Help for the Hopeless

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Breaking Bread with Barnabas  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  53:59
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Jesus has the motive (His Love), the means (His Word) and the might (His Person) to bring hope to the helpless.

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At this time, we invite any children who desire to join my dear wife for a children’s service to follow her where you can hear a wonderful bible lesson and sing some uplifting songs about Jesus.
For those joining us online, you’re listening to the Services of the Broomfield Baptist Church. This is the Pastor bringing the Sunday Morning message entitled “Help for the Hopeless.” We invite you to follow along with us in your Bible in the Book of John, chapter 5, and verses 1-9.


John 5:8 KJV 1900
Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.
What are you like when you get sick?
☐ a whimpering puppy
☐ a roaring lion
☐ a hibernating bear
In an episode of “Little House on the Prairie” Laura had a little friend named Olga. Olga had a handicap because one of her legs was shorter than the other. Olga couldn't do what other little kids her age could do. She couldn't run and play with her friends. Laura was concerned for her friend and Mr. Ingles knew the situation. So he went to the home of Olga to talk to her father.
Olga's mother had passed away and the father was a hard and bitter man. Mr. Ingles wanted permission to work on and build a shoe for Olga's foot that would help her walk without a cane, and run and play like all the rest of the children. Olga's father would have no part of it and he was very rude to Mr. Ingles. Olga's father told Mr. Ingles, “God made Olga that way and we have accepted that.” Mr. Ingles said to Olga's father, “We have a saying around here, “The good Lord helps those who help themselves!” That sounds real nice and wise, but that is not the facts.
• → We learn that God helps those who cannot help themselves.
God helps us physically, financially, and most importantly He helps us spiritually. We cannot help ourselves without the grace of God. God helps those who cannot help themselves.
Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit...”
We need to change the way we think about certain things and just humble ourselves and admit our great need.
In this passage John announced the sickness of the man and the Source of the miracle. Hope is always near when Jesus is here. I want to challenge people to trust the Lord Jesus and His power to renew their hope and faith in Him. Has your circumstances got the best of you? Is the trial you're facing robbed you of hope? Do you feel that your situation is hopeless? This passage reveals some facts about help for the hopeless! [Jack Andrews]
This sign-miracle begins a series on Jesus as God’s envoy and source of life in the midst of rejection and opposition. In the next few chapters we will see a series of christological affirmations presenting Jesus as Bread of Life (ch. 6), Giver of the Spirit (ch. 7), Light of the World (ch. 8), Giver of Sight (ch. 9), the Gate (ch. 10), and the Good Shepherd (ch. 10), several of them presented as “I am” sayings. [Grant Osborne]

I. A Word of Hope (Jn. 5:6-7)

A. The Health He had Lost (Jn. 5:6)

John 5:6 KJV 1900
When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?
“a long time...impotent”
Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” (Hebrews 4:13, KJV 1900)
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15, KJV 1900) 
Shepherd’s—“Follow me.” John 10:27.
Master’s—“Occupy.” Luke 19:13.
Saviour’s—“Come unto me.” Matt. 11:28.
Teacher’s—“Learn of me.” Matt. 11:29.
Bridegroom’s—“Open to me.” Songs of Sol. 5:2.
Friend’s—“I will sup with him.” Rev. 3:20.
Physician’s—“Wilt thou be made whole?” John 5:6. [DL Moody]

B. The Help He Lacked (Jn. 5:7a)

John 5:7 KJV 1900
The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.
“I have no put me”
For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; The poor also, and him that hath no helper.” (Psalm 72:12, KJV 1900)  
  “I looked on my right hand, and beheld, But there was no man that would know me: Refuge failed me; No man cared for my soul.” (Psalm 142:4, KJV 1900)  
  “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” (Romans 5:6, KJV 1900) 
“Bethesda’s pool has lost its power!
No angel by his glad descent
Dispenses that diviner dower
Which with its healing waters went;
But He, whose word surpassed its wave,
Is still omnipotent to save.”
—Bernard Barton.

C. The Hope for which He Longed (Jn. 5:7b)

John 5:7 KJV 1900
The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.
“another steppeth down before me”
He had lost all hope. And the Bible speaks of men and women “having no hope, and without God in the world” (Eph. 2:12). Sin affects the physical, social and the spiritual realms of the human personality. This man had a diseased body, a defiled soul, and a dead spirit. In theological terms, we speak of man’s “total depravity”; and by that we mean that sin has invaded the entire being. It is no wonder, then, that Jesus addressed him with the words, “Wilt thou be made whole?” (5:6). Jesus said, “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick” (Matt. 9:12). [Stephen F. Olford, Institutes of Biblical Preaching, Volume Two (Memphis, TN: Olford Ministries International, 1981).]
“Dr. Walter Wilson, ever on the alert to speak to men about their souls and need of the Saviour, asked an attendant at a service station who had filled his car with gas: ‘How did sin get in Sinclair?’ pointing to the lighted sign atop the gas pump. ‘I do not know, sir, how sin got into Sinclair; but, sir, I have wished many times that I knew how to get sin out of my life!’ It was then that Dr. Wilson had the opportunity to tell the young man of the One who is the sinner’s friend and of whom it is written: ‘And thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins’ (Matt. 1:21)” (Willis Cook, from Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations).

