In Mark 10, Jesus reveals two spiritual opposites by asking the same question to two different parties.
His closest disciples are mistakenly looking forward to an earthly kingdom and hope to hold prominent positions in that kingdom. In Mark 10:36, Jesus asks, “What do you want Me to do for you?” They answer, “Grant that we may sit, one on Your right and one on Your left….” These men want power and authority in the future kingdom but truly have no idea what they are asking or revealing.
Later in the chapter, a blind man named Bartimaeus, who is begging beside the road, hears that Jesus is passing by and cries out, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus asks the same question again, “What do you want Me to do for you?” (Mark 10:51). Bartimaeus answers, “Raboboni, I want to regain my sight!” (Mark 10:51). He wasn’t looking for power, prestige, or authority; he wanted to see.
These two encounters demonstrate the vast difference between spiritual humility and pride. One group seems to think they have it made and that success lies in their future. They are part of the inner circle of Jesus and are looking forward to being lifted up above everyone else. The blind man very simply begs for mercy. He recognizes who Jesus is, what He is capable of, and only asks to be healed.
Pride and humility are spiritual opposites that can hinder us from recognizing what we need or open our eyes to how needy we truly are.