What Would You Have Me Do For You?
A man walks into a dentist’s office and says, “Excuse me, can you help me? I think I’m a moth.”
The receptionist replied, “You don’t need a dentist, you need a psychiatrist and his office is just down the hall” The man replied, “Oh, I know…I was headed that way.” “Then why did you come in here?” The man looked up and said, “Because the light was on…”
Oh, I know…it’s a dumb joke, but it helps me make my point in the sermon this morning.
- The man obviously had a problem, he thought he was a moth.
- He was seeking help, but he got distracted.
- The light drew him ‘away’ from where he might ‘actually’ get help.
In our passage this morning, we find 2 men who were asking for help and got more than they expected. Let’s stand and read from Matthew 20:29-34:
Now as they went out of Jericho, a great multitude followed Him. And behold, two blind men sitting by the road, when they heard that Jesus was passing by, cried out, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!” Then the multitude warned them that they should be quiet; but they cried out all the more, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!” So Jesus stood still and called them, and said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” They said to Him, “Lord, that our eyes may be opened.” So Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him.
Jesus is in the last week of His ministry and His life. He’s going to Jerusalem where He’ll be betrayed, arrested, and crucified. The Jewish crowd will call for His blood and cry out to “Crucify Him!” But this day, the huge crowd lining the streets…love Him.
You see, they’re expecting ‘this’ Messiah to claim His crown, defeat the Romans and restore Israel to its glory. Well, everyone but 2 blind men, who sit by the road…begging. And this day, they cry out “Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!” And it angers the crowd because this isn’t what “their” Jesus…or “their” Messiah is all about. He’s too important to be bothered with beggars and people like that.
But Jesus stops and asks, “What do you want Me to do for you?” What an unusual question. It’s obvious what these men want…they’re beggars. But that’s ‘not’ what makes this question unusual. Did you know, this is the only time in the Gospels where Jesus asks someone what they need done?
But you may say…this is Jesus. Nobody needs to tell Him anything. He’s God…He knows everything. Then why ask the question? Well, it’s obvious. He didn’t ask it for His benefit. So, He must have asked it…for ours.
Now, how does the question, “What do you want Me to do for you?” benefit us or the crowd? It’s for sure, the crowd isn’t going to help the blind men. They actually told them to be quiet. These guys were nothing but a nuisance, a hindrance, and they might ‘distract’ Jesus from doing His ‘real’ purpose…such as meeting ‘their’ needs and building ‘their’ kingdom.
On this day a “great multitude” followed Jesus but in a few days, when they realize that He isn’t here to “meet their needs and build their kingdom”, they’ll turn their backs on Him and cry out for His blood. Perhaps, that’s why Jesus didn’t ask the crowd what He could do for them…but instead, He asked the blind men. Their needs were open and honest.
Now how does this question relate to us? You see, at times the Church forgets why it’s here. At times, even Christians forget what Jesus saved them for. They think their relationship with Him is all about their needs and their agenda. They’re literally ‘blind’ to their real needs.
Living in this world…it’s very easy to get distracted by the wrong things. Sort of like the man who thought he was a moth and got distracted by a light bulb. But we can also be distracted by worldly things…like “success”, “popularity”, or “excitement”. We must stay grounded in His Word and realize that Christ came not to build up ‘our’ kingdom…but for us to build up His.
Now, I believe Jesus asked this question because it’s ‘the’ question the blind men needed to answer. You see, after a lifetime of begging…you get ignored a lot. You’re not even sure if anyone’s paying attention to you. It’s like you don’t even exist. Ever been there?
These 2 men were all alone…in a crowd of people. Then Jesus found them. He was more concerned about their needs…than the needs of the crowd. How special is that? It must have shocked them when Jesus stopped and asked, “What do you want Me to do for you?”
I don’t think they expected anything like this. Maybe a coin or a piece of bread. But now, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords has personally asked, “What would you like?” And in His voice they found ‘hope’. That maybe…just maybe…they could ask for what they desired most.
And with a boldness, born out of desperation, they cry out “Lord, we want our sight.” And the scripture says, “Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.”
Have you ever heard this story before? Would you believe me if I told you that every Christian here today has lived this story? At some point in time in each believer’s life, we had needs. Then we heard about Jesus and felt His presence. Then as His Spirit drew near, we could feel Him asking, “What would you have Me do for you?” And from the depths of despair…we cried out, “Lord, I want forgiveness.” And like the scriptures said, “Jesus takes compassion upon us and He touches our hearts. And immediately we see the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. And we follow Him!”
These blind men saw themselves before Jesus. They asked Him to have ‘mercy’ on them. They’re admitting they have nothing and are broken. They’re not complaining about their blindness, or saying they ‘deserve’ to be healed or even ‘worthy’ of anything. You see, they have nothing to offer…nothing that will impress Jesus and truthfully, neither do we.
But we don’t want to show that. So we put up a front that says, “everything is great.” Because people won’t accept our brokenness or our needs. We hide behind walls. We even put up walls with God, acting like we’re all good. We’re blind to what He really wants to do. The Bible says in Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is near the brokenhearted; He saves those crushed in spirit.”
This morning, Jesus is asking you, “What do you want Me to do for you?” Will you tell Him the truth…or hide behind your wall?