“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked. “My rabbi,” the blind man said, “I want to see!” — Mark 10:51
Bartimaeus had one handicap and one strength; he was blind and he was bold. To the crowd pressing around Jesus, Bartimaeus was a nuisance. The roads were lined with other such “nuisances”: the lame, the sick, and the disfigured, begging for help.
In this case, the blind man made sure he begged louder than most. They told him to be quiet, but Bartimaeus wouldn’t cooperate. He kept shouting “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
When Jesus acknowledged Bartimaeus, the blind man leaped to his feet. In response to Jesus’ question, Bartimaeus made his simple request: “Lord, I want to see!” Jesus sent him on his way with the assurance that his faith had resulted in his healing. Sure enough, Bartimaeus gained his sight, but he didn’t leave. Instead, he immediately followed Jesus.
The Lord did not make following Him the prerequisite for mercy, but Bartimaeus realized that following Jesus was the best way to express his own gratitude for what Christ had done. How many examples of God’s mercy in your life can you think of in fifteen seconds? How have we expressed our gratitude to God recently?
Gratitude goes beyond attitude to action. How can we demonstrate our gratitude to God for what He has done in our lives? Let me suggest a few ways:
We can demonstrate our gratitude with our love. We can feed our passion for God through Bible study and prayer. This is how we seek Him. This is how we follow Him.
We can demonstrate our gratitude with our life. Our passion for God should be translated into love and ministry to others. We can immerse our lives into the lives of others. We can serve, we can love, we can care.
We can demonstrate our gratitude with our lips. There are two ways our lips can demonstrate gratitude. First, our lips demonstrate gratitude through praise. We are to “offer the fruit of our lips, giving praise to God.” (Hebrews 13:15) A second way our lips demonstrate gratitude is through proclamation. As we tell others about Jesus and what He has done for us, we are in essence demonstrating our gratitude to God for what He has done for us.
We can demonstrate our gratitude with our loyalty. Jesus challenged His disciples to “take up your cross and follow me.” Following Jesus presupposes fidelity to Him. I remember years ago singing an old hymn entitled “Loyalty to Christ.” This is a Divine expectation we have heard little of in our generation. Loyalty to Christ springs from gratitude in the heart.
So, let me challenge you today to gratefulness. We have so much to be thankful for. In our weaknesses let us be thankful for the strengths He gives….