After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. 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? 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. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath. (John 5:1-9)
At the time of Christ, God visited people by sending his angels to stir up the water in the pool of Bethesda, and whosoever stepped into the pool first would be cured. Many sick people and their helpers were gathering around this pool, ready for the action.
This man who had an infirmity of thirty years was among the crowd, yet for him to be the first one to step into the water would be practically impossible. First of all, he was too weak to move quickly, besides he had no one there for him. In fact the more serious a personís sickness is, the less chance to get healed in this situation, particularly when no help is available.
This is a picture of salvation. It is also impossible for one to save himself through his own effort. Many think as long as they do good, and love their families, friends and neighbors, God should accept them. But God looks into oneís heart. When one thinks his good works could exchange Godís love, he has already committed the sin of pride, Isaiah 64:6 says, "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away."
When one is deep in his sin, he is completely incapable of helping himself.. Before he can make up his mind, or take the first move, the new sins are committed already. There are people who sincerely desire to have a close relationship with God, but they are incapable to accomplish this, because God does not listen to unrepented sinners.
We need help. We need a caring and mighty helper, and God gives us His own Son, Jesus Christ. When we are sinking down in the pit of sin, Jesus picks us up and place us up on the rock of salvation. We do not do anything to save ourselves, nor can we do anything about salvation. Salvation comes by believing on Jesus Christ and his finished work on the cross.
"I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD." (Psalms 40 1-3)