SUMMARY: What Do You Want Me To Do For You? Pope Tawadros II Weekly Wednesday Sermon Wednesday March 28, 2018

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, one God, amen. Today’s Gospel Reading and discussion is based on Mark 10:46-52. Please read by clicking on… Why are meditating on questions during the Great Holy Fast sermon series? • A question is a very useful evaluation tool – helps a person know himself, know whether or not he is heading in the right direction in his life, etc. • Jesus often asked people a question before healing them. • Jesus asked this blind man: “What do you want Me to do for you?” And this question is also being posed to us: What do you want Christ to do for you? Interesting points from this story: • It is the only miracle of Jesus in which the person is mentioned by name: Bartimaeus. • As a beggar, the man’s biggest dream was to get money, much like many of us today! • In the old way of thinking, there was a relationship between sin and disease, and because this man was blind, it meant that his sin must have been very great. That is why people treated him with disrespect and yelled at him to be quiet. • Beware: sometimes our physical eyes, our outward spiritual appearance, or even our good deeds, can blind us to actually FEELING the presence of Christ. • Reading the Bible actually opens the eyes of your heart so that you can FEEL Christ. Positive characteristics of the blind man: 1. His ears were sensitive to the Voice of Christ: he was able to hear and recognize the Voice of God and the presence of Christ amidst the hustle and bustle. This man represents each one of us, as we walk through the busyness of this life. 2. His strong persistence: we see it in that “he cried out all the more,” despite everyone discouraging him and telling him to be quiet. No power could stop him from going to Christ. 3. He was quick to throw off anything that got in his way to God: “And throwing aside his garment” – shows speed and readiness to detach and let go of anything that would obstruct or delay him from getting closer to Christ. 4. He was skilled at seizing the opportunity: when an opportunity comes, take it. a. Don’t miss spiritual opportunities God gives you. Ex. opportunity to pray, to repent, to read the Bible, to have spiritual discussions, to go to confession, etc. 5. He had depth of faith: Christ said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well” indicating that this strong faith of his was the direct reason for his healing. 6. He did not give up easily: despite being rebuked and discouraged. Beware that you do not allow anyone to discourage you in your spiritual life or in your life in general. Lessons we can learn from the story of the blind man for our spiritual journey: 1. Be persistent in prayer: don’t stop asking God for help, with patience & confident faith. Continuous crying out (praying) demonstrates a strong need for help. 2. Jesus hears your prayer from amongst the crowds: your short & simple prayers are heard by Christ and He responds to them. 3. The #1 goal of Satan is to prevent you from reaching Christ: just as the people tried to prevent/discourage the blind man from reaching Christ, Satan does with us when we are praying. FOCUS on the goal: to reach Christ, & do not listen to thoughts of doubt – your own or others’. a. Remember the miracle of the demon-possessed man who was also blind and mute? (Matthew 12:22) It reveals that sin denies a person 3 things: thinking about Christ, talking to Christ, and seeing Christ. 4. Throw away anything that stands between you and God: be ready to QUICKLY detach from things, habits, etc. God reveals to you to let go of. 5. The importance of your will: “What do you want Me to do for you?” shows that God not only respects your will, but that your CONSENT IS NECESSARY to allow God to work in your situation. 6. You are a partner with God: God will give you the ability to do what is needed to do, but you must participate with your faith, your repentance, your prayers, your persistence, and your will. 7. Be definitive in your prayer request to Christ: Imagine if the blind man’s response to Christ had been, “I want some money,” or “I don’t know what I want,” that would have been a wasted opportunity. Go to Christ prepared, knowing what it is you want Him to do for you. 8. Follow Jesus after He heals you: after Jesus heals/helps you, will you follow Him? Your enemy, Satan: • Wars against you by whispering to you, “Do you think Christ really hears you?” • His job and goal is to prevent you from entering the Kingdom of Heaven by any means. He may give you a thought that sticks in your mind and does not leave you. Does Christ know me? And how does He know me? • Christ knows you by name and by your specific problem, • Christ knows you by your cries and prayers