Crossroads: Seeing Is Believing


John 20:19-31

Your Story

Has something ever seemed too good to be true? Was it? Talk about a time when you didn’t believe something someone said until they showed you proof. Why didn’t you believe? Did the proof change your thinking?

My Story and the Bible Story

In the movie Big Fish, Edward Bloom is larger than life. He has told his son Will fantastical tall tales of his life as Will grew up. But now Edward is dying, and Will, as an adult, no longer believes his father’s stories. All he wants is the truth from Edward. And yet Edward continues to tell the same stories of giants, conjoined twins, the circus, and an amazing town called Spectre. After Edward dies, Will is surprised to find the people from his father’s stories at Edawrd’s funeral. The giant isn’t actually a giant, but he is a very tall man. The conjoined twins are not actually conjoined, but they are identical. Will begins to see that in many ways, his father had actually telling him the truth.

Like in Big Fish, sometimes things seem too outrageous to be true. In the Gospel of John, Thomas felt the same way about Jesus’s resurrection. Read John 20:19-31. From the Common English Bible: “It was still the first day of the week. That evening, while the disciples were behind closed doors because there were afraid of the Jewish authorities, Jesus came and stood among them. He said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. When the disciples saw the Lord, they were filled with joy. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so I am sending you.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven; if you don’t forgive them, they aren’t forgiven.” Thomas, the one called Didymus, one of the Twelve, wasn’t with the disciples when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, “We’ve seen the Lord!” But he replied, Unless I see the nail marks in his hands, put my finger in the wounds left by the nails, and put my hand into his side, I won’t believe.” After eight days his disciples were again in a house and Thomas was with them. Even though the doors were locked, Jesus entered and stood among them. He said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here. Look at my hands. Put your hand into my side. No more disbelief. Believe!” Thomas responded to Jesus, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus replied, “Do you believe because you see me? Happy are those who don’t see and yet believe.” Then Jesus did many other miraculous signs in his disciples’ presence, signs that aren’t recoded in this scroll. But these things are written so that you will believe that Jesus is the Christ, God’s Son, and that believing, you will have life in his name.”

The disciples saw this amazing, outrageous thing: Jesus, risen from the dead, who walked into the room even though the doors were locked. Can you imagine if you were there? How would you feel, seeing Jesus walk through the wall? The disciples were probably confused and amazed. Some of them may have even been a little afraid. But then Jesus speaks words of comfort: “peace be with you.” Then he proves to them that he is actually Jesus, who had risen from the dead. It’s no wonder that Thomas didn’t believe them. After all, people didn’t come to visit after they had died. And people certainly couldn’t walk through locked doors. The disciples’ story of seeing Jesus seemed too ridiculous, too impossible for Thomas to believe.

And yet, it was true. Eight days later, Jesus appeared again, walking through the locked door and showing his hands and side to Thomas. Finally, Thomas saw the truth. Thomas believed that Jesus had risen from the dead, just like he said he would. Jesus goes on to say that those who don’t see Jesus but believe are blessed. They have a bigger faith than those who were presented visual evidence.

Have you ever thought that maybe we have a bigger faith than the disciples, because we’ve never seen Jesus and yet we believe? Thomas had to have proof that Jesus had risen from the dead. Two thousand years later, there’s not really any proof for us to see. And yet we believe, because we see evidence of Jesus all around us. We see evidence that God is real everywhere in creation, from how our organs work together, to how intricate DNA is and how it makes us who we are, to sunsets and how flowers bloom every spring. We know that Jesus is real because we feel it deep in our souls, and we see how Jesus has changed others and changed us.

The disciples’ story of a risen Jesus sounded pretty crazy, but we know that it was true. And that outrageous story has changed out world, giving us hope, peace, and the strength we need to work with God to make our world a better place.


• Ask your children if they’ve ever heard a story that sounded too good/outrageous to be true. Was it?
• Talk about ways to respond if people say Jesus sounds too good to be true.


Thank God that Jesus isn’t too good to be true. Ask God to help us believe in His miracles that happen in our world.

Jessica Asbell is currently serving as the Minister to Children at First Baptist Church of Roswell, GA. She has worked with children in various capacities at several churches, including Winter Park Baptist in Wilmington, NC, First Baptist of Decatur, GA, and Highland Hills Baptist in Macon, GA. She has a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology and a BBA from Mercer University. In her spare time she loves to read, watch movies, and of course spend time with her sweet kitty, Lucy.

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