II. A Word of Healing (Jn. 5:8-9)

A. A New Life! (v. 8a)

John 5:8 KJV 1900
Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.
“When the lame man and the healing pool and the Master came together, there was health and hope. When the little lad and the few loaves and fishes and the Master came together, there was sufficiency and even abundance. A thirsty woman, an ancient well, and the Master, and there were streams of living water flowing into human hearts. A rugged fisherman, a broken net, and the Master, and there was discipleship, and a story to tell. Wherever a human need and a sincere faith and the Master meet, there is transformation and consecration. If we bring our lives, weak and insufficient, to the Master, He will remake us” (The Upper Room, from 3000 Illustrations for Christian Service).

B. A New Lord! (v. 8b)

“Take up thy bed”

C. A New Walk! (v. 8c-9)

John 5:9 KJV 1900
And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.
New life was flowing through him as he walked through the streets of Jerusalem that day. And it is God’s will for us, apart from the mystery of suffering, that we should be quickened in our mortal bodies, and glow with abundant life and vigor. One day we shall have perfect, incorruptible bodies, like unto our Lord’s. In the meantime, however, God intends that we should know His supernatural strength, even when we are weak. The apostle Paul knew something of this during his life and ministry. Even though afflicted by a thorn in the flesh, he could rejoice in his many afflictions, and declare, “When I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Cor. 12:7, 10). [Stephen F. Olford, Institutes of Biblical Preaching, Volume Two (Memphis, TN: Olford Ministries International, 1981).]
John Phillips wrote, “Whatever may or may not be said about the sovereignty of God in human salvation, one thing is sure. The human will plays its part. Divine omnipotence never violates the sanctity of the will. God does not ravish; He woos. The Lord will neither heal nor save people against their will.”
The Lord wants the man to answer that question in his own heart.
• Being at the pool is not enough!
• You can still be at the pool and not believe that you will be healed.
• Being at church is not enough!
• You can come to
• church week after week,
• hear sermon after sermon,
• set through invitation after invitation
• and still leave the church lost
• and on your way to hell.
The Lord knows why he was at the pool and He knows why we are at church. Some people do not want to be healed! They do not want to be made well! Herschel Ford made an interesting observation. He said, “Some invalids don't want to get well. They like the sympathy they get; they like the attention they receive. Some people enjoy poor health. Ask them how they feel and they begin with last Thursday and tell you every ache and pain they have had since that time. And they have a big time telling you the story.”
The question of our Lord challenges the sincerity of this man's heart. The man needed to ask himself, ‘Do I really want to be made well?' The Lord's question showed His concern for the man and his condition.
J. C Ryle wrote, “This (miracle) is just one among many examples of our Lord Jesus Christ's kindness and compassion. He is full of undeserved, unexpected, abounding love towards man... He is far more ready to save than man is to be saved, far more willing to do good than man is to receive it. No one ever need be afraid of beginning the life of a true Christian.. .Let him not hang back and delay, under the vain idea that Christ is not willing to receive him. Let him come boldly, and trust confidently.”[Jack Andrews]

III. A Word to Heed (Jn. 5:14)

John 5:14 KJV 1900
Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.

A. Listen to His Assurance (v. 14a)

“...Made whole”
In that day there shall be a fountain opened To the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem For sin and for uncleanness.” (Zechariah 13:1, KJV 1900)  
  “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:11, KJV 1900)  
  “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7, KJV 1900) 
No matter how you look at this miracle, it is an illustration of the grace of God. It was grace that brought Jesus to the Pool of Bethesda, for who would want to mingle with a crowd of helpless people! Jesus did not heal all of them; He singled out one man and healed him. The fact that Jesus came to the man, spoke to him, healed him, and then met him later in the temple is proof of His wonderful grace and mercy. [Warren Wiersbe]

B. Live through His Ability (v. 14b)

“...Sin no more”
The impotent man at the pool of Bethesda was waiting for a moving of the waters. How this ailing world today looks to movements, political and social, to alleviate its sick and sad condition! Furthermore, that man waited for a man: "I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool..." (John 5:7). How ailing humanity looks today to this messiah and that, this false Christ and that, for its deliverance! All the while, there stood by the cripple the Master, asking, "Wilt thou be made whole?" (John 5:6). This world is one vast pool of Bethesda with its impotent millions looking to movements and men but not to the Master. [Vance Havner]

C. Look for His Appearing (v. 14c)

“Lest a worse thing come...”
Blessed is the man that heareth me, Watching daily at my gates, Waiting at the posts of my doors.” (Proverbs 8:34, KJV 1900)  
  “It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.” (Lamentations 3:26, KJV 1900)  
  “But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.” (Romans 8:25, KJV 1900)  
  “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.” (James 5:7, KJV 1900)
In a world filled with confusion about God and religious superstition, Jesus stands as the direct reflection and primary agent of the personal and powerful work of God. Jesus is both the promise of true wellness and the warning against something much worse. The only appropriate response can be to stop sinning and to start believing. [ZECNT Jn]


We have studied together a story which illustrates the Savior’s power to make “every whit whole.” The Lord Jesus never does things by halves; He always goes all the way. As we sing of that “Rock of Ages,” His is the double cure: He heals the body, soul and spirit. Let our prayer be:
Out of my bondage, sorrow and night,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into Thy freedom, gladness, and light,
Jesus, I come to Thee;
Out of my sickness into Thy health,
Out of my want and into Thy wealth,
Out of my sin and into Thyself,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
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