Teacher Notes

Bible Stories for Adults

Jesus Appears to Thomas

John 20:19-31

Welcome and Announcements
    Next Week - Jesus Walks on Water (Matthew 14:22-33)
    Bible Words to Remember:
      Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. John 20:29

Opening Prayer

Jesus First Appears Easter Morning (John 20:10-18)
    Who did Jesus appear to first after He rose?
      Mark 16:9 = Mary of Magdala (in Galilee)
    Did she recognize Jesus as soon as she saw Him?
      John 20:10-15 = No, she assumed He was the gardener
    How did she come to realize who He really was?
      John 20:16 = He said her name, she recognized his voice

    What did Mary do when she realized her Lord was really alive?
      John 20:17-18 = She hugged Him then went and told the disciples she had seen Jesus
    How did the disciples react to this terrific news?
      Mark 16:10-11 = Disciples didn't believe her story

Jesus Appears Again Easter Morning (Matthew 28:8-10)
    Who did He appear to next?
      Matthew 28:8-9 = The women going back from the tomb
    What did Jesus say to them?
      Matthew 28:10 = Go tell my disciples to meet me in Galilee
    How did the disciples react to this amazing confirmation of Mary's earlier report?
      Luke 24:9-11 = They didn't believe the women, It didn't make sense to them

Jesus Appears Easter Afternoon (Luke 24:13-32)
    What happened as a couple of believers walked back home to Emmaus that afternoon?
      Luke 24:13-15 = Jesus joined up with them as they discussed the events
    Were they more observant than Mary and recognize Jesus when He caught up with them?
      Luke 24:16-18 = No, they were kept from recognizing Him ... their faces downcast
    How did they explain Jesus' story to this stranger?
      Luke 24:19-24 = Powerful prophet; killed by priests; Messiah hopeful; empty tomb
    How did Jesus answer their confusion?
      Luke 24:25-27 = He used the Scriptures to explain what had happened and why
    How did they finally recognize who this stranger really was?
      Luke 24:28-32 = Jesus acted as host at dinner, gave thanks and gave them bread

The Response of Believers (Luke 24:33-35)
    Although it was dark and dangerous outside, what did these disciples do?
      Luke 24:33 = They returned at once to Jerusalem and found the apostles
    Had anything else happened since these men had left Jerusalem?
      Luke 24:34 (1 Corinthians 15:5) = Jesus had appeared to Peter
    After hearing this update from the apostles, what did the two do?
      Luke 24:35 = They told their story
    After four appearances, did the apostles finally believe and understand?
      Mark 16:12-13 = They did not believe them either

Jesus' Fifth Appearance (Luke 24:36-43)
    What amazing thing then happened that helped them believe?
      Luke 24:36 = Jesus appeared among them while they were still talking
    Did Jesus just sneak through the door and walk in?
      John 20:19 = No, the doors were locked, He just appeared
    With this new strong evidence, did the disciples finally believe and understand?
      Luke 24:37 = No, they thought He was a ghost

The Resurrected Body (1 Corinthians 15:35-50)
    How does Paul help explain why Jesus wasn't recognized and could appear behind doors?
      1 Corinthians 15:35, 39-40 = He was in His resurrected body, not earthly body
    How is the resurrected body different than the earthly body?
      1 Corinthians 15:41-44 = Raised body is imperishable, glorious, powerful, spiritual
    What analogy does Paul give us to help understand that we don't keep our earthly bodies?
      1 Corinthians 15:36-38 = Seed - dies in the ground and grows to its mature body
    How does Paul describe the resurrected Jesus?
      1 Corinthians 15:45-47 = The second Adam is spiritual, while the first was natural
    What does this mean for us?
      1 Corinthians 15:48-50 = We'll also receive the resurrected spiritual body like Jesus

