Jesus knew all the answers, but he still asked questions. Seems a bit odd, doesn’t it? As Conrad Gempf comments in his book, it must have been obvious to Jesus what the man’s need was.¹ He may not have had a white cane or a guide dog, but the way he walked and looked was surely enough. Questions were very much part of Jesus’ style of dealing with people and advancing his mission. Let’s look at some examples.
James and John ask Jesus for a favour, and his response is, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:36 NIV11) He encounters an invalid in Jerusalem and asks him, “Do you want to get well?” (John 5:6 NIV11). A woman touched his cloak and he responded, “Who touched me?” (Luke 8:45 NIV11) At a critical point in his ministry he asks his disciples, “Who do you say I am?” (Matthew 16:15 NIV11) In each case he is not the one confused or lacking information. He is asking what he wants to know. The question is – what do the answers reveal?
In Luke 18, the answer reveals faith. This makes sense of Jesus saying, “your faith has healed you” (v42). The beggar could have asked for money, for clothing, for food, shelter, friendship, and a myriad other things. Things that normal mortals could provide. But the blind man had faith in Jesus, that he was not like other men, but something and someone different. Someone with the ability to “save” (‘healed’=’sozo’ – Gk). That faith caused him to ask for what must have seemed ridiculous to the crowd. It seemed perfectly reasonable to Jesus.
A question to myself: do my requests to Jesus reflect faith? Am I asking for what a kindly Uncle, expert or wise person could provide? Or am I asking the impossible – the ridiculous? In fact, am I asking for what I really need?
If you have a comment or question about these ideas, please contact me by leaving a comment or dropping me an email.
¹”Jesus asked what he wanted to know” (Zondervan)