Lent 2017 - Have Mercy

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Two things stand out about this healing: the man is actually named—Bartimaeus—and Jesus asks him what he wants. This question stops most of us in our tracks. Our deepest needs and desires are obscure, even though they control the way we live. 

This we know: “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). Here is the catch: delighting in the Lord transforms the desires of our heart. We become like what we love. If our heart is shaped by loving God, of course he is going to give us what we want—because what we want is changed from selfish to generous, from destructive to life-giving.

  1. Read Mark 10:46–52.
  2. Ask God to search your heart and have mercy on you.
  3. Walk through Jericho with Jesus. Hear Bartimaeus’ cries for mercy and the hushing of the embarrassed crowd. See his persistence, his refusal to be suppressed and silenced. 
  4. Reflect on Bartimaeus’ intimate awareness of his need; he cannot avoid or deny it. This is the source of his unashamed cries for mercy. Reflect on Jesus’ willingness to meet that need.
  5. Answer Jesus’ question: “What do you want me to do for you?” Search your heart for what you really desire and expect from Jesus. Ask for the mercy you need. It may help to use the Examen (March 7).

About the Author
Nick Chambers is the Associate Minister at Peachtree Christian Church in Atlanta, GA and the former Director of Spiritual Formation at Calvary UMC.