Children’s Lesson 20


Did you know that, according to a nationwide poll, 82% of Americans said they believe that the phrase “God helps those who help themselves” is a direct quote from the Bible? 

It’s not.

Actually, the saying comes from Aesop’s Fables. The story goes like this: “A Wagoner was driving a heavy load along a very muddy way. He came to a part of the road where the wheels sank half-way into the mire, and the more the horses pulled, the deeper the wheels sank. So, the Wagoner threw down his whip, and knelt down and prayed to Hercules the strong. “O Hercules, help me in this hour of distress.” But Hercules appeared to him, and said ’Man, don’t sprawl there. Get up and put your shoulder to the wheel. The gods help them that help themselves.’”

In other words, one of the most popular religious phrases in America isn’t Biblical – it’s pagan.

Let’s see what the Word of God teaches on the subject of God’s help. We will go to a familiar story in the Bible and read about a blind man named Bartimaeus.

Mark 10:46-52 Then they came to Jericho. And as He {Jesus} was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a large crowd, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the road.  When he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”  Many were sternly telling him to be quiet, but he kept crying out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him here.” They called the blind man, saying to him, “Take courage, stand up! He is calling for you.”  Throwing aside his cloak, he jumped up and came to Jesus.  And answering him, Jesus said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” And the blind man said to Him, “Rabboni {Teacher}, I want to regain my sight!”  And Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him on the road.

So, we can see that God helps those who put themselves in a position to receive His grace. We do that in many ways but three are evident in this passage.

  1. Admit the need (verse 46,47)
  2. Trust Jesus fully (verse. 48-51)
  3. Follow in Christian discipleship (verse 52)

Earthly thinking tells us to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and do things on our own. Scripture teaches that we need something from outside of ourselves to help us so we can realize our full potential.  We have to admit that we need God’s help.

When Bartimaeus heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”  Many were sternly telling him to be quiet, but he kept crying out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 

Bartimaeus heard about Jesus, then he acted on what he had heard. He believed Jesus had the ability to heal him. So, he cried out! It’s the same with us! Bartimaeus had not caused his blindness. But he knew Jesus had healed others, who through no fault of their own also had infirmities. He admitted that he could not help himself. Jesus was his only hope.

As for Trusting Jesus fully, the beggar threw his cloak aside! Why is that important?   I think it is because his cloak was his way of surviving. His cloak kept him warm and his cloak was what he spread in front of him so that people could drop coins in it for him. Throwing his coat aside is a symbol of complete trust in Christ. It showed that he believed that Jesus is what he needed.  

Jesus would not let him keep his security blanket. He would have to cast it away. He needed physical help from Jesus, but he also needed spiritual help. Jesus helped him with his spiritual need of depending on himself for his existence before he helped him with his physical need of sight.  The beggar has to Trust Jesus and change his old way of doing things and then Jesus healed him.

After he was given his sight, the beggar immediately began to follow Jesus. God promises help to those who will follow him fully. The book of Deuteronomy is full of promises to the Israelites that IF they follow God, THEN He will bless them. Those promises are OUR promises, too.

Deuteronomy 28 is an example. Now if you faithfully obey the voice of the LORD your God…. You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country… You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out….

And it goes on and on.

Jesus is not interested in helping us do things OUR way. He wants us to do things HIS way.  But no matter what you are going through Jesus is there and willing to help you if you will be like poor blind Bartimaeus and cry out to Him.  

You must TRUST Him, cry out to Him and then cast aside your security blanket and FOLLOW Him knowing He is our helper in every time of need.

Do you need Jesus to help you with what you are going through? Will you cry out to Him for help and be willing to cast aside the things that are hindering you so you can follow Him?

Go to Romans Road to Salvation and/or Prayer of Rededication