10. THE RISEN JESUS MEETS HIS DOUBTING DISCIPLE John 20:19-31
Background: Jesus spent Friday night, Saturday and Sunday night in the tomb. Sunday morning he rose from the dead. No one saw it, but two angels and the risen Lord himself announced the good news to the women who came to the tomb. At first the disciples did not believe womenís story. Then came Sunday night...
Why did the disciples lock their door? What did they fear the Jews would do to them? (Why didnít they believe in Godís protection?)
What did the disciples believe now about Jesus: who was he?
What might the disciples have thought about the three years they had spent following Jesus?
What does that show about Jesus that he could appear to his disciples through locked doors?
What did the disciples realize when they saw the scarred hands and side of Jesus?
Jesus wished his disciples peace. What exactly brought peace to the hearts of the disciples?
What was it that brought great joy to the hearts of the disciples?
What kind of mission did Jesus send these men on?
Why did the disciples need the Holy Spirit for their mission?
What does it mean in practice that first the apostles and then pastors have the right both to forgive sins and to deny forgiveness?
What might be the situation if a pastor of a church would deny forgiveness to someone?
The name “Thomas” comes from the Aramaic word for “twin.” “Didymus” is Greek and means the same thing. How might it affect a person that he is one of the twins?
Where had Thomas gone after the death of Jesus? Think of different possibilities. Why didnít he stay with the other disciples?
What about the words of Thomas in verse 25 catches your attention?
Why could Thomas not believe the words of his ten best friends who testified having seen the living Jesus?
If you had been in the place of Thomas, would you have believed your friendsí testimony? Give your reasons why or why not.
Why shouldn’t we always believe everything we are told?
What made Thomas stay with his rejoicing friends all the next week, even though he didnít share their conviction? Why didnít he just go his own way?
What would have happened to Thomas if he had left other disciples at this point?
Why is it important to stay in touch with your church and your Christian friends just when you are doubting the reliability of Christian faith?
How do we see from the text that Jesus was not a ghost or a spirit?
What do you think: did Thomas put his finger in Jesusí wounds or not? Give your reasons.
Thomas was similar to people of our time: he did not want to believe anything but scientifically proven facts. What, however, is the difference between Thomas and the atheists of our time?
How, according to this text, does Jesus deal with a person who cannot believe in him even if he wants to?
Thomas is the first person in the New Testament to call Jesus “God,” not just “the Son of God.” How had he come to that conclusion?
How did it turn out for good in the end that Thomas had first doubted the resurrection Jesus?
Why is it more blessed to believe in Jesus without seeing him than to believe in him after seeing him?
Why is the person blessed who believes in Jesusí help even before experiencing it?
According to tradition, Thomas became the apostle to India. Think about why he wanted to go so far away on a missionary journey? What kind of missionary might he have become?
What was the purpose of John for writing his gospel?
A summarizing question
Compare the lives of these two persons: the one who believes in the resurrection of the body and the one who does not? What is the difference? What about when death approaches them?
Glad tidings: Jesus still has the scars of his wounds visible even in heaven. It is in them that we can see how much he loves us. Only in heaven will we be able appreciate his sufferings for us enough and praise him for them for all eternity.