Session 11 – Walking Though 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? 

Icebreaker: What is a nickname that you were given that you hated?  Why?

Opening questions:

  • Jesus disciple Thomas had a nickname, the Twin (or Didymus, see verse 24),  but he will be forever known as “Doubting Thomas.”  Do you think he likes that nickname?  Why of why not?
  • 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 Thomas did not believe?
  • The rest of the disciples, ,who had seen the risen Jesus, were still cowering in the Upper Room.  Why might that shape Thomas’ doubts.
  • 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?
  • Do you think Thomas get a bad rap? Why?

  Watch: Thomas in Living Lord’s Supper

Ask:  

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

Re-read verse 29: Jesus said, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”

  • 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?

Application:  Here encourage group members to not think so much in theoretical ways, but in practical ways that they, their small group, and our church can help live our the Great Commission.

  • How can you help people believe in Jesus?
  • How can our small group help people believe in Jesus?
  • How can our church help people believe in  Jesus.