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Why did Jesus often asked, "what is it that I can do for you?"
We often fail to wonder why Jesus would always ask those that came to him for miracle, what is it that I can do for you or do you want to be healed? Jesus also asked some people, do you belief I can do this? One may assume that he asked such questions to find out what was wrong with the people but if we shall consider the fact that Jesus was not blind to see the case before him as in lameness and blindness. That is Jesus asked blind men same question even after he knew that they were blind.
It may be said that he asked the question to confirm if the people had faith in his ability to make them whole. That is to determine the amount of faith they have in him. This may be true having it in mind that faith is an important aspect of miracle. That is to say that even those that come to God should have faith and belief that he can do whatever they ask of him because without faith it is impossible to please God. However, the essence of the question may be to get the permission of the people as to ascertain what they really want from him. This is likely the reason God expects us to come to him with our supplications in pray. This is because it is our right to determine if we want our situation to be changed and also how much we want such change is another important aspect of the request. That is to say that we may want our situation to change but we sit and do nothing about it.
Therefore, the simple act of presenting our matter to God does not only show that we want him to step in but also that we understand we can’t do it alone without his intervention. Therefore Jesus asked the question so as not to violate our freedom of choice in that we have the right to decide what we want in life. It is obvious that God does not answer all supplications we made to him because if he does then we may not have to lose a loved one as we always pray for them to stay alive. However, God has his ways of doing things and his time may be different from our time in that there are some prayers he answers at his own appointed time.
There are special cases in which we do not have to come to God in prayer. That is there are times God steps in without us going to him in prayer. This is usually after we have done our best and the heavens will then know that what is left is for them to step in even without invitation. One special case in which Jesus failed to ask his usual question was in the case of Lazarus. Although, Jesus was called to come and heal Lazarus yet he delayed. Then by the time he came, people thought it was late in that they have already lost hope and faith in him. That was why they cried, “If you were here, Lazarus won’t have died.” The statement confirms that they no longer believed that the presence of Jesus would change anything. Jesus tried to raise their faith but they failed to belief in him at that moment because they had already buried Lazarus so they concluded that Jesus came so late yet Jesus went ahead and resurrected Lazarus. This is one special case in which the opinion and belief of the people did not matter.
Therefore, we must always be bold enough to tell God what we want even though we expect him to know our heart desires. That is why the question, what can I do for you is important. However, having it in mind that it is said, man was given freewill and we can choose to be or not to be. The mystics are of the opinion that the heavenly table is always open and it is left for us to decide to come join and dine with the Godhead. That is we can tap in and take whatever we want. What a special privilege given to all but it takes courage and sense of awareness to be a partaker of such heavenly blessings. That is why most people are often guests at the gate while someone always help them to get what they want.