We are looking at some of the questions Jesus asked
because they tend to be important.
a. This week’s question: What do you want me to do for you?
i. In Matthew’s gospel the question is directed to two blind men who ask Jesus to show them mercy, and are undeterred by attempts to silence them.
ii. Read – Matthew 20:30-34
b. Now imagine that all the action stops and Jesus fixes his gaze on YOU and asks you the question. Why is he asking it? What’s your answer?
i. What is your answer to these questions?
2. But it may be best to really understand the question. For that, we need to break it down using the Bible’s original language.
i. Greek: Ti thelete poieso hymen. “What wish me do you”
b. “What” is the emphatic form of interrogative pronoun, meaning used in direct questions.
i. Jesus isn’t coming up and saying “Hey, what’s up?” He is asking: “What IS up?”
ii. He wants to know.
c. “Wish” is used to mean a desire or resolution of someone who wants to act for the best possible outcome. Comes from the root “to seize.”
i. Jesus is saying “think about what you really want to have happen, because it’s about to happen.”
ii. Reminds me of Matthew 7:7-11 – (Read)
d. “Poieo” means to act, make, produce something. But so does another Greek word “Prasso.” But where prasso means to do something habitually (we get word ‘practice’ from it) poieo means something made or done RIGHT NOW in this moment.
i. Lynn will tell you that if I say I’m going to do something it often does not mean “right now.”
1. Procrastination is one of my greatest weaknesses, a wicked combination of having a long-term perspective, laziness, and prideful dislike of people telling me what to do.
2. Came across a quote which describes me pretty well: “I swing between procrastination and being really thorough so either way things aren’t getting done quickly.”
ii. But Jesus is not procrastinating. He wants to know what is really wanted to be done right now.
e. And finally, the subject of the question is clearly spelled out. Jesus is asking YOU.
i. What do YOU really want Jesus to do for YOU right now?
ii. This is a personal conversation, and a specific request directed at you.
3. As you can see, this is a serious question.
a. (Re-read Matthew 20:16)Put back into the conversation with the two blind men: while the text doesn’t specifically say so the inference is that they are also beggars.
i. Which means typically they would be calling out for money. Is that what they want from Jesus?
ii. But when asked what they really want they answer with two things: Sight
b. They call Jesus “Son of David,” which means they believe he is the long-prophesied Savior, rescuer, provider.
i. But they also call him “Lord.” They are asking for salvation but pledging their now and future allegiance.
ii. When they ask for mercy they are asking for relationship.
iii. When they ask for sight they are asking for sustaining faith.
c. When you respond to Jesus’ question, is to someone you see as both Savior and Lord?
4. And one more thing – something that comes from looking at this question in an even broader context.
a. Except for this one set of verses, chapter 20 is Jesus teaching about the fundamental mission and calling of those who are a part of his kingdom: serving others, sacrificially if necessary.
i. He tells the parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard and says “the first shall be last and the last first”
ii. He tells his disciples “whoever would be great must be a servant.” Read Matthew 20:27-28.
iii. And then he offers what will be his own example: carrying the cross, suffering and dying for others. Matthew 20:18-19
b. I think this means, for those who call themselves Christians or Followers of Jesus, that “What do you want me to do for you” is less a question we answer and more a question we ask.
i. It’s a question we wake up in the morning and ask God, right off the bat.
ii. It’s a question we ask others throughout the day.
c. Because Jesus has already answered our question.
5. So, reconsider your earlier answers and update your answer to Jesus’ question, directed at you.
a. But this is a conversation that is far from settled. What new question does the answer provoke.
b. Questions like “who?” “where?” and “what?”
c. Write down your questions too.