“I have no man” (JN 5:7).
These surely are some of the saddest words in all of the Bible. An extremely ill and disabled man laid HELPLESS and HOPELESS waiting for someone to come and lend him a helping hand.
For weeks, months, possibly years, people just walked on by him. Who knows, maybe they were late for a meeting at the Temple. Possibly, they were too busy with the cares and concerns of day-to-day living. It could be that those who just walked on by felt ill-equipped to help this man.
Or possibly, they just did not care!!!
No doubt, there were dozens of really “good” reasons why folks couldn’t or wouldn’t (1) GO OUT OF THEIR WAY, (2) LEAVE THEIR COMFORT ZONE, and (3) DO WHAT OTHERS REFUSED TO DO, in order to help this man, but until Jesus showed up, this man lived in darkness, discouragement, and despair.
This story in John 5, reminds me so much of something I read in the past about Hudson Taylor, and just shared with someone recently:
Unfortunately, the large church filled with happy, healthy, rich Christians had the opposite effect on Hudson. He found it hard to sit and listen to people singing about God and their salvation while not seeming to care whether others went to their eternal death without ever hearing the Gospel. Hudson could no longer stand to be in the service. He slipped out a side door and, as the organ music faded behind him, walked down to Brighton Beach. He took off his shoes and socks and waded in the water. His heart was as tossed and turned as the seaweed floating in the surf. He had to resolve the struggle he felt inside. As the waves lapped around his feet, a thought suddenly occurred to him. What was the worst thing that could happen to a missionary in his care? What if he took a group of missionaries back to China and they all died? How bad would that be in the light of eternity? They would all go straight to heaven. And if, as a result of their work and sacrifice, one Chinese person turned to Christ, wouldn’t that make it worthwhile? Strangely, this backward way of looking at things comforted Hudson. In the light of eternity, there was no fate worse than for Chinese people never to hear the Gospel.
As followers of Jesus we are to LIVE as He lived, LOVE as He loved, and SERVE as He served. And that might mean we are going to have to go out of our way and leave our comfort zone to bring help to the helpless and hope to the hopeless!
I am afraid the words, “I HAVE NO MAN,” not only echo through the ages, but from around the world, and even around the corner. Will we simply just walk on by those who have little, if any, HELP and HOPE?
We have the light, what are we doing with it?