Have you ever prayed an impossible prayer?
The biblical account of a blind man who received restored sight in his adult years has long held special meaning for me. As a child, I believed if Jesus could heal Bartimaeus, He could heal me. After my eye surgery in 2015, I reread the account multiple times, resonating in the joy of a man with new sight. Jesus really can do the impossible!
The poor man didn’t even have a proper name. Bartimaeus means son of Timaeus. Perhaps you’ve experienced that. You were John’s girl, Michelle’s sister, or the neighbor next door. Seen but unknown. Not worth bearing a unique persona. You can appreciate Bartimaeus’ public fuss in order to get noticed. “Lord,” he shouted over and over. “Have mercy on me.”
Jesus asked what seems like a redundant question. “What do you want me to do for you?” Isn’t the answer obvious? The poor man wanted healing. Give me sight and let me slink back into oblivion.
Was it so obvious?
Bartimaeus could have answered in so many different ways.
- Give me money.
- Let me win the lottery so I don’t have to beg any more.
- Give me a nicer house.
- Tell my family to take better care of me.
- Why can’t I have friends like that crippled man you healed in Caperneum where the crew lowered him through a hole in the roof? Jumping junipers, I can’t even get as much as an arm to get me where I want to go.
It wouldn’t have been out of the ordinary. Others had treated Jesus more like a social worker than the Son of God. Someone in the crowd once demanded Jesus tell his brother to share the family inheritance with him (Luke 12:13). Another man complained about the unfair system at the Pool of Bethesda. Only a few paragraphs before the account of Bartimaeus in Mark 10, James and John had answered the same question with, “Let us sit on either side of you when you come into Your Kingdom(Mk 10:36).” Jesus was the ultimate fix-it guy, the benevolent grandfather who could help everyone live on Easy Street.
Bartimaeus wanted something bigger.
Lord, I want to see.
Anyone with a bit of clout could talk sense into his family or pull strings to provide new housing and a nicer begging bowl. Only Jesus could give sight to the blind. That is why Jesus told Bartimaeus that his faith had healed him. Bartimaeus uttered a request for the impossible.
Jesus’ healings have a bigger purpose than merely helping people feel better. Hundreds of people saw Jesus heal Bartimaes who praised God loudly and followed Jesus along the way. The incident was recorded three times in the Gospels and have blessed countless throughout the ages – including me. Jesus accomplishes God-sized acts for our good out of His lavish love for us. At the core of it though, He does the impossible mostly for His glory. His miraculous intervention shines a spotlight on us so that the world may see God’s presence in the world. He gives us a story to tell so we can tell the story.
What have you asked God for lately?
Things that anyone with a bit of authority could do?
What would only convenience you?
Requests that only He can fulfill and that would bring Him a lot of press.
What impossible thing do you want that only God can give?
- Physical healing
- Restored relationship
- Emotional healing
- Breaking a habit that has become an idol in your life
- Overcoming a character flaw
- Salvation of someone dear to you
- Salvation of your enemy
- Healing the wounded heart of someone you love
- Send more harvest workers into a specific area of the world.
- Use me to do something big for Your Kingdom
- Expand the ministry of my local church exponentially
If God answered your prayer in a marvelous way, would you be willing to share the story of what He has done for you? Bartimaeus praised God so vocally that others praised God too. Are you willing to do the same? Do you want it badly enough that if God gave it to you, you would spend the rest of your life telling others what God has done?
Dare to dream.
God has the capacity to do more than you can ask or imagine. Don’t stay content with only your salvation. Yes, Jesus died for you but He wants to make you shine so others will see Him. Let God give you a personal story so you can share His glory.
God did it for blind Bartimaeus. He did it for me. He has done it for thousands of others. And he can do it for you.
Just ask. Ask Him to do something that only He can do.