Imagine for a moment that Jesus is literally standing in front of you. With bated breath you wait for Him to say something and then, to your surprise, His words are in the form of a question, “What do you want Me to do for you?” You might have expected Him to say, “Get your life right…” Follow me…” or even “Go therefore and make disciples… ” but no, these are different words, “What do you want Me to do for you?” We shouldn’t think such a question to be all that strange seeing that Jesus asked it more than once.
On one occasion, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Him saying, “Teacher we want You to do whatever we ask.” and He said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you” (Mark 10:35-38)? If you remember the story, you know that they requested to each sit, one on His right hand and the other on His left, in glory (Mark 10:37). They did not understand what real greatness in the Kingdom meant, but Jesus would explain that it would be the practice of service and not a position of prestige that would determine such (Mark 10:38-45).
In the same chapter, blind Bartimaeus, after crying out to Jesus, was called to the Lord where Jesus would ask him, “What do you want Me to do for you” (Mark 10:51)? Bartimaeus requested to receive his sight and his request was granted (Mark 10:52). Therefore, for Jesus to pose this question is not strange at all.
So, as we began, what would you do if Jesus asked what He could do for you? Would you ask for greater health? In John 5, Jesus asked a man who had been lame 38 years if he wanted to be made well (John 5:6). In essence, the Lord was asking what He could do for the man. If you know the story the man desired such and was cured albeit on the Sabbath day (Mark 5-9). Better health is an appropriate request.
Would you ask for greater faith? In Mark 9:14-29, a boy was brought to Jesus who was possessed by a mute spirit that would throw him down, cause him to foam at the mouth, gnash his teeth and become rigid. Jesus’ disciples could not cast the spirit out. When the father approached Jesus and spoke to Him regarding his boy the Lord said, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes” (23), to which the father replied. “Lord I believe, help my unbelief” (24)! As important as faith is (Heb. 11:26), a better request could not have been made.
Would you ask for a greater relationship with the Lord? This is what Paul desired when he said, “…that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings being conformed to His death (Philippians 3:10). He of course, was given his desire (2 Timothy 1:12).
There’s nothing more important than a right relationship with the Lord Jesus growing in His grace and knowledge (2 Peter 3:18). And it’s for the asking. The gracious Lord of Heaven still says, “What do you want Me to do for you?” What’s your request?
~~ Bill Burke, Bulletin Digest