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Imagine Jesus coming to you and asking, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ How would you answer?

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Bible passage: Mark 10:46–52

Blind Bartimaeus Receives His Sight
 46Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (that is, the Son of Timaeus), was sitting by the roadside begging. 47When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"

 48Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!"

 49Jesus stopped and said, "Call him." So they called to the blind man, "Cheer up! On your feet! He's calling you." 50Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.

 51"What do you want me to do for you?" Jesus asked him.
      The blind man said, "Rabbi, I want to see."

 52"Go," said Jesus, "your faith has healed you." Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.

New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

Audio Bible passage

The audio version of the passage is taken from the Contemporary English Version (CEV).

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Direct approach
Bartimaeus goes for the direct approach. He shouts, persists, jumps up and comes to Jesus. But Jesus does not rush to provide an answer. As with the rich ruler he starts with the person and their story. He asks a critical question (v 51).

Bartimaeus does not ask for food or money. He opens up about the real problem, being blind. His healing turns his life upside down. No more begging, no more feeling under a curse; a chance to have a job, a wife, a family, a whole life.

Following Jesus’ pattern
Luke’s version of this story emphasises rejoicing (Luke 18:42,43)! And note that Bartimaeus chooses to physically follow Jesus towards Jerusalem; a different reaction to the blind man in Bethsaida and the rich man (8:25-26; 10:22).

As we humbly serve each other we can follow Jesus’ pattern, asking people about their needs and not beginning with our solutions. Once people share their immediate needs then they are more likely to share their deeper concerns. Even though we may be unable to meet their need fully, we can rely on God’s power to be effective beyond our own resources.


Be bold like Bartimaeus and share your needs with God. Ask God to lead you to someone you can help. Be very alert to any opportunity, however big or small, and remember to respond to the person, not just the need.

David Arscott

Deeper Bible study

Nearly two weeks ago, we read of Jesus healing a blind man. This was one bookend of the ‘discipleship discourse’. Today is the other, in which another blind man, Bartimaeus, receives healing and follows Jesus. Unlike the first man, who symbolically seems to represent those who see Jesus’ teachings but do not understand them, Bartimaeus represents the true disciple.

He will stop at nothing to meet with Jesus and cries out, over his silencers, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’ (vs 47,48). ‘Son of David’ is a royal and messianic title. ‘Have mercy on me’ is a pattern familiar from the Old Testament, as the psalmist cries to God, ‘Lord, have mercy’ (Psalm 123:3; see also Matthew 20:30,31). Hence, Bartimaeus ‘sees’ what the sighted people do not: before him stands the promised one, the true Messiah, who may be addressed as one would address God himself. For in this Jesus is his hope of sight and salvation.

We do not know the names of many of those who receive Jesus’ miracles. Bartimaeus is an exception. He is presumably named because he was famous among the readers of Mark’s Gospel as one who continued to follow Jesus in the time of the church. He is a remarkable example of discipleship, for it is Bartimaeus, a blind man, who ‘saw’ Jesus’ true identity. Likewise, it is Bartimaeus, a beggar, unlike the rich man, who was willing to follow Jesus on the way to Jerusalem. In the same way, it is only those who truly acknowledge Jesus’ identity who will be willing to go with him to the cross and likewise to live a cross-shaped life. It is such followers only who will be able to see and understand and live these teachings of Jesus in the ‘discipleship discourse’.

Ed Kaneen

Bible in a year

Read the Bible in a year:

Isaiah 47,48

Hebrews 7


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  • Stewart Speed | Saturday, 24 September 2016

    The natives are restless down in this area for Inverness so its a great opportunity to read my Bible early,I really love being in this area as hearing some of the language and things they say takes me back to me 20years ago,'LORD Bless all and anyone with addiction problems,please LORD put me in their path again as you did when I frist came to know your lovinkindness,LORD for some reason the fire in my belly died for leading lost soul to you but thank you LORD for giving that fire back recently its awful to lose that fire and see them still suffering LORD,I know all the people you put in my path before now ask for more please,open their ears that they may hear you LORD and not little old me,all for your glory in the name of JESUS I ask this LORD,thank you LORD,Amen' love you LORD and Bless all in Wordlive 'May the LORD bless you all today with twice the blessing he has for me,thank you LORD,Amen'

