“What do you want me to do for you?”
Jesus demonstrated in everything He did, every action He made, every person He encountered, every conversation He had, that He had us in mind. While He could have demanded that others bend down to serve Him and meet His every need, He was the One who knelt down beside the lowly, drew near to the outcast, sat with sinners, and washed the feet of others.
I love the question Jesus asked in Mark 10. It shows up twice in the space of a few verses: “What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:36, 51) In both instances, someone was asking something of Jesus, but just as both motives were different, so was Jesus’ response.
The first time Jesus asked this question, two of his disciples were petitioning Him to give them a position of honor, authority, recognition, and power. But Jesus knew the motive of their hearts was a self-serving, “what’s in it for me” motivation. They were looking for how the kingdom life could benefit them and Jesus was quick to call it out and correct them. He reminded them that there is a great responsibility that comes with authority – not being lifted up, but of giving all.
The second time Jesus responded with this question, it was to a blind man who had cried out for mercy and healing. This time, rather than rebuking the man’s request for help, Jesus stopped, responded with compassion and healed the man, setting him free from a life of literal darkness. Jesus revealed that His heart is always turned to respond to our cries for help, and to bring restoration, and healing. Jesus comes near to us when we cry out to Him.
I wonder if we get to hear Jesus asking this question because He wants us to know we can always come to Him with our requests, our needs, our concerns. His posture toward us is one of a servant who leans in close to listen, not as a ruler who fights to exert control and dominance with no concern or desire to connect with us. He has our best interest at heart when He asks, “What do you have faith for me to do?”
Sometimes we bring our requests before God and it lines up with His will, His heart, and His Word, and we know He delights in seeing bold faith in action. But when we ask according to motives that serve ourselves, or even when we are unaware of the implications of what we’ve asked, He reminds us there is a different way, a better way for us to live. God wants us to come as we are, whether we’ve got it right or we need help, correction, rescue, or healing. He meets us wherever we are in the journey of faith, but He loves us too much to leave us the way we are.
Mark 10:45, says, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Although He could have, Jesus didn’t come to demand and control. He humbled Himself and took on the posture of a servant in every interaction He had with others. Everything Jesus does for us is from a motive of love and grace to lift us up to true life. Even to the point of dying on the cross, of giving His life as a ransom for our salvation. Jesus is always giving Himself to us. And He wants to teach us to follow His example.
The wonderful truth is that, before we could even think or know what to say if Jesus were to ask us, “What do you want me to do for you,” He laid down His life so we could have eternal life, freedom, healing, restoration, hope, forgiveness, and a revelation of His love. Before we even knew we needed Him, Jesus gave His life for us. The greatest One of all, the greatest Servant of all… Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
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