Doubting Thomas




Scripture: John 20:19-31


Memory Verse:


“Faith makes us sure of what we hope for and gives us proof of what we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1 CEV



  1. Jesus is alive.
  2. Jesus is our Lord and our God.
  3. Even though we have not seen Jesus, we can believe in him.
  4. It’s normal to have doubts, but you can ask for help.
  5. Jesus helps us to have faith.



1.     Discuss the concept of seeing is believing.

2.     Children will view the video “He is Risen” and answer questions.

3.     Children will identify ideas of where to go with their doubts.

4.     Children will draw a picture to depict many places where we see Jesus is alive.



Welcome and Introductions:

Greet the children and introduce yourself.


1.     Hold up a simple object (such as a fork or a book or a watch) from a bag. Ask the children: What is this? (The children should answer correctly) Are you sure? How do you know? (I can see it)

That is just one way in which we decide if something is true. We see it for ourselves.


2.     Ask for a volunteer. Without showing the rest of the class, show the volunteer another object in the bag. Then ask the volunteer to tell the class what it is. Do you believe him/her? Mostly the answer will be yes. Describe the volunteer as a witness who saw the object and then told the others about it. Is a witness always reliable (No) Why would you believe a witness? (The kids will have suggestions that are all fine. Trustworthiness, reliable witness, believable object - a horse could not be in the bag!)


3.     Ask for 3 more volunteers. Show them another object without taking it from the bag. Ask each child to tell the class what the object is. (All 3 should answer correctly) Does it make it easier to believe something if more people see the same thing? (yes) Why? (Odds are higher that something is true if more people witness the same thing) Can you ALWAYS believe when people are saying the same thing? (No, think of how magic acts can fool lots of people, or several witness to an accident see different things about the scene)

4.     The word “doubt” means that you aren’t sure that something is true. Is it OK to have doubts? Yes. You don’t want to be fooled! Later we will talk about our doubts and what to do about them.


Today’s story is about a man named Thomas who had doubts that Jesus is alive.





1.     On the board or chart paper, list the questions (see the end of the lesson) and assign them to the students. The kids are to watch for the answers in the video. OR Older kids: after reading the questions so all can hear, hand out the individual questions on pieces of paper to the kids. Younger kids: create a subset of the easier questions.


You can get creative in the assignments: everyone with blue eyes answers the first question. Everyone with a birthday in September and October answer the next question, and so on. (Other ideas: everyone with lace up shoes, everyone with something in your hair, everyone whose last name begins with the letter B or S)


2.     The video begins with Jesus dying on the cross. This video is approximately 20 minutes long. Have it cued to just after the credits. Stop it at the end of the Doubting Thomas scene.  Explain to the children that the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) tell different parts of the story about Jesus’ resurrection.  The story about Thomas comes from John only but this video combines all the stories together and so may seem a little different than the scripture lesson.


3.     Distribute popcorn with help from Shepherds or volunteer children.



Review the questions and ask each assigned group or child for their answer. Older kids can read the question and then give their answer.


Here are some additional discussion questions:

·       Was Jesus mad that the disciples didn’t believe or that Thomas didn’t believe? (no) Jesus offered to help them believe. Therefore, can we expect Jesus to help us believe? (yes)


·       When Thomas recognized Jesus, he confessed, “My Lord and my God.” Ask the children to repeat this confession. “My Lord and my God.”


I wonder what made Thomas believe that Jesus was God? (Ordinary men don’t come back to life. He had to be God to do that. Maybe all that Jesus told the disciples suddenly made sense.  Jesus is a reliable source for what is true. Jesus told the disciples he would rise again after 3 days. If that was true, maybe all the other teachings were true and he is God.)


·       What did Jesus say about the people who have not seen Jesus and yet believe? (They are blessed v. 29)


If someone didn’t believe in Jesus, what could that person do to find out the truth? Brainstorm ideas on how you would advise someone to find the truth about Jesus. (Go to church, talk with a trusted person – parent or minister or Faith Quest Shepherd or teacher, pray to Jesus for help, come to Faith Quest to learn about Jesus, read the Bible.)

Jesus helped the disciples to believe. Jesus can help us to believe. When we believe, we have faith that Jesus is God.


·       Why is the Bible a good place to go to find out the truth?

