When Jesus met a blind beggar named Bartimaeus, everyone wanted the beggar to shut up.
Bartimaeus kept calling out: “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” The more people tried to silence him, the more he spoke out.
Jesus noticed. Jesus stopped.
Jesus called for him and asked a simple question: “What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:51).
Questions give dignity.
It seems strange that Jesus asked Bartimaeus a question. You would think that Jesus would know that he wanted to see.
Why did Jesus ask this question? One scholar suggests:
For Jesus, Bartimaeus is not a problem to be dealt with. Jesus will not do something to him, but something with him. He responds to the blind man not as an “It” but as a “Thou,” to use the language of Buber, by asking him a question, thus allowing him to express himself as a person rather than apologizing for himself as a social problem or victim. (James R. Edwards, The Gospel According to Mark)
Jesus’ question honored Bartimaeus with the dignity he possessed as someone made in God’s image, and someone who mattered.
Questions help us probe.
It’s not the only time that Jesus asked this question. He asked his disciples the same question just before his encounter with Bartimaeus.
Questions help to surface what’s going on beneath the surface. When Jesus asked Bartimaeus a question, it surfaced his faith. When Jesus asked the disciples a question, it surfaced their selfishness.
A good question can help us reflect on what we really want. It can reveal the true condition of our hearts.
We believe in asking questions.
The book Power Questions says:
Good questions challenge your thinking. They reframe and redefine the problem. They throw cold water on our most dearly held assumptions, and force us out of our traditional thinking. They motivate us to learn and discover more. They remind us of what is most important in our lives.
Our coaching programs ask lots of questions. We believe that questions still give dignity, and help us probe what’s really going on beneath the surface.
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Join us, and discover the power of good questions to help us grow.