Scripture: John 20:19-31
“Faith makes us sure of what we hope for and gives us proof of what we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1 CEV
· Even though we have not seen Jesus we can believe in Him.
· It is normal to have doubts, but you can ask for help.
· Jesus is alive.
1. Demonstrate, by looking at familiar and unfamiliar symbols, that we can know right away what they represent, and sometimes we do not know right away what the item represents. We must be careful about our assumptions and how we react to certain items.
2. Participate in the telling of the story.
3. Drink some Kool-Aid that is not the flavor that it seems.
Welcome and Introductions:
Greet the children and introduce yourself. Wear your nametag. Make sure the children are wearing nametags.
Explain the purpose of this workshop:
As we study verses from John this week we are going to find that even Jesus’ disciples doubted His word. We will find out that faith in Jesus does make us stronger and that Jesus will help us find the right path as we search for truth. Thomas doubted out loud and Jesus helped his faith grow stronger.
1. Have the Children stand and say the memory verse. (You may want to have the verse on poster board.)
2. Ask them to bow their heads for prayer.
3. Have them to sit and open their Bibles to the Scripture. Ask the children to volunteer/assist in reading John 20: 19-31. It is nice for the children to take turns reading and to follow along as others read.
4. Provide an opportunity for questions, in case the scriptures are not understood. Some key words to make sure they understand are: doubt, unbelieving, faith, disciples, miracles, and Son of God.
1. Activity 1 - Symbols: After reading the scripture and reviewing key terms conduct the following activity to demonstrate to the children that we can see certain symbols and know right away what they represent, and sometimes we can see a symbol and not know right away what the item represents. We must be careful in what we think and how we react to certain items.
On 81/2 X 11sheets of paper draw the following to show the class.
When you show the item(s) ask them what it represents – accept all “correct” answers but lead them to your answer if necessary.
Symbols for review: a Nike swoosh, McDonalds arches, an item for Toon TV or Nick at Night, a dollar sign, a peace sign, a music clef or note, an outline of a church, the American flag, a cross and lastly the sign of the fish.
· The sign of the fish was used during the Roman Times to mark where Christians lived and/or how to get to a place for prayer. Christians realized their faith made them whole and that to be part of a Christian group was important and at the same time dangerous.
Keep the Christian symbols in mind as we hear about the disciples and their interaction with Jesus after His resurrection from the cross.
2. Activity 2 Tell the story – please read the following story with animation and drama. Practice several times so that you don’t have to read word for word.
Distribute 2 dot stickers to each child. Place one dot on the back of each hand. As you tell the story, every time you mention the word “hands” the children are to silently raise their hands and wave them to show the wounds of Jesus.
Paraphrased from the Children’s Illustrated Bible – Doubting Thomas
Jesus’ followers were excited and everyone in the room wanted to talk to Peter and his friend at once. The disciples crowded around them, firing questions and praising God, begging to hear them tell again and again exactly what Jesus looked like and each word of what he said. Had Peter seen the wounds in his hands?
All at once the hubbub died away into silence. Everyone stood perfectly still, staring open-mouthed at the newcomer in the room. No one heard anyone knock or open the door. No one had seen anyone enter. Yet there He was! It was Jesus!
“Peace be with you, “Jesus said softly, greeting His friends and disciples with a familiar hand shake and smile.
“Be careful, it’s a spirit!” came murmurs from the back of the room.
A frown creased Jesus’ brow. Why are you frightened of me? I am not a ghost. Look here, see the wounds on my hands, feet and side. It is me, Jesus.
A few of the disciples began to creep closer to Jesus – but very cautiously.
“Yes, come closer. Do not be afraid.”
As they began to touch his warm skin, they cried out – it is you, Jesus and their faces were bright with peace and delight.
There was one disciple who was not present at this special meeting and when he heard what had happened, he did not believe them. He said, “Unless I can touch the marks of the nails in His hands and the wound in His side, I can’t believe what you tell me.” It cannot be Jesus.
No matter what his friends said, no matter how hard he tried, Thomas could not get the doubt out of his mind.
Eight days later, Jesus followers were again together in a private place with the doors locked. The disciples were afraid of the Jewish council and other political figures who might know that they had seen Jesus and what might happen to them.
During the middle of their meeting/meal, just as before Jesus appeared among them – the door did not open, no one heard a knock. “Peace be with you!”
