Session 12: Walking Through Doubt

WALKING THROUGH DOUBT

Passage: John 20:24-29: 

Jesus Appears to Thomas
24 One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. 25 They told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”
26 Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 27 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!”
28 “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.
29 Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”

Thesis: Jesus walks with us through our doubts

Icebreaker Game: 

2 truths and a lie: https://www.group-games.com/ice-breakers/two-truths-and-a-lie.html

Each person prepares three statements, two of which are true and one of which is a lie. In any order, the person shares the three statements to the entire group. The object of the game is to figure out which statement a lie. The rest of the group votes on each statement, and the person reveals which one is the lie.

Fun Facts:  www.thefactsite.com/2016/06/100-strange-but-true-facts

Since Thomas doubted Jesus was alive, here are some strange, but true facts (according to the internets).  Reading a selection of these might provide some chuckles.  (You may want to pre-read, and wean out any that are inappropriate)

Ask:

  • Are there any of these that you believe are not true?
  • Why is it hard to believe?
  • What type of proof would you need to overcome your doubt? 

Opening questions:

  • What is a “doubting Thomas?”
    • A doubting Thomas is a skeptic who refuses to believe without direct personal experience—a reference to the Apostle Thomas, who refused to believe that the resurrected Jesus had appeared to the ten other apostles, until he could see and feel the wounds received by Jesus on the cross. (Wikipedia)
  • What did Thomas doubt?
  • Have you ever had doubts in your faith? Why?

Read John 20:24-29

  • What news did the disciples report to Thomas? (see John 20:19-23 for specifics)
  • Why do you think John did not believe them?
  • Why do you think Thomas did not believe?
  • What type of proof does Thomas need to believe in the resurrection?
  • How does Jesus respond to Thomas’ doubts?
  • Why does that cause Thomas to believe?

 Jesus said, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”

 Ask:

  • Are you the type of person who has to see something to believe? Why/ Why not?
  • How have you seen Jesus in your life?
  • How does that help you have faith in Jesus during a time of crisis?
  • Why do so many people doubt the Resurrection of Jesus?
  • What type of proof might they be looking for?
  • What are some ways that we (as the church? As a small group? As individuals?) help others believe in Jesus?
  • What are some ways that we might hinder people from believing in Jesus?

Watch: Thomas in Living Lord’s Supper

  • What are some new insights you have about Thomas after watching that video?
  • Do you think Thomas get a bad rap? Why?
  • How do you see yourself in Thomas’ story?
  • How can Jesus use us, even when we doubt?