“Help! I Need Somebody!”*

Have you ever felt like this man did? You have a problem you can’t fix. A question you can’t find the answer to. A task you must do that you feel unqualified for. If you’re of my generation, the words of a Beetle’s song might come to mind:

                “Help! I need somebody! Help! Not just anybody. Help! You know I need someone. Help!”

I know I’ve been feeling that a lot lately: I need help!

  • As I struggle to write blog posts that are true to God’s Word and that will bless and refresh readers. As I look for ways to bring these words to others.
  • As I work on a book for those new to studying the Bible, teaching them how to start and encouraging them to persevere.
  • As I seek to eliminate things from my life that do not honor God:
    • Wasting too much time on TV or on Facebook.
    • Foods that are not good for me.
    • A lack of exercise.

I’m thankful that I have, not just anybody, as the Beetles were searching for. I have the ultimate Somebody: Jesus Christ.

This was brought home to me as I read John 5:1-9. Here we find a paralytic, a man who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years! Jesus discovers the man at the pool called Bethesda, a place inhabited by a “great number of disabled people—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed”—all waiting to be healed, all trying to be the first one in the pool when the waters were stirred (5:4).

For how many of those 38 years had this man been waiting at the pool? How many times had he struggled to reach the pool before others got there? How frustrated was he that because of his paralysis he likely might never reach the pool first? How discouraged was he that he had no one to help?

But, then, there was Jesus, right next to him, ready to help. And help Jesus did. “At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked” (5:9).

So now, as I struggle with challenges, I recall this passage and I’m reminded that Jesus is right there beside me, ready to help.

  • As I consider what to write about in my blog posts and as I struggle to find the right truths, the right words, I remember that Jesus is there, ready to help me be true to God’s Word and to write what will refresh the souls of his people.
  • As I edit my book chapters and seek to draft the final ones, I remember that Jesus is there, ready to help me help others through the study of the Bible.
  • As I enter the grocery store, I remember that Jesus is there, ready to help me reist temptation by avoiding potato chips and ice cream.

What a blessing to have this knowledge! Even greater is having this picture of Jesus standing or sitting next to me, ready to help, for that leads me to turn and look to him for that help he’s so ready to give.

  • Read through this narrative in John 5:1-15. It’s true that the man in this story didn’t ask Jesus for help, but then he had no idea who Jesus was. If you know Jesus, you know that he is always there, ready to help.
    • What challenges are you facing right now? What questions do you need answered? What problems do you need a solution for?
    • Write each of those down.
    • Then turn to Jesus, who is right there with you, and ask him for help.
  • Here are some other verses that might help you through this process:
    • Jesus said, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
    • “Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us” (Romans 8:34).
    • Jesus told his disciples, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth…the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:16-17,26).
    • “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8).
    • “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it (John 14:13-14).

*“Help!” Beetles, John Lennon and Paul McCartney. The Beetles. 1968.

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