Good morning, today is Thursday April 20. In this week following Easter Sunday we are exploring what it means to live in this world after the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It's hard to tell the difference, isn't it? If the resurrection of Jesus was obvious, wouldn't everyone believe it? - Ian
CONNECT (Take time to write down responses to these questions or discuss in your group)
_Are you blessed? How do you know? Can you name a blessing from God or someone else?
_Is there someone you know who simply cannot believe you when you tell them the good things that are true in this world?
_Lord God, how can I do what you say when I cannot hear you? How can I follow when I cannot see? Be near me so that I might know you, and by knowing you, love you, and by loving you, serve in your purposes. Amen
DISCOVER [ John 20:24-29 ] 24 Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”
26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although 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, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
+ WHAT is this passage saying and what do we learn? (Use these questions to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)
_Where and when does this even occur in the Gospel of John?
_Why does Thomas not share the new faith of the other disciples?
_How does Jesus respond to Thomas' demands?
_Why is it such a big deal that Thomas should believe?
_What is the punching of this episode? =
_Who is more blessed than Thomas?
+ HOW am I compelled to confess sin and respond to what I learned today with a simple concrete step of action/obedience? (In groups discuss this in guy/girl break-outs, below are a couple of ideas to help prompt responses if needed)
+ WHO are you walking with that you might pass this word of freedom along to, or encourage what you learned, with today? (e.g., your family around the dinner table, a friend, co-worker or neighbor you are walking with to discover the message Jesus