9. JESUS MEETS A DOUBTING DISCIPLE (John 20:19-29)
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Thomas was one of the twelve disciples of Jesus. He probably had a twin brother, because his name means “a twin”.
1. Can a human being lead a happy life on this earth without believing that his body will rise from the grave last day?
What are the good traits in a personality like that of Thomas? What about the bad traits?
Why do you think Jesus chose a man like this as one of his disciples?
2. What did the disciples think about Jesus during the morning and day of the Easter Sunday?
Why didn’t the disciples believe in the resurrection of Jesus?
Think of various explanations where Thomas might have gone during Sunday evening, when he was not with the other ten disciples (24)?
Why did the risen Jesus greet his disciples by saying: “Peace be with you” (21, 26)?
3. The resurrection had been prophesied by the Old Testament prophets and by Jesus himself. Now the ten best friends of Thomas assured him of having seen Jesus with their own eyes. Why didn’t Thomas believe in the resurrection of Jesus, even after having heard all these testimonies (25a)?
If you had been in Thomas’s place, do you think you could have believed in the resurrection? Give your reasons.
4. How do you think Thomas felt during the following week amongst his rejoicing friends?
What made Thomas stay with his friends and not to go his own way during that week?
What would have happened to Thomas if he had left the group of disciples at this point?
What will happen to us if we leave the Christian fellowship when we have doubts about the basic Christian doctrines?
5. Why did Thomas want to touch Jesus before believing in his resurrection (25b)?
How do you think Thomas felt when he heard his own words from the mouth of Jesus (25-27)?
6. What details show us that Jesus was neither a ghost nor a spirit (27)?
Do you think Thomas really put his fingers into the scars of Jesus’ hands and his side?
7. Thomas was the first person in the New Testament to call Jesus God, not just the Son of God (28). Why do all the Christians in the world believe that Jesus is God?
8. Whom does Jesus refer to in verse 29?
Why is it important to believe in God’s help before experiencing it?
9. According to this text, how does Jesus treat a person who would like to believe in him, but cannot?
What would you answer a person who said to you: “I believe in Jesus but I don’t believe in his bodily resurrection”?
Why does the whole Christian faith collapse if the body of Jesus didn’t rise from the grave?
10. THE GLAD TIDINGS QUESTIONS: Thomas said to Jesus: “My Lord and my God!” Can you make the same confession to Jesus today? (You can answer in your heart.)
(For everyone to answer): What is the most important thing you learned during this Bible study?