Jesus Heals the Helpless

Bruce Fiol

READ : John 5:2-9

Jesus saw him lying there . . . and said, “Get up, take up your bed and walk.” (vv. 6,


I hear the proverb often: “God helps those who help themselves.” Actually, the opposite
is true: God helps the helpless.

It was into a crowd of pitifully broken, withered, and wasted bodies that Jesus came
when he visited Bethesda. The blind, lame, and paralyzed were lying or sitting around that
city pool. Legend had it that an angel would periodically stir the water and the first
person into the pool would be healed. But for the paralytic there was no hope. He couldn’t
even move. It’s a spiritual picture of all mankind. We are totally unable to help
ourselves. But then Jesus comes, who alone can help.

No one at the pool of Bethesda recognized Jesus as he moved among them—they were
spiritually blind. No one rose to meet him—they were lame. No one reached out a
hopeful hand—they were paralyzed.

But Jesus came and raised a helpless man to his feet. He is the only one who can help
spiritual paralytics. If our salvation depended upon our recognizing him, or reaching out
a hand towards him, or getting up to follow him, no one would be saved.

Thank God that instead of waiting for us to come to him, Christ comes to us first, and
speaks the words of life.


Thank you, Lord Jesus, for coming to me.