Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.”John 20:27
Brief Overview of John
From the very beginning of His public ministry, what Jesus said and did made the people of Isreal wonder if He was the Messiah, the deliverer whom God had promised to send. In some ways, He was like the Messiah they were expecting, but in other ways, He was not. John was one of His closest disciples and was among those who had come to believe that Jesus was the Messiah. John was transformed by his belief in Jesus and wanted his fellow Jews and people of every nation to have the same experience, so he set out to write the story of Jesus. The Gospel of John focuses on Jesus’ exchanges with people and how these conversations and actions reveal that Jesus is not only the Messiah and Savior but God Himself, who “became flesh and made His dwelling among us” (John 20:30–31).
Small Group Discussion
Don’t be afraid to add to this list, skip questions that don’t work for your group, or branch off with additional questions as discussion unfolds. Conversation is key! This is the time to work through the application of scripture and have group members figure things out together.
Read John 20:19–24.
- Verse 24 records the world’s first FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) moment. Put yourself in Thomas’ shoes; how would you have felt in this moment? What would have been going through your mind?
Read John 20:25–26.
- How long did Thomas have to wait to see Jesus?
- In the waiting, in what ways do we struggle to exercise faith? Share a personal experience if comfortable.
- Have you ever thought you must have done something wrong because God wasn’t helping you how you wanted Him to? Why is this line of thinking often faulty?
- In the days of Thomas’ doubt, he stayed with people who believed. Are you the type who faces struggles/doubt/trials alone in your own strength, or do you have a group of believers you go to for encouragement? On the flip side, are you the friend who helps bear others’ burdens? If not, what’s holding you back from living out this command from the Lord?
Read John 20:27. Jesus was not distant from Thomas in his time of doubting, questioning, and struggling with his faith. We often focus on our circumstances instead of the truth, the promises, and the faithfulness of Jesus. Yet, Jesus meets us where we’re at and leads us forward.
- Have you ever seen God work in a completely different way than you had initially planned? Why do we seem to want God to operate on our timeline and within our own pre-designed framework? Why is it so hard to let God take control of the narrative?
- Why do you think God requires faith from us as His followers? Why doesn’t He just show Himself and exhibit “proof” to the world of all He is and all He has done? What does Hebrews 11:1 have to say about what true faith is?
- Read Hebrews 11:6-16. Many examples are given of God’s people who lived out great faith. Why does God call believers to have faith in Him? What is the impact of not only having faith in God but pursuing faith amid uncertainty? How does your faith impact others in your life?
Read John 20:28–29
- See James 4:8, Hebrews 13:5, Jeremiah 29:12-14, and the story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1–10. How can these truths bring us hope that God will never leave us or forsake us in our times of brokenness when our faith is at its weakest? What are practical steps we can take when our faith is low, and we can’t seem to climb our way out of the darkness?
- “Weak faith looks for proof.” How is that way of thinking contradictory to 2 Corinthians 5:7? Why is it important to set our minds on things above instead of the things of this world?
- “Sometimes it’s easier to accept failure than to hold on to unseen hope.” Have you ever felt so broken that you’ve found yourself giving up? How were you brought back to a place of faith and trust? How can you encourage someone else who is fighting this very thing right now? Reference Romans 8:18.