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No-one to Help

John 5:7-9a
"Sir," the invalid replied, "I have no-one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me." Then Jesus said to him, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. (NIV)

He had been unwell for thirty-eight years unable to walk and with no-one to help. Like many of the disabled people lying around the pool of Bethesda, he thought that if he was the first to get into the water when the underground spring bubbled up, he might be healed. But someone always got into the water before him. He had faith in the so-called "curative power" of the water, but could never see himself being healed.

When Jesus asked him, "Do you want to get well?" he did not give a straight answer. He implied that he had tried to get healing from the water, but failed. Then Jesus simply commanded him to stand up and carry his mat away from the pool. Although he had not looked to Jesus for healing, he was willing to be obedient. However, after so many years when his muscles had not been used, they would have been wasted and powerless even if their nerve supply was reconnected. So a number of miracles took place. The nerve supply to his muscles worked, the muscles responded and immediately enabled the man to stand and walk, but the biggest miracle was that the man obeyed Jesus. He could have told Jesus that walking was impossible, but instead Jesus' command stirred his faith.

Naturally, we look to other people to help us. Whatever the problem we try to solve it ourselves or see if others have got a solution. But where do we place our faith? In our own problem-solving ability, in the wisdom of our friends, or in Jesus? Of course, it is right to do whatever we can to be personally responsible, and it is right to seek advice from others, but if we do not trust the Lord then there is no ultimate resource or comfort. But how do we start trusting? The answer is simple. We start obeying! So when we know what God's Word says and choose to do it, we learn how to develop trust and start to walk in His blessing.

Loving Lord. Thank You that everything is under Christ's command. I know that He has authority to respond powerfully to those who put their trust in Him. I am sorry for saying that I trust You when I have not obeyed You. So please help me to obey Your Word so that I can develop my trust in You and allow You to have authority over those areas of my life where I have been paralysed by fear and failure. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams