After Jesus rose from the dead, He spent 40 more days proving that He is alive and preparing His followers to continue His mission after He returned to heaven to be with His Father. In Unit 27, kids will study the time between Jesus’ resurrection and His ascension.
Session 2 presents the story “Jesus and the Doubter” from John 20:24-29. Jesus’ followers had seen Jesus alive! Two disciples met Jesus as they were walking to Emmaus, and then Jesus appeared to a group of His disciples as they met together in a locked room. But one of the disciples, Thomas, had missed out. He wasn’t there when Jesus appeared. He hadn’t seen Jesus for himself.
So despite his friends’ claims that the Lord was risen, Thomas doubted. In fact, he refused to believe. (John 20:25) Witnesses testified that they had seen Jesus, but Thomas wanted physical evidence. He lacked faith and was stubborn in his unbelief.
More than a week passed, and Thomas was with the other disciples in a room. Again, the doors were locked for their safety. Much like before, Jesus appeared before the disciples and said, “Peace be with you.”
This time, Thomas was there. Jesus told Thomas to believe. He urged him not only to look, but to feel Jesus’ wounds for himself. Here, Jesus gave grace to Thomas. He gave Thomas the physical proof he was looking for. Jesus was no ghost; Jesus was alive!
Thomas immediately believed, and Jesus said, “Because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe” (John 20:29). The Bible says that God is pleased when we have faith. (Heb. 11:6)
As you teach kids, explain the meaning of the word faith: “the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen” (Heb. 11:1). Faith is believing without seeing. It is trusting that God is who He says He is, and He will do what He says He will do. (See Num. 23:19.)
Faith cannot be mustered up on your own; it is a gift from God. (Eph. 2:8-9) Pray that God would grant kids faith to believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Why do you think Jesus said that those who believe without seeing are blessed? Leave a comment below.
Here is more help for leaders preparing for the October 29, 2017 session (Unit 27, Session 2) of The Gospel Project for Kids.
Alyssa Jones has been a content editor for The Gospel Project for Kids since 2011. She lives with her husband, Nate, and their two kids in Nashville, TN. Alyssa volunteers with the kids’ ministry at Refuge Church, a church plant in Franklin, TN.