He greeted his disciples and friends and turned toward Thomas.
Thomas, shrank away from the group. Jesus went toward him.
Jesus reached out His hand and took the terrified disciple’s hands.
“Here,” Jesus said, holding Thomas’s fingers against the nail wounds in His hands. “Feel the wound in my side. Don’t doubt any longer. Have faith in me, it is true.”
As Thomas fingers touched Jesus where he was wounded, his hands, his feet and his side, Thomas broke down and cried.
“My Lord and my God!” Thomas cried.
You believe me now because you have seen me for yourself. Even more blessed are those who don’t see me and yet still believe.
Questions or guiding thoughts:
For younger children:
1. What do you think the following phrase means - A doubting Thomas?
It has come to mean a person who refuses to believe something without proof
2. Do you think the other disciples believed it was Jesus right away?
No, remember that when Mary came and told the disciples that Jesus had risen from the grave they did not believe her. So, they doubted too!
3. Have you ever doubted your best friend or your parents? What happened?
For older children:
1. What was the evidence that made Thomas believe the person in front of him was Jesus?
Jesus knew his name. Jesus asked him to touch the places Thomas had stated he must see. He knew that Jesus loved him and that this man was his God!
2. How do we discover God’s love for us?
3. How do we show others we believe in Jesus?
Activity 3 - What flavor is it!!??
The disciple Thomas doubted that Jesus had risen. The Lord Jesus proved to him that he was alive again.
Preparation: you will need Kool-Aid ® Changin' Cherry Magic Twists™ (green drink mix turns blue but tastes like red cherry).
Remove drink mix from pouch and place in a clear unmarked plastic bag. Prepare a large pitcher of pre-sweetened water in advance. Provide paper cups for the children to enjoy the refreshment after the lesson.
Ask - I need someone to help me today. Who is willing to help? [Select a volunteer.]
I like Kool-Aid ® when I get thirsty. Do you have a favorite flavor? [Listen to answers.]
I like red cherry myself. Here it is. [Show the green drink mix in the bag.]
Uh, oh. Maybe I made a mistake. This may be lime or watermelon flavor because it is colored green. I will pour it in the pitcher of water anyway. [Pour in mix, stir it, and watch it turn blue.]
What? I thought it would turn green. Could this be blueberry flavored? I thought it was supposed to look red for cherry flavored. Let me get my helper to taste it and tell me what flavor it is.
[Pour a small amount in cups for child and yourself.]
Hmm. It tastes like cherry to me! [Ask child for agreement.] Is it cherry flavored? [Yes.] Thank you for helping me.
In a moment we will all have some for refreshment.
[Set pitcher aside for
the Shepard to pour into little cups for children.]
What if I had told you beforehand that the Kool-Aid ® was a green mix that would turn blue but taste like cherry. Would you have believed me? [Listen to responses.]
It does sound a bit far-fetched or hard to believe. I think some of us would have to see it to believe it. Our Bible story today was about the disciples on Easter day and the weeks following. They were told something even more incredible that seemed hard to believe: that Jesus had risen from the dead!
Repeat the memory verse again.
Distribute the Good News journal page for the students to work on as they also get a drink of the Kool-aid.
Prayer: Suggestions for the closing prayer – Dear Jesus, our savior and friend. Thank you so much for caring for us, for sharing the good news with us and for not getting mad when we doubt your love. May we be good role models for our classmates. May others know by our faith that we love you and trust you. In your name we pray, Amen.
Tidy and Dismissal: Ask children to help tidy up. Please make sure the cups are disposed of properly.
Teacher preparation in advance:
1. Read the scripture passages and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Bible Study.
2. Prepare an opening prayer for your lesson.
3. You need to use at least 8 ½ X 11 paper to draw the various symbols that represent things we relate to as noted in the lesson application.
4. Purchase the Kool-aid noted in the lesson and prepare the activity for the end of the lesson – demonstrating faith is not always something we can see.
Suggested Supply List
· Signs for the opening lesson – made by you
· Bible verse on poster board
· Dot stickers – available at office supply stores
· Kool-aid supplies for the rotation each week, pitchers, cups and ice
· Journal sheets copied for the class.
Lori Houck, Kirk Faith Quest Bible Study Leader
Children’s Illustrated Bible by Parker and Dyson