Can You Believe It?

Theme: He is risen - believe it. 2nd Sunday of Easter - Yr. C
Object: A small bowl of water, a paper clip, and a piece of paper towel or tissue. Click here!
Scripture: Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." John 20:29 (NIV)

Do you find it hard to believe what someone tells you when what they are telling you seems impossible? For example, suppose I said to you, "This paper clip will float in this bowl of water." That doesn't make sense, does it? Experience tells us that if we put this paper clip in the water, it will sink. So, if I tell you the paper clip will float, you would find that hard to believe, wouldn't you?

Well, let's see if this paper clip will float. (Put a square of paper towel about half the size of a dollar bill on the surface of the water and then carefully place the paper clip on the piece of paper towel. When the paper towel becomes saturated, it will sink, leaving the paper clip floating on the surface of the water.) Wow! That's amazing! The paper clip is floating! I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't seen it with my own two eyes.

It isn't unusual to hear someone say, "I'll have to see it to believe it," is it? That is what our Bible lesson is about today.

On the evening of the first Sunday after Jesus was crucified, his disciples were together in a locked room. They were afraid that those who had crucified Jesus would also want to put them to death. Suddenly, Jesus appeared there in the locked room with the disciples. It was hard for the disciples to believe, but they saw him and Jesus showed them the wounds in his hands and his side, so they knew it was him.

One of the disciples, whose name was Thomas, was not with the others when Jesus appeared to them. When they told Thomas that they had seen Jesus, he did not believe them. He had seen Jesus crucified and buried, how could he be alive? Thomas said, "Unless I see the wound in his side and put my finger in the holes where the nails were in his hands, I will not believe it!"

A week later, the disciples were in the locked room again and this time Thomas was with them. Again, Jesus came and stood among the disciples. Jesus, said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe."

Thomas fell on his knees and answered Jesus, "My Lord and my God!"

Jesus said to him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

You and I have never seen Jesus with our own eyes. The question is, will we be a doubter, or will we be one of those who Jesus said were blessed because they believe, even though they have not seen?

Dear Father, help us to believe in our heart those truths we find in your Holy Word, even though we have not seen them with our eyes. Amen.

Note:  The paper clip will float.  It is recommended that you practice this experiment several times to make sure you are comfortable with the procedure and can succeed consistently.  If you teach in a classroom setting, allow the children to perform the experiment.

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