Posted by: Rex Boyles | April 22, 2008

“What do you want?”

What do you want?

Jesus wants to know.

Two disciples (or at least their mother) wanted to ask Jesus for a favor.

Two blind men wanted to ask Jesus for a favor.

His question to both of them was the same: “What do you want?”

It is in their different answers to His question that I find some insight into my own heart. 

The mother of James and John asked that her sons receive the honor of sitting at the King’s right and left hand … an honor that made the other disciples “indignant”. (Seems like they may have had some right and left hand fantasies themselves.)

However, the blind men asked to receive their sight. No honor – no recognition was requested – just sight.

I have seen this same dichotomy.

I have seen religious people fret and fuss over positions … preferences … and public prominence. But not the blind … not the leper … not the lame … not the hungry … not the broken …  not the damned.

I have seen religious people fuss (and even cuss) over Greek words – necessary inferencee – and those who do not understand it the same way. But not the bruised and broken, looking for comfort … not the damned and dying, looking for life.

I have seen religious people divide and destroy each other over personality conflicts and perceived slights. But not the weeping sinful woman, begging for love … not the returning prodigal son, wanting to come home.

I have seen religious people complain, criticize, and condemn due to the tempo of songs, the length of sermons, and the temperature in the sanctuary. But not the shameful and ashamed adulteress, expecting and deserving her judgment … but hoping for mercy. 

I have seen religious people hide, excuse, or justify their own sins as they “demonize” – “sermonize” – and “ostracize” those who have contritely confessed and soberly renounced their own sins. But not a lost man, hanging out in a tree waiting for Jesus to find him … not a condemned sinner, hanging on a cross hoping that Jesus will remember him.  

P.S. As I read through this again, before posting, I wondered how many of us would read this and “take issue” with this characterization of “religious people”. If we do … it may reflect our need to answer the question Jesus asked … honestly.

P.P.S. It is also interesting to me that the blind men did not ask for white canes, “seeing-eye” dogs, or welfare checks. They wanted to see, so they asked for sight. What do you want … really?

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