Wednesday, Aug. 19
Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.” Mk. 10: 47. Here is a blind man, a beggar by the name of Bartimaeus, who calls out to Jesus for mercy. Jesus was a topic of conversation throughout Israel so it is no surprise that Bartimaeus called out to him for mercy. But when he used the title “Son of David,” we have something unusual. “Son of David” was the title used for the Messiah, who was expected to come at about this time. His miracles brought attention to him and verified his claim, but his acceptance of the title became a hot issue. Most of the Jewish leaders rejected his claim, others were ambivalent, and a few believed in him. Bartimaeus also called Jesus “Rabbi,” which was OK. “Son of David” was not. Jesus invited the man to come to him, possibly because he called Jesus the Messiah. Interestingly enough, Jesus didn’t commend the man for this. Jesus often responded to people by asking a question rather than dealing directly with a request. This was no exception. He asked the man to tell him precisely what he wanted. As Andrew Murray pointed out in his book “With Christ in the School of Prayer” (p. 71), this was a fairly vague request. Murray gives several possible reasons for this. Without doubt, Jesus knew the man’s heart. Bartimaeus could not have told Jesus anything he did not already know. So why the question? Murray gives several reasons, but I think the most important one is that when a specific request is made, a specific answer becomes more meaningful. One will know that the answer is not by happenstance, but a by a gift directly from God. If I make vague requests, how do I know for sure that it was God answering the prayer, or just something that would have happened anyway? When a specific need is met, I know why and I worship God because of it. Message: Be specific in prayer requests.