11/04/2021 | UNLESS I SEE

CONNECT GROUP NOTES: Week 11 April 2021 

THEME: “Unless I see..!”

READING: John 20:19-31 (NIV)

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Jesus Appears to Thomas

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though 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; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

The Purpose of John’s Gospel

30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe[b] that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. 

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide

STUDY QUESTIONS:

  1. This passage is dense with concepts and ideas such as forgiveness; how does the risen Christ walk through doors or walls?; the relationship between believing and seeing, and so on. Make a note of the questions that surface for you in this passage. Work together in your group to find answers to them or give one of our Pastors a call for some assistance.
  2. Can you identify with Thomas’s skepticism about the disciples’ claim (v. 25)? Why or   why not?
  3. Some have referred to the 2021 Western culture as an age of skepticism. Do you think that is accurate? How might that influence some people’s reluctance to share the good news?
  4. What one sign (v. 30) would you wish to see that might strengthen your belief?
  5. How does our faith grow in times when we don’t “see” God’s presence around us? How can your Connect group encourage you and help strengthen your beliefs? 

God bless

Rev. Tim

With thanks to: https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/…./ second-sunday-of-easter-year-b-small-groups

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