Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”…. (Mark 10:47).
In Mark chapter 10 there are a number of individuals who come before Jesus to make requests of Him or ask Him a question. One man, a rich young ruler, asks Jesus what He must do to inherit eternal life. Another two men ask Jesus if they may sit at His right and His left in the Kingdom. Then, another cries out for mercy.
Jesus honors the prayer of the man who cried out for mercy and restores his sight. You see, the others came before Jesus with a question that was really rooted in selfishness and a desire to simply get something from Jesus. The rich young ruler, in a way, wanted to justify himself before the Lord. He came into the question, already believing he was good to go. He had little to no humility and this showed by how he responds in the end. The other two men, in their foolishness, make a request of Jesus that was not a role for them to fill. Yet, they wanted it, because it would make them look really good.
Then, the blind man, named Bartimaeus, cries out for mercy. There’s a desperation in his voice as he understands his bankruptcy and declares his need for Jesus. I have not lived much of my life like this blind man. Quite frankly, I have been much more like the rich young ruler, seeking for ways to justify my actions. I remember once, years ago, going on a prayer walk and thinking to myself, “my sin isn’t all that bad.”
As you can see, at that time, humility was not a quality I possessed. Pride was my closest friend instead. Truly, I cannot separate my growth in Christ from a heart that is growing in humility. It wasn’t long after that the Lord shattered my pride. I mean broke it to pieces, leveled it and for that, I am thankful, because it helped me see myself in light of all my self-righteousness.
Then, I have been like the two disciples, making requests of Jesus, because I just wanted to look good to others. “Lord, grant me a big stage to share your message,” I would pray. I had to get to the bottom of this and what I found lying there was just a selfish desire to be seen as someone valuable. Part of me wanted it to be for God’s glory, but then other parts of me just wanted it to be about me. Now, I have reached a point in my life where I don’t care how big the crowd is, I just want to be faithful.
So, I come to you today with a question. How do you approach Jesus? Do you come to Him in self-righteous pride as the rich young ruler did? Do you approach Him with selfish desires, hoping Jesus will help you get ahead in life like the two disciples? Or do you simply come to Him understanding your desperate need for mercy like the blind man who understood his need and knew that only Jesus could fill it? I want to come to Him like that, in desperate need of His grace and mercy for me, a sinner, who has been made new in His love.
Lord, I need your grace. I am desperate for you. Please show me where there might be any pride in me. Lord, please clean me out. I want to walk in humility. I want to be like Jesus. Please help me in that process, I ask, in Jesus name, Amen.