While we are unable to meet for Sunday School, I will post an adaptation of the children's Sunday School lesson every Monday. Think of the lesson as a guide to discuss a story from the Bible together. Each lesson will include some introductory material, a Scripture reading, questions for review and discussion, an activity suggestion, a short prayer, and a memory verse. I encourage you to take just 10-15 minutes every week to actively engage your children or grandchildren in this opportunity to grow together in your faith!
Share some background information before reading the story together.
We celebrated Easter a week ago. Remember, on Easter we celebrate that Jesus came back to life. But before Jesus could come back to life, he had to die. There were many people who did not like Jesus. They thought that he might be trying to take over. They arrested Jesus, and they had him put to death on the cross. Many of Jesus’ followers were scared that something bad would happen to them, too.
At the beginning of the story, they were hiding together in someone’s house. They were hiding from the people who had Jesus put to death. They were locked inside. They were sad because Jesus had been killed, and they were probably talking to each other about what they should do now.
Read the story of Jesus appearing to the disciples. You can read the story from the Bible or the simplified version of the story from the Spark Story Bible below.
The disciples were hiding in a house the night Jesus rose from the dead. They were afraid. Bam! They locked all the doors. Jesus came and stood by them.
“Peace be with you,” he said. The disciples looked up in surprise! Jesus showed them his hands and his side so that they would know it was him. The disciples were very happy! Again, Jesus said to them, “Peace be with you. God has sent me to you. Now it is your turn to go tell the rest of the world about me.”
Jesus breathed on them in a very special way. He said, “With this breath, I will always be in your hearts, even when I am in heaven. You now have the power to do the things I’ve asked you to do.”
Thomas was the only disciple not there that night. When he got back, the others excitedly told him about Jesus’ visit.
“I don’t believe you!” Thomas said. “I’ll believe when I can touch Jesus’ wounds.”
A week later, Thomas and the other disciples were in the same house. Jesus came again and stood with them. “Peace be with you,” he said to them.
“Thomas,” Jesus commanded. “Come here! Give me your hands. Put your finger on the wounds in my hand. Put your hand by the wound in my side. Do not doubt anymore. It’s time for you to believe.”
Thomas’ eyes popped. “My Lord and my God!” he exclaimed.
Jesus answered him, “You believe because I’m here with you and you’ve seen me. Think of those who have not seen me, but believe in me anyway. You should believe, even when you cannot see it for yourself.”
- Who appeared in the house with the disciples?
- What did Jesus say to them?
- Which disciple wasn’t there?
- What did Jesus tell Thomas?
- Why do you think Jesus said, “Peace be with you!”? Remember, the last time they saw Jesus he was dying on a cross. How did he come back to life? How did he get in the house? Also, the disciples were scared about what might happen to them. Talk about what it means to have peace.
- Jesus tells his disciples to go and tell the rest of the world about him. How can you share Jesus’ message of peace with others?
- Our memory verse this week says, “Do not doubt but believe.” What does it mean to doubt? What do we believe about Jesus? Examples of things you can talk about: We believe that Jesus is God’s Son. We believe that Jesus forgives us when we do things that make God sad. We believe that Jesus wants to be our friend and loves us always.
There are many people in our families, church, and community who could use a reminder of the peace that God can give us when we are scared. Make a list of people who you can call this week, or make cards that say, “Peace be with You!” to send to other people.
Dear God, thank you for always being with us. Thank you for forgiving us when we make bad choices. Help us feel your peace when we are scared. Help us bring peace to other people. Amen.
Do not doubt but believe. John 20:27c