Summary: God helps those that help themselves. We have to help ourselves; first we must repent of our sins; second we have to cleanse our hearts and begin following Jesus. I am sure that all of us here would like to receive the blessings that God has for us, but
I was speaking to someone the other day at work, and he said something to me that left me thinking. He said, “it is just as the bible says, God helps those that help themselves”. Has anyone here ever heard that expression? I can say that I have heard it on numerous occasions, but although it sounds very pretty and perhaps correct, it is not something that is found in the bible. Nevertheless, I decided to research this theme a little deeper and I think that I have found the origin of this popular expression, and I wish to share it with you today. Let us now turn to the Word of God and research this theme.
Mark 10:17-22 - Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” 18So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. 19You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’” 20And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.” 21Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” 22But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
In my opinion this popular phrase originated from the interpretation of these verses. I say this because I believe that without a doubt in them we find that God helps and blesses all that first help themselves. What do I mean by that? Let us examine these verses in detail to find the answer to that question, and to determine if what I am saying makes any sense. First, it will be necessary to have a basic understanding of what was happening at this point in history. In this point in history, Jesus had already performed numerous miracles; He had healed people from leprosy, He had casted out demons, and had healed numerous people from diverse illnesses. Since the time that we share is limited I will not be able to list in detail all of the miracles and signs that He had performed, but I do believe that a good summary of it all is clearly illustrated in Mark 1:32-34 when we read, “At evening, when the sun had set, they brought to Him all who were sick and those who were demon-possessed. 33And the whole city was gathered together at the door. 34Then He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew Him.” These and the other numerous miracles that He performed during His ministry caused His fame to grow rapidly, and this is something that we find reflected in Mark 1:28 when we read, “And immediately His fame spread throughout all the region around Galilee.” However, this fame and recognition produced a great opposition by the religious groups of that time, and they started to work to destroy Him. This is something clearly stated in Mark 3:6 when we read, “Then the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him.” Keeping these brief details in mind, let us now continue with our study for today.
In the verses that we are studying today, we find something that perhaps many do not completely understand. Here we read, “Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” 18So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.” If we limit ourselves to only read these verses without taking the time to study them in depth, at first glance we see that Jesus appears to be reprimanding this man for calling Him “Good Teacher”, but the reality of it all is that this is not the case. Jesus was not reprimanding him; rather He wanted this man to recognize that He was much more than just a teacher. In other words, He wanted this man to recognize the fact that a man could never stand before God in righteousness. This is why He said, “No one is good but One, that is, God.” With this here Jesus was saying, if I am a simple man, a good teacher, then I am not “good” and I cannot have the power of eternal life; however, if I am God, then I do have the power of eternal life. Therefore, we see that what happened here was not a reprimand it was a teaching. Jesus was attempting to teach him what we find in John 14:6-7 when we read, “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. 7“If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”