A Crutch for the Weak

Jesus is … just a crutch for weak people.

Andrew Sullivan, a US-based author and commentator, gay activist, and political conservative, labelled belief “a psychological crutch to keep reality at bay”.

Richard Dawkins once said: “Many of us saw religion as harmless nonsense … lacking all supporting evidence but … if people needed a crutch for consolation, where’s the harm?”

But what’s wrong with a crutch? Some injured and disabled people use crutches. Old people use walking sticks, and no one makes fun of them! If you have a need, it’s sensible to find something that meets the need!

Indeed, everyone leans on some sort of support mechanism for their life. Even the toughest person needs help to cope.

Former BBC Nine O’Clock News host and agnostic, John Humphrys wrote a book “Confessions of a Failed Atheist”. In response to the charge that Christianity is just a crutch, he said, “Don’t we all [have cructches]? Some use booze rather than the Bible.”

What or whom do you lean on for support? Is it a relationship or your bank account? For many, workaholism reveals their job is a crutch, and for others it’s sport. It could be drugs; for others it is food. Many lean on caffeine to get through the day!

But will your particular crutch hold your weight?

Those things are here today, gone tomorrow. The temporary caffeine hit, the relaxing glass of wine, the sporting success. Soon replaced with the need for another.

And if not gone today, then certainly in a few years. Your health, your money, your job, your loved ones. All can disappear in an instant.

So, in reality, I reckon we all have crutches of some form or another.

That’s why I’m not embarrassed to admit that Jesus is a crutch for weak people. That’s exactly what he says in the Bible.

Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:31-32.)

This is a message for the humble in heart. Jesus comes for the spiritually broken.

But any doctor will tell you the healing process cannot begin till the patient admits they’re sick and in need of help. Likewise Jesus can’t help you until you admit you are sick with sin.

To those who know they are weak, Jesus famously promised:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28).

In that sense, Jesus is more than a crutch. He is not some mechanical assistance to help us walk ourselves. He is a life support system, for he provides a whole heart transplant.

On the cross, God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. And so the Bible says, if anyone is in Christ, the old has gone and the new has come!

So I invite you, if you have not yet come to Jesus: get your heart transplant today. Admit your weakness. Admit your spiritual heart disease. And kneel at the foot of the cross for healing. Lean your entire weight on Jesus.

Sandy Grant, St Michael’s Anglican Cathedral Wollongong.

Sandy Grant