have nothing to do with your glory, but everything to do with my own pride. Forgive me when I do not accept from your hand, with joy, what you have provided for me. Forgive me, my faith is often weak. This is why I need you daily. Today I cry out, “Son of David, have mercy on me, Heather, a sinner!” Amen!