At Any Rate

"And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, What will ye that I shall do unto you?" (Matthew 20:32)

What do we really want God to do for us?

If He showed up in an apron and starched white shirt, pad in hand, saying "may I take your order?" how would we respond? Would we? Have you ever had God say those words to you? Notice, in the above verse, how Jesus "stood still". Evidently, He was moving. Surrounded by His entourage--sycophants and all--and He stood still. It would seem the Father had Him stop and take notice of the two men who sat idly by, observing (?) the crowd as it passed. Jesus is so alert. Of course He knows what they need.

"And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you..." (2 Corinthians 12:15a)

One side of the coin

Numismatics is the study of currency, essentially. Specifically, it refers to the collecting of coins and paper money. No relation to pneumatic which takes its root from pneuma which is Greek for "spirit" or "breath". Rewinding to verse 28 and 29:

"Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many. And as they departed from Jericho, a great multitude followed Him."

The former is the end of a long lesson on servanthood. Beginning with 19:13, when there were "brought unto Him little children, that He should put His hands on them and pray", it says "the disciples rebuked them." How rude. It then continues with the "young man", the rich young ruler who was unwilling to give away that which he thought gave him exemplary standing in God's kingdom. He "went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions" (verse 22) Chapter 20 opens with the parable of the labourers, with whom "He had agreed with...for a penny a day." (20:2) Four groups of people are called to go out and participate in the harvest and the first three, surprisingly, complained and "murmered against the goodman of the house" (vs. 11). Notice His response: "Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?" The narrative continues. "Then came to Him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons..." (vs. 20) She wants a place of prominence for her sons. Evidently, this had to be something she saw as good, because either they were too timid to ask for it themselves or they just didn't see it as something up for grabs. Jesus answers, "ye know not what ye ask." He tells her in response that, in order to receive such a high honor, martyrdom is but the first qualification. Anything above that is necessarily His Father's choice. And even then, the ten other disciples get jealous, and are "moved with indignation against the two brethren." (vs. 24) Jesus reiterates: "But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many." (vv. 26-28)

A penny, saved

"Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece..." (Luke 15:8) Jesus does the same. We are an integral part of His currency. His "pneumatic" numismatics? Either way, He wants to get us and wants to see to it that we get Him and receive from Him, too.

Notice the vehemence of everyone around those whom Jesus had personal interaction in granting needs and desires. From the disciples who weren't a-hundred percent in tune--those criticizing the parents of the little children (and James and John--Zebedee's sons) to the crowd that condemned and shushed, to put it politely, the two men by the side of the road. One side of the original question, then, must be retooling our answer in light of society's expectation and influence and...criticism. So when God asks us what we want, some of the hesitance, and unformedness of our answer might have something to do with our preoccupation with that which others say we should and shouldn't have. Food for thought. "May I take your order?" Do I want what I want? Or is it just to have what others have? Why do I want what I want? I suppose it goes without saying that if God asks you what you want, it flows that He's ready to give it. That you, more than deserve it, you're ready to receive it. Because He doesn't practice bait-and-switch and isn't a jerk. He wants to know. The two men for whom Jesus stopped the party, were blind. It says, "So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him." (vs. 34)

If you wanna get real pedantic, the answer to the "million-dollar question" would be: anything that opens your eyes to Jesus and inspires you to follow Him. Whatever that may be. If it doesn't keep you blind and segregate you from everyone else following Him, even if they may be your Christian brothers and sisters who didn't want you to receive it in the first place, I suppose it's okay. Something that God can dole out without reservation.

"Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full." (John 16:24)

So Close

Exchanging One's Mind