As a child, one of my favorite cartoons was Aladdin and the genie lamp. I’ve often wondered – if I found the lamp and were given 3 wishes, what would I ask for? Like most kids of my age, greed would kick in and I’d have the obvious answer, “I’d ask for a zillion more wishes”. This may bring a smile to your face, and you may have thought of the same!
Asking the right questions and giving the right answers gets you to the right places. More importantly, what I learnt recently is that asking the right thing from the right person makes a better impact and can lead to a life changing experience!
There is a narrative in the Bible about a blind beggar who sat by the roadside near a place named Jericho. As he heard Jesus was passing by, he cried out, “Jesus, have mercy on me”. When Jesus heard him cry, He had him brought to Him and asked this beautiful question, “What do you want me to do for you?”
This question is quite ironical! Here is a beggar with an obvious sickness and I’m sure his physique and attire matched that too. Why would someone like Jesus ask him what he wanted? In Luke 4:18 , we read that Jesus proclaims one of the reasons He came to the world is to “to give sight to the blind”. The more I meditated on this, the more I understood what secrets lay behind this question. Here is a man who has been begging all his life – for money, food, clothes- anything for basic survival. A beggars’ answer to such a question would ideally be one of these. Here Jesus wants to know what the beggar is looking for.
The beggar replied, “Lord I want to receive my sight”. I’m sure the beggar had already heard about Jesus and all the miracles and healings He’d done. The beggar could have asked for the same things he’s been begging for all his life, BUT he chose to ask for a change in his lifestyle. He understood that money, food and clothes will get him by for a few days, maybe months but then he would still be just as handicapped as he started. He wanted for a change in his life, and he knew his key weakness was his lack of sight. He believed Jesus was able to take away that weakness, and he asked for his sight.
We are so much addicted to pray about our needs more than asking God for His life transforming touch. If Jesus were to ask us the same question, “What do you want me to do for you?”- What would be our answer? Are we going to ask Him for the prayer list we usually carry around which include good health, riches, a promotion etc. or do we seek a life changing experience? Are we worried about ‘temporary’ benefits or ‘eternal’ benefits? Matthew 6:33 says, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you”. Matthew 6:34 says, “Do not worry about tomorrow”. God will take care of us.
Pursue God more than anything else and your needs will be met by Him even before we ask.
The story doesn’t end there. The beggar was healed instantly and followed Jesus praising God and those who saw him also praised God. Families, colleagues and friends are watching us, and they will notice the slightest difference. Our life transforming encounters with Jesus will lead to influencing other’s lives.
Let us stop asking and begging for survival, rather, let our prayers be for a life transformation!
Open the eyes of my heart Lord,
I want to see You
To see You high and lifted up,
Shining in the light of Your glory.
Pour out Your power and love,
As we sing holy, holy, holy
– Paul Baloche