This Bible Object Lesson will teach kids about faith in Jesus. It’s based on John 20:19-31 and tells the Story of Doubting Thomas for children. Download the teachers notes, watch our Children’s Message example, and gather your supplies. Then you’re ready to share this message in your church next Sunday!
Children’s Message: Believing the Unseen
Doubting Thomas and Hope in Times of Fear
Main Objective: This message pairs an ancient story with a current event. The idea is that we do not have to see things in order to know they exist, for better or for worse. Lately there have been a great many things impacted by the spread of covid-19. This virus is invisible to the eye, but we can certainly notice the effects of it, and can see that it causes fear and death. We take preventative measures to hope that we can be protected from getting sick.
In the same way, sin is something that can negatively influence our lives. But we have the hope of knowing God heals our hearts. We cannot see God with our eyes, but we certainly know that He is present, and that brings us joy and comfort. In the Gospel, Thomas refused to believe until He saw Jesus in person. Jesus told Him that those who do not see, and still believe, are blessed. We must have faith to believe and trust God, even when times are uncertain.
Law/Gospel Theme: We are living in unprecedented and uncertain times, as we so frequently hear. Things that we cannot fully know or see can hurt us. This can be frightening. But thanks to the death and resurrection of Jesus, we have ultimate hope and reassurance. We know that Christ cleansed sin, and that even if things are hard in this life, one day we will be with Him in Heaven. God is more powerful than any virus, and He conquered death. We can believe in His goodness and faithfulness to us.
Optional Materials: Cleaning/disinfecting supplies (Clorox, Lysol), hand sanitizer, soap, face mask.
Bible Passage: John 20:19-31
Message Note: As with most messages, the details of how you choose to communicate this are adaptable and should cater to timing as well as to your audience and student needs. Use your judgment and ideas to best serve students.
Faith Object Lesson on Doubting Thomas
Greet kids, maybe wearing a protective face mask and carrying cleaning supplies.
Hello, children of God! Are you protected? Do you see how I’m keeping safe? I’ve got my face mask here, and I have my wipes, and my hand sanitizer, and my cleaning supplies… (Hold up items to demonstrate as you discuss.)
I’ll bet you have seen and heard a lot on the news lately about the virus that is around the world. It can be a little bit scary, can’t it? There are many people who have gotten sick and even died. And you know, the virus is something you can’t see with your eyes. Some people don’t believe that it’s a big deal, but it’s important to be careful. It is very tiny, and it’s possible to spread it without even realizing it. We can’t see the virus, but we know what it does because we see the effects it has on people.
So when we do things like keep things clean, wash our hands, or use sanitizer, we are trying to stay safe. We can’t see all of the protective things in our cleaning supplies, but we trust that they will kill germs and help us.
You know, our lives are a little bit like that. We do sinful things that can harm us, and we need protection for our hearts. Do you know where we get that? From God, of course! And the great news is that, unlike hand sanitizer, we don’t have to worry about how effective God’s work is, because we know that in Jesus, we are already made clean.
In the Gospel lesson, one of Christ’s disciples, named Thomas, said that he wouldn’t believe Jesus had really come back from the dead, unless he could see Him and touch Him physically. Well, Jesus showed up, and there was no more doubting or denying His resurrection. He told Thomas that he was believing after seeing. But Jesus said that people who believe without seeing are especially blessed.
Who might that be, believing without seeing? Well, that’s us, right? We haven’t seen Jesus on Earth, and we can’t see God with our eyes. But we believe that Jesus did come to live, die, and rise again.
And that gives us joy and hope. Even when things are uncertain and we don’t know what the future holds, we know Who holds the future. We know that God is in control. We can’t see the virus, and that’s scary. We can’t always see what causes sin, and that’s scary. But God is much greater than sickness, sin, and even death. He loves us enough to send Jesus to die to defeat all of that! We know that our trust in Him will protect us, no matter what.
God’s love conquers and casts out fear. We can still be careful and keep ourselves clean and safe. But we trust that God is in control. We haven’t seen Jesus, but we know the effect His work has on us. And we know it gives us life. Clorox wipes may dry out, but God’s love and power never fail. Believe it!
Children’s Prayer Moment
(Have kids repeat each line)
Thank you for the life of Jesus
And thank you for your promises
We believe in you and trust you
Even when we can’t see you
Help us not to be afraid
And to remember that you watch over us
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
In Jesus name, Amen!
More Teaching Ideas for Doubting Thomas
- Children’s Message on Doubting Thomas
- Jesus Lives (John 20:19-31) Sunday School Lesson
- Doubting Thomas Coloring Page
John 20:19-31 New International Version (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), 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 that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.