WEEK TWO – EXTENDED REFLECTION OF PASSAGE
Insights on Doubting Thomas: John 20:19-30 (NIV)
NOTE FOR GROUP LEADER: With the group, read or listen to the passage again and discuss any or all of the reflection questions. Items needed: Reading passage and questions.
John 20: 19-30 (NIV)
Jesus Appears to His Disciples
19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
Jesus Appears to Thomas
24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
The Purpose of John’s Gospel
30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book.
Questions for reflection and discussion:
- Why do you think the Apostles fear the Jewish leaders?
- How do you think the Apostles felt when they were in the Upper Room after Jesus died?
- How do you think they felt and what did they think when He walked into the room?
- When Jesus said, “Peace be with you.” What did he mean? What do we mean when we say it?
- Turn to the person next to you and say, “Peace be with you.”
- How do we feel when someone wishes us peace?
- What did Jesus mean when He said: “Receive the Holy Spirit.If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
- Who is the Holy Spirit? Do you believe that the Holy Spirit exists? Why or Why not? Do you ever doubt the presence of the Holy Spirit? Why? Why not?
- How does Thomas reflect our own doubts? What areas of faith do you doubt?
- How are faith, trust and doubt connected?
- What motivated Thomas to believe? What do we need in order to believe?
- How is it possible for someone to believe, even if he/she has not seen?
- What do you believe in? Do you think it is important to believe? Why? Why not?
- Are there any areas in your life where you don’t believe? Why?
- Why do you think that the passage ends with the message: “Jesus performed many other signsin the presence of his disciples which are not recorded in this book.” Why, do you think, it is important to acknowledge this point?
NOTE TO GROUP LEADER: At the end of the session, you may want to allow the group to have a few moments for open commentary and thoughts about the session and what it may have meant for them.