Theme: Good News to Share
Theme Verse: "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10b NIV
Readings: John 20: 24-31 Mark 16: 14
Memory Verse: Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." John 20:29
Thomas, the twin, was not with the other disciples when Jesus came to them on Easter evening. (vs.24) Prayer: Lord, help us spend time with you. Don't let us miss the times of fellowship with you and our fellow disciples. Word received: I use everything. I AM. Nothing is wasted. The fact that Thomas was not present when I appeared to the other disciples was a lesson for him. Thomas didn't trust Me completely. Do you trust Me? How much do you trust Me?
Later when Thomas did see the others, they told him they had seen the Lord and Thomas made the famous statement, "Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I will not believe." (vs.25) Thomas wanted visible and touchable proof for himself. He was not willing to take someone else's word for it. It is OK to have questionings and doubts so long as we take them to Jesus. He can deal with them. Word received: You see, the women and the disciples are just like you. They had doubts, you have doubts. They had fear, you have had fear. I still loved them and I still love you. Come to Me with all your fears and doubts. I AM the only one who can satisfy them.
Word received: Thomas could not make that leap of faith that I want you to make. You will be blessed as you leap, and believe in Me.
"Eight days later"-- the following "first day", the "day of resurrection", Thomas was with the other disciples. This is the third time it is recorded that Jesus greeted them with "Peace be with you." They were still hiding from fear of the authorities and they were still very unsure of what God was doing. Eight days later the disciples and Thomas were together in the house and the doors were shut but Jesus came, even though the doors were shut "and stood in the midst of them and said, 'Peace to you'" Word received: My peace I give you (underline you). My peace I leave with you. When you come together in fellowship I AM there with you.
Jesus searched out Thomas in all his questions and unbelief. Word received: I found you too!
Then Jesus calls on Thomas to do what he had said, to touch the wounds in his hands and side. Jesus knows what we say and he knows what we think. In fact, he had been there when Thomas had said that, even though no one saw him. Word received: I AM the Good Shepherd. Look at what I endure for the sake of My disciples.
Then Thomas leapfrogs over the faith of the others and apparently without even touching Jesus, says, "My Lord and My God!" No one else said anything even close to that!. Word received: How I long to hear all My disciples say that when I move among them.
Then Jesus said to Thomas, "Because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." Word received: I want all of My disciples to know the joy of believing in Me. Thomas's doubts and desire for proof provide a blessing for all of us. Jesus is talking about us. He is calling us blessed. Lord, help us receive your blessing.
(See vs.30-31) Jesus did many other signs and showed himself to his disciples many times so they could be absolutely clear that he really, truly was risen, alive forever. "But these are written so that you may believe…". Prayer: Thank you, Lord that you thought of all mankind so long ago . Increase our faith to believe you whether we see miracles or not.
Have you brought your doubts to Jesus in the same straight-forward way as Thomas did? Do you know him as Lord and well as Savior? Have you ever found that God turned your doubts and fears into a blessing?
Thomas became the first apostle to India. There have been Christian Churches there since the first century, especially in Kerela (SW tip of India). Tradition says he was martyred near Madras on the East coast. We knew Mar Thoma Christians who were fellow missionaries with us in Liberia.
Teaching Ideas for Lesson 29
Please read the Study Guide first. Go over Memory Verse to make sure the children understand it and then if they have memorized it.
Remind them their parents need to sign a report slip monthly if they have read the lessons, so they will get credit at the end of the year.
Make sure they know what happened in the story. Get them to tell you.
Basic points of the lesson for little ones:
1.) Jesus wants us to trust him, even when we can't see him. He is there even when we can't see him.
2.) When we have doubts and fears, Jesus wants us to bring them to him so he can minister to us.
3.) When we believe Jesus it is a blessing for us and God.
4.) Jesus promises to be with us when we meet with other believers in his name.
5.) Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, that you are always near us, that you can bring us from doubt to greater faith in you as you did with Thomas.