15. Trust Me, I’m Trying

Reading Plan

One passage per day for a whole week, based on the sermon:

  1. MONDAY: Ephesians 2:1-10
  2. TUESDAY: Romans 3:21-26
  3. WEDNESDAY: Romans 4:13-25
  4. THURSDAY: Romans 5:1-11
  5. FRIDAY: Romans 6:1-7; 20-23
  6. SATURDAY: John 6:28-29
  7. SUNDAY: Mark 9:17-24

eGroup Discussion Guide – Great for personal journaling/reflection, too!

Sermon Notes ⤵️

Trust Me, I’m Trying

Pastor Steven’s message centers on the account of a disabled man who meets Jesus in John 5, specifically verse 7:

“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

John 5:7, NIV

I’d rather someone be a “try-hard” than a “try not at all.”

Do you ever feel like the harder you try to do something, the harder it gets?

We judge ourselves by our motives.
We judge others by their actions.

You Are The “One”

1 Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed …

John 5:1-3, NIV, emphasis mine

This pool isn’t a resort; this is a hospital.

Bethesda means “House of Mercy”—but it became just like the rest of the world, competing trying to get to the water.

… and they waited for the moving of the waters. 4 From time to time an angel of the Lord would come down and stir up the waters. The first one into the pool after each such disturbance would be cured of whatever disease they had.

John 5:3-4, NIV (footnote)

Every time I try, something gets in my way.

I’m tired of trying to:

  • Lose weight
  • Raise kids the “right” way
  • Get out of debt
  • Be nice and taken advantage of

5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

John 5:5-6, NIV, emphasis mine

God is big enough to see the “one.” He came for the “one.” Jesus walks into a “great number” and finds the “one.”

You are the “one.”

He’s not looking to do something difficult;
he’s looking to do something impossible.

“Don’t bring me your headaches and your surface issues,
bring me the things hidden in your heart that are so big
no one else can deal with them.”

Jesus Came To Me

I always heard you need to go to God to get a blessing. But what if you can’t?

Sometimes I can’t.
But Jesus came to me.

We’re always growing in our understanding of God’s Word.
We hear it again and again but understand it in new ways:
Having kids has changed my understand of this passage.

You’re going be surprised when you get to heaven and you see people you didn’t think would get in. Grace versus works.

Jesus asked him, “Do you want to get well?” 7 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

John 5:7, NIV

I used to think Jesus was being confrontational: “Do you even want to get well?” as if he wasn’t trying hard enough already.

“Push through for your breakthrough”? I’m trying!… but…

  • I didn’t have a good example
  • I tried but I got traumatized

Disappointment deteriorates determination.

Jesus Calls B.S. on the “Broken System”

8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The day on which this took place was a Sabbath.

John 5:8-9, NIV

Jesus shows up on the Sabbath to heal the man. Jesus wasn’t just interested in healing this man, but breaking the broken system itself that didn’t allow this man to lift his mat (“do work”) on the Sabbath.

The man didn’t get transformed by trying, but by trusting.

Sometimes our trying gets in the way. “God helps those who help themselves” is a false idea not found in the Bible.

Grace is available right in front of our eyes!

He couldn’t make it to the water so the water (Jesus) came to him.

Where trying ends and trust begins—miracles happen.

Jesus Calls B.S. on the “Bad Story”

7 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

John 5:7, NIV, emphasis mine

Do you say to yourself “I have no one to help me”?
Now you do: Jesus.

The man was frustrated because he couldn’t get into the pool.
Sometimes God’s grace is frustrated because people don’t receive it.
Don’t reject grace because you don’t think you deserve it.

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