“I Don’t Think Jesus Can Help Me”

In Sermon Illustrations by Rachel Schultz

“I Don’t Think Jesus Can Help Me”

By David B. Smith

Photo: David B. Smith


In Expect a Miracle, But Trust in Jesus, Adrian Rogers puts a nice spin on the story in Mark 2 where four strong men chop a hole in the roof to get their sick friend in to see Jesus. Partway into the trip to Peter’s house, though, the paralytic man moans in despair, “Let’s forget this. Turn around. It’ll never work. No way can Jesus heal me.”

The guy carrying the first corner says to him, “Of course He can! Look at me. The grace and power of Jesus is amazing, because I once was blind, but now I see. Jesus is a great healer.”

“I know,” the sick man says, “but that was just your eyes. My whole body is out of whack.” Well, the four guys override his vote and they go a bit further, but then he hits the brakes again. “We’re wasting our time,” he sighs. “Go home. Just let me die. This is a fool’s errand.”

The second man tries to perk him up. “Come on,” he says. “I used to have a withered arm. It was useless, man. And now look at it. I can carry you clear through Capernaum, uphill, both ways, and not break a sweat. Jesus did that.”

“That’s true,” grumps the paralytic, “but that was just one arm. I’ve got two bad arms, two bad legs, two bad eyes, two bad everythings. My entire body is fritzed out. Why go on? There’s no hope.”

But they go another half a kilometer before the sighing and crying starts up again. “Turn around. Hang it up. Do a U-turn. Jesus can’t help me. I’m hopeless; I’m pathetic.” And now the third man takes a crack at it: “Don’t talk that way,” he scolds. “I was stone deaf. I couldn’t hear a 747 taking off. But Jesus touched my ears and now I have 20-20 hearing.”

And it’s still no good. “No, no,” the sad little man says. “I don’t think Jesus did heal your ears, ‘cause you’re not hearing me. You just had two bad ears. I’m wiped out from head to toe. I’m just one big collective sore. Even my hair hurts. There’s no way Jesus can make me well.”

And finally, the fourth man, who’s been listening to this dribble for just about long enough, drops the bed down in the dust of Capernaum and shouts at his friend: “HEY! Guess what, bud? My name is Lazarus, and I used to be DEAD! I was a corpse wrapped up in a sheet. Trust me, Jesus can make you well! No problem! Now hush up and let’s get going!” And we say: “End of discussion.”

We need to keep this powerful Bible truth in mind at all times. Do you think that Jesus can’t take care of your problems, that He simply cannot help you cope with the pressures at work, or the problems that you face in your marriage, or the parenting difficulties? Don’t lose sight of the fact that a man who had been in the grave for four days, who was decomposing, who had registered zero on the EKG machine for 96 hours, just came walking out of his own grave and said, “Hey, everybody, how’re you doing?” to the astonished crowd. That’s what Jesus could do 2000 years ago, and that’s what He can do for you right now.

If you have a problem today, and you give it to Jesus, He can answer that prayer and fix that problem in any way that He wants to. In any way that He knows is good. I John 5:14: This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.

David B. Smith wrote this while pastoring the Upper Room Fellowship in Temple City, CA. Better Sermons © 2005-2008. Click here for usage guidelines.