Thomas Believes

Luke 24: 36–49; John 20: 24–29

Most people adhere to the old saying that says: “seeing is believing”. The Bible calls us to a different kind of faith. Thomas had to see it for himself in order to believe, but Jesus emphasized the importance of believing without seeing. We want the children to walk away knowing that, even if we can’t see him, Jesus is alive and he is with us!

Key Verse

“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” – John 20:29 (NIV)


Lesson

Supplies needed for the object lesson will be provided: A large sheet of paper, invisible ink markers, UV blacklight. The memory verse will be written on the board with invisible ink. Position the UV light so that at the right time the light can be turned on to reveal what it says.

All of the classes are welcome to use the object lesson that will be described here. The flannel board can also be used for the 4-5s.

Introduction (April Fool)

Since Easter often falls close to April Fool’s Day, you can kick off the conversation using that. Ask the kids if they know what month it is. What happened on the first of April? April Fools is a day when you try to trick someone into believing something that isn’t true. It isn’t always kind, but as long as you’re being kind and not hurting someone’s feelings it can be fun. Ask the kids if they’ve heard the saying “seeing is believing”. Ask them what they think it means. Give them an example: If you came in and said that there was a circus elephant outside it would be really hard to believe wouldn’t it? Most of the kids would want to see it for themselves. Many people would not believe it until they saw it for themselves. They might think that it’s an April Fools joke!

Tell the children that there are some things that we cannot see with our eyes but we still believe with our hearts. We call that faith!

Doubt: Not being sure if something is true or not.
Faith: Believing that something is true whether you can see it or not.

Bible Story

Briefly explain that in the weeks after Jesus rose from the dead he appeared to his disciples many times.

Briefly share Luke 24: 36 – 49 in your own words.

Explain that Jesus was telling them that they had seen all the things that he had done and he helped them to understand that he died so that our sins could be forgiven. They were amazed and so they started to tell all the other disciples who were there at the time.

Read John 20: 24 – 25. Explain that Thomas struggled to believe. We call that doubt. At this point you can refer to the board with the hidden writing. Ask the kids what they would think if you told them that there are important words of Jesus on the board. It might be difficult to believe because you can’t see it.

Read John 20:26-29 stopping at each verse to comment briefly. When you read verse 29 have someone turn the UV blacklight on. The verse will be revealed as you read it.

Tell the kids how incredible it is that Jesus was talking about us who believe in him without ever having seen him. Shortly after this the Bible tells us that Jesus ascended up to be seated at the right hand of the Father. We wouldn’t be able to see him anymore but he told his disciples that he would be with us forever! He says that we’re blessed when we believe in him!

Pray and thank God for the privilege of knowing him and being able to believe in him even though we haven’t seen him.

If you have time you can repeat the memory verse in unison with the kids a few times. You could then try reading the verse together again and turn the blacklight off halfway through the verse to see who remembers it.


Review Questions

  • How did Thomas respond when the other disciples told him that Jesus had appeared to them?
  • What happened eight days later?
  • What did Jesus say to Thomas?
  • Perhaps you have a friend who is having a hard time believing that Jesus is real. What might you say to help your friend?

Game

 

Use the invisible ink to write each of the key verse words on separate cards. Create two sets and divide the kids into two teams and have a race to see who can make up the verse quickest.


Image credit: The Maesta Altarpiece in Siena – ‘L’Incredulita di san Tommaso’ by Duccio.