April 07, 2024

Assigned Scripture

John 20:19-29

19 That Sunday evening[a] the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. 20 As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! 21 Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” 22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Jesus Appears to Thomas

24 One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin),[b] was not with the others when Jesus came. 25 They told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”

26 Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”

28 “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.

29 Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”

1 John 1:1-4

We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning,[a] whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life. This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us. We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy.

New Living Translation (NLT)
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Group Response

Following the weekly gathering, you’re invited to respond to the service by engaging in group discussion.

SUMMARY:

Doubt has long been perceived as that which separates us from Christ. But in the Easter narrative, we see doubt as a regular, recurring, and formative part of the journey of faith. Ultimately, Jesus’ response to such uncertainty leads to the highest point of confession in John’s gospel and models for the church how we, as Easter people, should embrace seasons of uncertainty, ask the difficult questions, and welcome those who are still in search of the risen Christ.

Discussion Questions

  1. Where do you find the enthusiasm of Easter challenging to sustain? 
  2. If you’ve experienced a season of doubt in your faith, what did you find helpful or formative in the way others responded? 
  3. Where do you find it challenging to walk alongside those in a season of doubting? How might you adjust or reconsider your response to them in order to welcome them as they journey through this season? 
  4. Thomas’s honesty and Jesus’ hospitality are two responses in John 20 that we might pay more attention to in the “doubting Thomas” story.  Are there other aspects of the greater Easter narrative we would benefit from paying attention to? What are they and how might they form us?