Our Lord Jesus asked Bartimaeus, a roadside beggar who had lost his sight, "What do you want me to do for you?" He replied: "Rabbi, I want to see." (Matthew 10.51)
Most of us are like Blind Bartimaeus. We are blind and need to see reality. We have been blinded for so long by our faults, our selfishness, our pride and our greed. We can no longer see far enough - and have as a result been groping in the dark in order to find direction, otherwise we shall fall into a ditch. There is darkness all over us. Darkness - because we have wanted to go it our own way without the right bearings. Darkness - because we have allowed ourselves to be misled by the shallow and foolish teachings of so-called gurus and philosophers. We have rather listlessly followed our own desires and have fallen short of the kingdom of God. Life is a rut because we have allowed ourselves to be caught in the social ills of a decaying world in fast decline.
If this describes your situation during 2009, the question addressed to Bartimaeus is equally being directed at you. "What do you want me to do for you?" What has gone wrong in your life that needs to be straightened out? What inadequacies or insufficiencies in your life are driving you under? What failures in the course of the past year have crippled your whole existence? Have you been going round and round like a top with no hope in sight?
This New Year, if your answer is like that of Bartimaeus, be sure you will see clear. You do not only want to see, but you also want to see well. Our Lord Jesus had compassion on Blind Bartimeaus who had made a passionate appeal. "Son of David, have mercy on me!" (Mark 10:48) Jesus will have mercy on our pitiful state which has held us captive into the New Year. (Matthew 10:52) The Bible account continues; "Immediately he (Bartimaeus) received his sight and followed Jesus along the road." (Matthew 10: 52)
When you would have recovered your sight would you follow Jesus all the way? Would you make him your Saviour and your Lord? Would he take centre stage in your life? Bartimaeus had a wonderful experience beyond his wildest dreams. His eyes were opened and his joy made complete. He had been translated into God's marvellous light.
Jesus posed a question to two blind men who had voiced a similar appeal like that of Bartimaeus when they cried; "Have mercy on us Son of David!" (Matthew 9:27) Jesus asked them: "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" "Yes, Lord!" was their response. What is the level of your belief, the degree of your faith? If only we can believe like these two blind men Jesus is saying: "According to your faith will it be done to you."
Faith is an essential ingredient in our belief patterns, however small our faith is. Jesus sets its level as small as a mustard seed. (Matthew 17:20)
Peter and his friends had gone fishing all night one day and had returned home from a futile venture that day - probably all spent and tired. Jesus was by the lake of Gennesaret with a large crowd at his heels. He got into one of the boats belonging to Simon Peter and taught the people from this vantage point. When he had finished speaking he said to Simon, "Put out into the deep water, and let down your nets for a catch." (Luke 5:4) Now the problem was that they had tried all they could that night and not a single fish was caught. "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything."(Luke 5:5) All their efforts, their human efforts had come to nought, yet it was into the same waters that Jesus had asked them to cast their nets again.
You have worked hard in 2009 and it has amounted to nothing for you in terms of benefits and results. You do not feel like going through the process all over, a second time. You think it could be just a waste of energy and resources after all. Peter did not feel that way, he straightaway added: "But at your word (because you say so), I will let down the net."
What would you be willing to try out again and this time around succeed because the Lord has ordained it? When our deeds and our efforts cease to bear fruits let us seek a word from God to direct us. These men, Peter and his mates, were seasoned fishermen but this very day they fished in vain until Jesus gave them orders and their life was transformed.
Dear Reader, we ought to take a second look at whatever we were indulged in 2009 that did not succeed. Were the orders given by the Lord Jesus? With him every knee must bow down - even the fish in the sea - because he made them all. "Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made." (John 1:3) Peter and his mates that morning could not believe their eyes. "They caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break" and had to signal for help from partners in the other boats.
This year may Jesus borrow your boat and bless you for making it available to him. May he fill our nets until they begin to break and our boats begin to sink as we submit to his word and obey his commandments. He wants to do a lot of things for us that we have been struggling particularly in 2009. He is asking you at the start of this new year; "What do you want me to do for you?" Tell him you want to see your way clear.