  • David Forbes | Saturday, 24 September 2016

    Good idea to look out for peoples needs and helping them without losing sight of them as people or trying to offer a quickfix

  • Ken Sykes | Saturday, 24 September 2016

    Silently now I wait for thee, ready, my God, thy will to see. Open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit divine! Says Clara Scotts hymn. But Bartimaeus was anything but silent and got on with the following. Wait and see? Get up and go? Always the same tension. Rejoice that we can obey the Spirit's prompting today. And bless you too STUART

  • Stuart Reed | Saturday, 24 September 2016

    In Mark 10:51 Jesus asks Bartimaeus, “What do you want me to do for you?” The opening of today’s study asks us how we would answer, but I was thinking about how I would answer if I asked that same question. So often in our ministry/witness/life we approach people who are in crisis with one issue or another and so often we think that we already know what is best and what the answer is that we forget to ask the question that Jesus asked, “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus was not afraid to ask the question, and he even listened to the answer and was prepared to act upon the answer. The challenge for me today is am I prepared to ask the question “What do you want me to do for you?” and am I prepared to listen to the answer and act upon it. We need to be able to ask God this question and we need to be able to ask others this question.

  • Brenda Hill | Saturday, 24 September 2016

    Bible Passage Mark 10:47 " When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" He knew the bible passage that you can call on the Lord - he knew the one that would follow the Lord. He followed the Lord from that time on and He knew the Lord following Him. His faith has maid him well. Lord can we say that of ourselves - we trust in Him and He makes us well. I Love You Lord My blessings to all my W/Live folk today. .

  • Helen Humby | Saturday, 24 September 2016

    My answer to the prepare question would be to ask Jesus to manifest healing and wholeness to 3 friends, all very seriously ill. Phillipa with ovarian cancer, Keith with severe stroke and David with a returning aggresive lymphoma. The latter 2 do not know Jesus. May He be glorified in each case. Jesus we cry for mercy. Amen

  • Jenny Tait | Saturday, 24 September 2016

    I'm wondering how it would change me and my prayer life if I were to start each morning by asking and answering that question. If I hear and answer Jesus saying Jenny what do you want Me to do for And after answering that I reply Jesus what do You want me to do for You today...and wait for His answer.

  • Derek Forster | Saturday, 24 September 2016

    All the way, my Savior leads me; Oh, the fullness of His love! Perfect rest to me is promised In my Father’s house above: When my spirit, clothed immortal, Wings its flight to realms of day, This my song thro’ endless ages: Jesus led me all the way; This my song thro’ endless ages: Jesus led me all the way; Fanny J. Crosby

  • Adam Julians | Saturday, 24 September 2016

    "What do you want me to do for you?" yes not the quick fix being the priority but the people themselves. I wonder with all the people demanding attention, Jesus must have been through what any human would have sometimes being annoyed, sometimes feeling more willing. Him sometimes saying "how long must I put up with you" at other times such as this engaging without any resistance to the request. And yet other times refusing with talking about a wicked generation demanding miracles and rebuking people even referring to the person who perhaps he was closest to as Satan. My answer to the opening question is not to ask Jesus of anything from him but to want to be welcoming to him in what he brings. Maybe I should be asking him more.

  • Gilvin Crisifeca | Saturday, 24 September 2016

    ADAM I don't think Jesus was not implying that Peter and Satan were one and the same but was referring to the fact that Satan had inspired Peter’s statement. This type of metaphor was used elsewhere in Scripture, such as when God spoke to the serpent in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:15) as though addressing Satan. The serpent was merely the vehicle of communication Satan used to tempt Adam and Eve, while Peter was the vehicle Satan used to tempt Jesus. Ephesians 6:12 reveals that our warfare isn’t with people but against the spiritual powers who inspire and use people. Jesus recognized that Peter’s reaction to His prophecy about His death was motivated by His enemy, Satan, and so He went right to the source. By looking at Jesus’ statement in Matthew 16:23, it is evident that Jesus recognized that Satan was trying to tempt Him through Peter’s rebuke. This further explains Jesus’ harsh response. He was reacting directly to the temptation He was feeling from Satan.

  • Gilvin Crisifeca | Saturday, 24 September 2016

    ADAM corrrection 'I don't think Jesus was implying that Peter was Satan.' The word 'not' shouldn't be there!

