You could feel the excitement as the disciples and a sizable crowd was following Jesus on the way to Jerusalem. They were expecting a kingdom. Jesus knew he was facing the cross.
You can imagine the people crowding around Jesus, pushing and shoving so that they could hear him if he spoke. You can imagine the disciples shielding him from the crush of the crowd and at the same time guarding their place next to him. You’ve seen something like that before: a security detail, eyes alert for any suspicious person or action.
Suddenly a voice manages to pierce the noise: “Jesus, son of David, have pity on me!” Many tried to make him keep quiet, but again the cry: Son of David, have pity on me!” And Jesus stopped in his tracks. Why? Perhaps the cry stirred his mercy and compassion. Or it may have been the title this blind man attached to him – Son of David – a name for the Messiah. The blind man saw what those gifted with sight did not see.
“Call him.” And they did, now solicitous instead of trying to shut him up. Jesus asks almost the same question that he asked James and John a bit earlier: “What do you want me to do for you?” Instead of seeking personal glory like them; or, seeking a long lasting and secure income instead of relying on the kindness of strangers, Bartimaeus asks for the one thing that keeps him stuck on the side of the road: “Master, I want to see!”
And he does. Leaving his beggar’s garb behind, he followed Jesus on “the way” as a disciple.
Jesus is asking us every day what we would like him to do for us. What do you wish for or want? What is the most important thing for you?