No Need For Ghostbusters (Luke 24:38-41)
    How did Jesus try to prove that He wasn't just a ghost?
      Luke 24:38-39 = He offered for them to touch His flesh and bones
    Why didn't He say "flesh and blood"? = Also Gen 9:4
      Leviticus 17:11 (10-14) = Natural life is in the blood, Blood makes atonement
      Genesis 9:4 = Do not eat meat that has its lifeblood in it
      John 19:34 = Jesus' blood was poured out when He was pierced on cross
      Hebrews 9:12-15 = The blood of Christ sets us free under the new covenant - atonement
    Now, did these doubting disciples finally believe and understand?
      Luke 24:40-41a = No, they were too amazed for it to sink in, too good to be true

Let's Try Another Approach (Luke 24:41-43)
    What else did Jesus do to prove it was really Him in the flesh?
      Luke 24:41b-43 = He took some fish and ate it
    Did this help convince these skeptical disciples?
      John 20:20 = Yes, they were overjoyed
    How does Mark record Jesus' appearance to the doubting and scared apostles?
      Mark 16:14 = He rebuked them for their lack of faith & refusal to believe witnesses
    Note: Luke 24:44-49 is understood to have occurred weeks later, after time in Galilee (v49)

His Peace (John 20:21)
    What words did Jesus repeat that He first said when He appeared to the disciples?
      John 20:21a = Peace be with you! - Normal Jewish greeting
    What was He saying more than just Hello? = They were afraid for their lives
      John 14:26-27 = He was giving them His heavenly Peace through the Spirit
    Did this Peace mean that they would be freed from troubles?
      John 16:33 = No, troubles will come in this world, but Jesus overcomes the world
    Are Christ's disciples to avoid the world and Peacefully await His return?
      John 20:21 = No, He has sent us into the world
    How can we Peacefully be of this world?
      John 17:14-18 = We're not of the world, we're sent into the world with protection

The Office of the Keys (John 20:22-23)
    How did Jesus give His Peace to the apostles?
      John 20:22 = He breathed on them
    How could Jesus give His Spirit just by breathing on them?
      Genesis 2:7 = Man was given life by God's breath
    What privilege and responsibility came with this giving of the Spirit?
      John 20:23 = Ability to forgive and to withhold forgiveness
    Why is this called the Office of the Keys?
      Matthew 16:19 = Jesus gave the Church these keys to heaven

    How do we Christians know which sins to forgive and which not to forgive?
      1 John 1:8-10 = Forgive those which are confessed, Retain those not confessed
    What are we to do with those who do not confess and repent?
      Matthew 18:15-17 = Treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector - avoid him
    What does this mean? Shouldn't we be proud of freely forgiving sins of fellow Christians?
      1 Corinthians 5:6-7, 12-13 = Expel the wicked man from among you - yeast
    What are we to do when the excommunicated finally sees his sin and repents?
      2 Corinthians 2:6-8 = Forgive him and love him

Doubting Thomas (John 20:24-26)
    Was Jesus' appearance to the apostles enough proof for most disciples that He was alive?
      John 20:24-25 = No, Thomas required personal physical proof to believe
    Was Thomas known for having a slow and doubting faith?
      John 11:7-8, 16 = Thomas was ready to die with Jesus in Jerusalem
      John 14:2, 4-5 = Thomas wanted to follow Jesus to His Father's house
    When was Thomas given this special opportunity to personally see and feel Jesus alive?
      John 20:26 = A week later, same locked doors, Jesus appeared & gave Peace

Thomas' Great Confession (John 20:27-29)
    Did Jesus know what Thomas had said?
      John 20:27 = Yes, he offered his hands and side to Thomas
    Did Thomas put his finger into Jesus' hands and his hand into His side as he said?
      John 20:28 = No, he immediately confessed his faith - Climax of John's gospel
    What message did Jesus leave for those of us who weren't around to physically see Him?
      John 20:29 = Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed
    How are we blessed?
      1 Peter 1:8-9 = We're filled with great joy and receive the salvation of our souls

Other Appearances (John 20:30-31)
    Was this the last appearance Jesus made before ascending?
      Acts 1:3 = Appeared many times to various disciples over 40 days
    Does John try to record all of these?
      John 20:30 = No, there are many more not recorded in this book
    Why does John give us the stories that he does?
      John 20:31 = That you may believe ... and by believing ... have life in His name

Closing Prayer

Copyright © 1997 by Kurt Rosenhagen

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