Read v. 30-31 from the Bible: “Jesus worked many other miracles for his disciples, and not all of them are written in this book. But these are written so that you will put your faith in Jesus as the Messiah and the Son of God. If you have faith in him, you will have true life.” CEV


·       Recite the memory verse: (see notes at the end of this lesson) “Faith makes us sure of what we hope for and gives us proof of what we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1 CEV



Reflection Time:

Ask the shepherds to pass out the journal sheets.


If Jesus is alive, where is he?  This exercise is like the picture puzzles in which you have to find the hidden objects. In this case, the objects to hide in the picture are a Jesus happy face.


Draw a picture. In this picture include yourself and as many things and people and places where we might find Jesus. Then use a little happy face or a J to identify all the places or people where Jesus is. Older kids might want to get subtle in their placement of a J in the picture so it is harder to find.


It might be helpful to create a list of where we find Jesus with the younger kids. (parents’ love, home, pets, doing something nice, teachers, making friends, homeless people, the poor and sick, a cozy bed, reading the Bible, etc.) Where is Jesus in your picture? Kids can put as many things or places to find Jesus as they can in their pictures. They can use symbol (hearts and crosses) or just about anything.


Have a contest to see who can include the most ideas or objects.


Ask the children to share their pictures with a parent and ask the parent to find all the J’s. They can identify all the places that Jesus lives.



 Prayer: Living Jesus, for whom no door is closed, no heart is locked. Help us with our doubts till we see you and touch your wounds where they bleed in other people.  This we ask through Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen


Paraphrased and reprinted by permission from Book of Common Worship, copyright 1993 Westminster/John Knox Press.


Tidy and Dismissal: Ask children to help clean up popcorn as they wait for their parents to arrive.


Teacher preparation in advance:

1.     Read the scripture passages and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Bible Study.

2.     Prepare the questions on flip chart paper and on individual pieces of paper (older kids)

3.     Check out the room before your first Sunday workshop so that you know where everything is located.

4.     Preview the video and have it cued to the correct starting.

5.     Practice operating the popcorn machine. If this is your first time in Holywood, visit the current workshop leader for instructions before your rotation begins. Be sure you have plenty of popcorn popped before the children arrive. You will need to have your attention on the children at that point. Ask the shepherds or child volunteers to help distribute it to the children who are sitting quietly.


Supply List

Journal sheets, markers, crayons


Flip chart paper and masking tape

Paper bag with simple objects: spoon, ball, glove, book, pencil.

Memory verse (see below)

Questions prepared on chart paper and pieces of paper.



·        Video: Nest Entertainment: He is Risen , Irving Texas


Memory Verse

Prepare the following versions of the memory verse on several sheets of paper to display for the children. As the children learn the memory verse they should be able to say it with fewer and fewer words displayed. After going through all the versions, see if they can say as a group. Then ask a volunteer or two to recite the verse for the group. Encourage the kids to be able to say it.



“Faith makes us sure of what we hope for and gives us proof of what we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1



“Faith makes us sure of what we ____ for and gives us _____ of what we cannot _____.” Hebrews 11:1



“_____ makes us _____ of what we ____ for and gives us _____ of what we cannot _____.” Hebrews 11:1



“_____ makes us _____ of __________ for and ___________ of what _______________.” _______ 11:1



“_________ us _____ of _____________ and ___________ of _____________________.” _______ __:__





Where were the disciples when Jesus died? (in a room, not at with Jesus)


What did Joseph of Arimathea ask of Pontius Pilot? (he wanted to bury Jesus’ body)


Who helped Joseph of Arimathea? What did he bring? (Nicodemus, spices)


What did Jesus predict that made the chief priests and the other religious leaders afraid? (Jesus would be raised in 3 days)


Why were the disciples afraid? (The Jewish leaders might be coming after them too)


Why did the women go to the tomb? (to anoint Jesus’ body for burial)


When the disciples got upset, what did they do to try and feel better (recite some of Jesus sayings and words)


What did the angels tell the women? (He is risen. Go tell the others)


When the women told the disciples that the body was gone, how did the disciples try to explain what happened? (that the body was stolen)


What did Jesus tell Mary to do? (Tell the others)


How did the disciples react when they first saw Jesus (surprised, amazed)


What proof did Thomas want before he would believe?  (To see and touch Jesus’ wounds)