Summary: How would you answer if Jesus asked, “What would you like me to do for you?” In our text two different people are asked that question.


Mark 10:32-52


How would you answer if Jesus asked, “What would you like me to do for you?” In our text two different people are asked that question. Jesus uses this as a teaching moment, and we must listen!

Mark’s gospel is a gospel ‘on the move’ - and our text has Jesus on the go - he is headed to Jerusalem. Mark tells us that Jesus is walking ahead of the disciples. He tells them what is going to happen (Mark 10:33-34). This is the third time Jesus has told them about his death and resurrection. He includes new details: mock, spit, and scourge. Now if you were there in that moment, and Jesus asked, “What would you like me to do for you?” What would be your answer?

Mark 10:35-37 - Stedman says they asked for 3 things: Preeminence - to sit on the thrones of honor. Proximity - to sit near the Lord. Power - that is what a throne represents. We might think badly of them, except for two reasons:

-Jesus does not seem to be offended by question - he does not rebuke them.

- We have sometimes followed Jesus for what He can give to us.

What do we want Jesus to do for us?

1. Why We Misunderstand What Jesus Offers

False Expectations

He will make my life awesome and trouble free.

He will take away all consequences fo our sin.

He will fix all of my relationship problems

He will take away my struggles.

Jesus does not promise to make every life worry-free!

Misunderstood Blessings. What we receive from Jesus…

Love - but not always approval for our actions.

Healing - but not always total.

Forgiveness - but not permission to continue.

Ministry opportunities - not comfortable membership

Truth - not appeasement

He meets our greatest Needs - and loves us enough not to give us all that we want.

Comparisons to others

This conversation resulted in the other disciples being indignant with James and John. (10:41)

They wanted to sit on the thrones by Jesus too!

When Jesus asked James and John what they wanted him to do for them, they responded with requests that

were self-serving.

He points out that the Gentile leaders seek to have authority over others and serve themselves. (Mark 10:42)

What Jesus teaches them next is the kingdom life he wants to give them.

Instead of thrones, position, and power - hear the calling to the Jesus life.


To be great, be a servant. To be first, be last To receive, give. (10:43-44)

These teachings go against the grain. They remind us that seeking our own will, living in our own expectations, and focused on ourselves is not the way of the Kingdom. This is another moment for the “I” Test - a look in the

mirror. Are we willing to follow Jesus’ teachings?

Pivotal THEME of Mark’s Gospel: 10:45 “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and

to give his life as a ransom for many.”


A beggar named Bartimaeus calls out to Jesus. 10:47-50. Notice how Jesus puts into practice what he has just

taught his disciples about following him:

To be great, be a servant.

The crowds, disciples, all shush the beggar.

Jesus is on a mission, he is important, he is Savior

He hears Bartimaeus and calls him.

To be first, be last.

What do you want me to do for you? (10:51)

Bartimaeus doesn’t ask for a throne next to Jesus.

Jesus heals Bartimaeus - placing his own agenda and importance on hold for a blind outcast beggar.

To receive, give.

Jesus gave Bartimaeus his sight.

Bartimaeus gave himself to Jesus.

“Immediately he could see and began to follow Jesus on the road.”

Early church traditions say that he followed Jesus all the way to the cross and later became a major figure

in the church at Jerusalem. Not hard to believe!


Who are we hearing that we can serve? Who are we serving without anything in return? Who are we putting before ourselves? To whom are we giving our time, love, and care?

To receive from Jesus the greatest of His gifts: (Akin, Daniel - Christ-Centered Exposition series Mark)

-See the One who needs our help - loving and helping one person at a time.

-Never be too busy to stop and help if you are able. Jesus stopped on his death march to help a nobody.

-Hear the cries of the hurting and respond as you are able.

-Rejoice when the hurting are healed and the lost are saved!

3. When his disciple argued about who should be first, powerful, and by his side, he gave them a mission statement: I came to serve and to give my life as a ransom for many.

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