  • Adam Julians | Saturday, 24 September 2016

    Gilvin - I agree with you and elsewhere we see for example Paul saying to Satan to get away from a woman. But Jesus did speak to Peter as if he were calling him Satan as he said many shocking things elsewhere. Important to be as welcoming to that as to the healing side of Jesus is it not?

  • Gilvin Crisifeca | Saturday, 24 September 2016

    Agreed Adam. Jesus would have been frustrated at the disciples unbelief when they had witnessed miracles for instance. But I don't think he was calling Peter Satan.

  • Rogerwb Hall | Saturday, 24 September 2016

    I learned recently that there is a way, not only to pray to God's Heart, but to align ourselves with God's mind and purpose. In this way, great encouragement comes. I was thinking about Stuart Speed's request to meet others who he is able, through his experience, to speak in a way that will make God glorious and attractive. We know that God dos not want sinners to perish, but that they may be saved. Now, the fact that yesterday you said that God asked you to pray for Anna, meant that He had a job for you to do. I reckon that is what He wanted of you. It may have been your amazement at meeting the person you had just prayed for, but, unknown to you, it is certain that somewhere she knew someone had care for her. Who knows what went on in her mind? I'm strongly feeling that it is a most important ministry you are in. Praise the Lord.

  • David Forbes | Saturday, 24 September 2016

    yes.. I think we know the answer already to what Jesus wants us to do. Maybe we should wait sometimes but generally he wants us to help meet the needs of others, physical or spiritual, doing it in His name and and strength, and he will fill and equip us to do just that. We would have lots of prayer material if we did just that.

  • Peter Oliver | Saturday, 24 September 2016

    I agree that JESUS was not calling Peter Satan HE said get thee behind me Satan .Satan was right there by our lives today we must go to the LORD in prayer if we are uncertain about anything at all.

  • Adam Julians | Saturday, 24 September 2016

    Gilvin, it was Peter who Jesus was rebuking with saying he had things of man not of God. This followed the get behind me Satan. We are agreed with Jesus getting frustrated and being shocking. I agree that Jesus was not thinking of Peter and Satan as the same but nonetheless it would be a stretch to imagine that Jesus was not looking into Peter's eyes or at least directing what he said at Peter therefore speaking as if he were Satan. The point I want to make here is the shocking nature of what he said at times. Many people fell away at his difficult teaching and it is hard when rich, powerful, comfortable etc to be as welcoming to this side of him. Yet there must be the loss of life for his sake in order to have life in the fullest. Many who claim to follow Jesus don't and those who do often times find themselves without honour only among their own people.

  • Gilvin Crisifeca | Saturday, 24 September 2016

    Hi Adam, Frustrated Jesus, yes, but shocking conjures up something different which I don't see as that's marked by sensationalism. We have things of man don't we, but Jesus wouldn't call us Satan would he?

  • Adam Julians | Saturday, 24 September 2016

    Gilvin, if any one of us were to act as Peter did I would expect Jesus would speak to us as he did to Peter. Satan was not standing next to Peter as if they were divorced from each other, they were aligned together in that moment. If Jesus today were to call leaders in churches hypocrites or going into church and turning over tables anywhere in the world, implying a woman is a dog, I would suspect that this would be regarded as shocking whatever the circumstances are. Many would have been shocked, taken offense at what Jesus did - it even says so when he preached in the synagogue at Nazareth about a prophet being without honour only among his own people and those there taking a disliking to what he said and trying to throw him off a cliff. Jesus by his very nature is sensational. It is the responsibility of every believer to follow Jesus enduring hardship as God's discipline, knowing that this is not pleasant but painful but at such times resilience produces the fruit of righteousness and peace. I respect your freedom to have a different perspective but I reject the implied claim of sensationalising that you are making. If you take offense than that's on you in my opinion of the truth and I would kindly ask you to consider your response.

  • Gilvin Crisifeca | Saturday, 24 September 2016

    I would never take offence Adam. I respect other people's opinion. I think this is a place where we should all be able to share our opinions without getting uptight when we differ or misconstrue each other's comments. Our warfare isn’t with people but against the spiritual powers who inspire and use people. Satan did it with Adam and Eve and with Peter and plenty others and he's still at it today.

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