Use this free Bible lesson for High School or Middle School students in your Youth Group Ministry or Teenaged Sunday School class at church. Remember that transformation comes through relationships, so the lesson plan below is simply your guide to help the students relate to one another and God as they discover the truth of the Bible.
Objective: Teach the importance of trusting in God’s Word and understanding that doubts may arise, but Jesus is with us through them. Faith is about believing even without physical proof.
Scripture: John 20:19-31
Target Audience: Teenagers, Middle School or High School Bible Study
Materials Needed: Bibles, pens, and paper.
This is an important lesson to teach high school and middle school students for several reasons:
- Addressing doubts: At this age, students often begin questioning and doubting various aspects of their lives, including their faith. By addressing the story of Doubting Thomas, this lesson acknowledges that having doubts is a natural part of one’s faith journey and encourages open discussion about it.
- Developing critical thinking: Teaching this lesson helps students learn the importance of discerning truth from falsehood, a valuable skill in today’s world filled with misinformation. This critical thinking ability will be beneficial not only in their faith but also in other aspects of their lives, such as academics and social situations.
- Building a strong faith foundation: By encouraging belief without physical proof, this lesson emphasizes the importance of a strong faith foundation. This can help students develop a deeper connection with God and rely on their faith during challenging times.
- Trusting God’s Word: This lesson highlights the importance of trusting the Bible as a reliable source of information and guidance. Encouraging students to turn to Scripture during times of doubt reinforces the Bible’s significance in their faith journey.
- Fostering a supportive community: By discussing doubts and beliefs within a group setting, students can learn that they are not alone in their faith struggles. This sense of community can be crucial in helping them navigate the challenges of adolescence.
- Understanding God’s presence: The lesson demonstrates that Jesus is with us even in our doubts and uncertainties. This reassurance can be comforting and empowering for students facing various challenges in their lives.
Overall, this lesson on Doubting Thomas is essential for high school and middle school students as it addresses doubts, teaches critical thinking, strengthens their faith foundation, emphasizes the importance of Scripture, fosters a supportive community, and reminds them of God’s constant presence.
Icebreaker Game: Trust Walk
Objective: To connect with the theme of believing without seeing and trusting in God’s guidance.
- Divide the students into pairs.
- In each pair, one person will be the “guide” and the other will be the “follower.”
- The follower will close their eyes or be blindfolded to simulate “believing without seeing.”
- The guide will gently lead the follower around the room or a designated area, using only verbal instructions. The guide should help the follower navigate around obstacles, turn corners, and avoid collisions.
- After a few minutes, have the students switch roles so that each person has a chance to be the guide and the follower.
- Once everyone has had a turn in both roles, gather the students for a group discussion.
- How did it feel to be the follower? Did you trust your guide? Why or why not?
- As a guide, how did you feel being responsible for your partner’s safety and direction?
- How can this activity relate to our faith and trusting in God’s guidance even when we cannot see the path ahead?
- In what ways can we strengthen our trust in God, especially during times of doubt or uncertainty?
This icebreaker game helps students understand the theme of believing without seeing and trusting in God’s guidance, which connects with the lesson on Doubting Thomas. The activity also encourages teamwork, communication, and empathy, making it suitable for a middle school or high school Sunday school class.
Start with a discussion to introduce the themes:
- Have you ever doubted something you were told? How did you handle it?
- Why do you think it’s important to discern the truth?
Read the passage or have students take turns reading. Pause for discussion and reflection at key points.
John 20:19-23 – Jesus appears to the disciples, offering them peace and the Holy Spirit.
- How do you find peace in difficult times?
- What would you do if Jesus appeared in our class?
John 20:24-25 – Thomas doubts the other disciples’ story about Jesus’ resurrection.
- Are you usually trusting or skeptical when someone tells you something?
- How do you determine if something is true or not?
John 20:26-29 – Jesus appears to Thomas, who believes after seeing and touching Jesus. Jesus blesses those who believe without seeing.
- How do you handle doubts in your faith?
- What does it mean to believe without seeing?
John 20:30-31 – The purpose of the Bible is to help us believe in Jesus and have life in His name.
- Why is the Bible important in your life?
- How does the Bible help you in your faith journey?
End with a group reflection and prayer. Encourage students to share any doubts they may have and pray for guidance and strength in their faith. Thank God for helping us through doubt and providing His Word.