What's Your Excuse


Goals for this Week’s Study:

  • Review Pastor Jacob’s sermon from Sunday morning.
  • Help group members (especially new members) get to know one another.
  • Reflect on the challenge last week and the next steps each member has taken!


Getting Started:

Open your group with prayer.


SHARE: Going along with summer and the roll-in video from Sunday, share a funny “pool fail” that either you’ve had or one you’ve witnessed!



-       “Afterward Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches. Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches. One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?” “I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.” Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!” Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath, so the Jewish leaders objected. They said to the man who was cured, “You can’t work on the Sabbath! The law doesn’t allow you to carry that sleeping mat!” But he replied, “The man who healed me told me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’” “Who said such a thing as that?” they demanded. The man didn’t know, for Jesus had disappeared into the crowd. But afterward Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.” Then the man went and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had healed him. Jesus Claims to Be the Son of God. So the Jewish leaders began harassing Jesus for breaking the Sabbath rules. But Jesus replied, “My Father is always working, and so am I.” So the Jewish leaders tried all the harder to find a way to kill him. For he not only broke the Sabbath, he called God his Father, thereby making himself equal with God.” – John 5:1-18

-       Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed. Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.” – John 20:27-29

-        This is the message of Good News for the people of Israel—that there is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.” – Acts 10:36


Sermon Notes: Take time to let everyone share some of the notes they took or anything that stood out to them from the message. Use this time to get everyone in your group talking (a good tip for this situation would be to go around the room and have everyone share one thing that stuck out to them from Pastor Jacob’s sermon)! Keep in mind, not everyone may feel comfortable talking yet, so try your best to help assist them in any way you can!


Study Questions

  1. What is the most common excuse that you use in your life? (Too busy, Not enough time, etc.)
  2. Read John 5:1-18. Take a second and put yourself in the man by the pools shoes. What would have went through your mind when Jesus told you to stand up?
  3. The same Jesus that healed the man by the pool is the same Jesus that can heal you today! Is there anything in your life right now that makes you feel like the guy by the pool?
  4. Pastor Jacob stated that either Jesus is Lord of all, or He’s not Lord at all. Do you feel like there are any areas of your life that you haven’t given Him complete control over?
  5. Why do you think it’s so hard to let go in certain areas of our lives?
  6. We know that sometimes it’s the small sins that no one addresses that are the worst ones. Do you find yourself struggling with anything that may not really seem like a “big deal”?
  7. How can your Life Group help you this week?


Final Thoughts:

  • Are you looking at the pool or Jesus?
  • If you want to change, your life needs to change too!
  • What can you do with what God has given you?
  • Either Jesus is Lord of all, or He’s not Lord at all.
  • The rules never healed the invalid, but the Ruler did.
  • Jesus plus nothing equals everything. Jesus plus something equals legalism.


Pray Over Your Group!

Pray over all prayer requests, and pray that all members are able to surrender ALL areas of their life to Christ and experience healing in any area needed!

Zach Hacker