Doubting ThomasEaster 2
Scripture: John 20:19-31
Prop: Prepare 3 statements about yourself--two true and one false
We're going to start our time together this morning with a game. It's called "I Doubt It." I am going to tell you three things about myself. Two of the things I tell you will be true, and one will be false. I will tell you all three things first, then I'll ask which one you think is false. When I get to the statement that you believe is false, or untrue, then you say, "I doubt it!" OK? Here are the three things:
1. I used to work at Disneyland.
2. My favorite color is red.
3. I have seven brothers and sisters.
Now, how many of you think I used to work at Disneyland, raise your hand? If you think I have never worked at Disneyland, say, "I doubt it."
Do you think my favorite color is red? If so, raise your had. If you think my favorite color is anything but red, say, "I doubt it."
And finally, if you think I have seven brothers and sisters, raise your hand. If you don't believe that I have seven brothers and sisters, say, "I doubt it." If you said "I doubt it" to seven brothers and sisters, you are correct!
One of Jesus' disciples became famous for doubting something that was actually true. His name was Thomas, and this is what happened to earn him the nickname, "Doubting Thomas."
It was Sunday night, three day after Jesus had died on the cross. Ten of the twelve disciples were gathered together--hiding, really--with the doors to the house locked tight. They were afraid. They were afraid that because they were Jesus' friends, the people who killed Jesus would come after them next. All of a sudden and out of nowhere, Jesus stood with them in the room. He said, "Peace be with you." He showed them the wounds he had suffered in his hands and side. And then all of the disciples were filled with joy! The friend they saw die was alive! What a miracle!! Jesus told them again, "Peace be with you." And then he told them he was sending them out into the world, just as God had sent him. But they weren't going alone. He gave them the gift of the Holy Spirit to give them strength for the journey and power to carry on Jesus' ministry. And then Jesus left, just as quickly as he came.
Thomas was not with the disciples when Jesus visited. When he returned to the house, the disciples let him in and told him what had happened. They said, "We have seen the Lord!" But Thomas had trouble believing such an amazing, unbelievable thing! Thomas doubted what his friends told him. He said, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe."
A week went by. The disciples were gathered together in the house again. This time Thomas was with them, too. Again, Jesus came, stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." Jesus offered to let Thomas touch the wounds in his hands and side, but Thomas believed immediately. He worshiped Jesus by saying, "My Lord and my God!" even without touching Jesus' scars. This time, he had no doubt.
Jesus said, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe."
Who do you think Jesus was talking about? Who is it that believe Jesus lives, even though they have not seen him face-to-face? Us! That's right. Jesus was talking about us and all Christians who believe in and serve him. And to us Jesus also says, "Peace be with you."
Let's pray. Good and gracious God, Thank-you for blessing us with faith in Jesus, and with your peace. Amen.