by Ron Unger
This drama is based on the Gospel lesson (John 20:19-21) for the Second Sunday of Easter (lectionary series B).
Download a PDF of Doubting Thomas.
#1 = Disciple
#2 = Disciple
To be spoken at a quick tempo, in meter.
1: Hey there, Thomas, where you been tonight?
T: I’ve been outside to catch the evening light.
1: You should have been inside; you should have been with us. The Lord came by and created quite a fuss.
T: Came by here, came by here?
Don’t you think that’s kind of crazy; don’t you think that’s rather weird?
1: What makes you say such things, brother Tom?
T: I wasn’t born yesterday. I’ve been around.
Corpses don’t come back to life, they never leave their grave,
and this one’s been sealed up tight, in a cold and musty cave.
1: But don’t you remember what Jesus said?
He said the grave wouldn’t always be his bed.
He said he’d come back to life. Remember His words?
T: But that’s before the Romans came with clubs and swords.
1: But He meant it, Tom; what the women said was true.
The only one who missed Him was, I’m sorry, you.
We were all inside, a bit afraid tonight.
T: I wouldn’t believe, unless He stood before my eyes;
for all I know, that’s just a pack of lies.
(in regular, conversational voice)
2: Wait a minute. Thomas, what’s bugging you?
T: Good old Peter here is trying to cheer me up. But he shouldn’t make up a bunch of stories and fairy tales to do it.
2: What did he say?
T: Some nonsense about a visit by Jesus to our humble abode.
2: But it’s true!
T: Now you’re dong it too.
(speaking again in meter)
2: So I am, so I am,
But I can’t help it, I’m a happy man!
Jesus came back today, it’s really true,
so why not be happy, Tom, I’m asking you?
T: I can’t believe. Don’t you understand that?
Stop trying to make me feel like such a lousy rat.
You got to see Him, or so you say;
Well, if that’s true, He’ll be back some day.
And when He does, I’ll be here to see.
I’m sorry, but that’s the way it’s got to be.
I’m not going to believe every story that I hear,
For all I know, you guys been drinking beer–
I’ve got to see if I’m going to believe.
If you don’t like that you’ll just have to leave.
1: Boy, what is wrong with you anyhow? We’re not making up any story. What we’ve said is true. We thought you’d be glad to hear. Tell me, what does it take to convince you?
2: Yeah, Thomas. How can we persuade you that everything the women said this morning really happened?
T: Look, fellows, I know you’ve done your best,
but a joke is a joke, a jest is a jest.
But don’t you think it’s dangerous, standing here outside?
If the Jewish elders catch us, they’ll have our hide.
Don’t you know they’re after us, the want to catch us, too?
They’d be glad to string us up, right out in public view.
2: Is that what’s got you, Tom, are you still afraid?
Out to save your skin from being flayed?
It’s all over now, like being free.
Try as they can, they can’t catch me!
The Lord is risen, He is risen indeed.
That’s the good news, that’s our new creed.
T: Humph! Self-delusion. Something to live for. Make it all worthwhile.
2: What are you mumbling over there?
T: Nothing. Nothing at all. It really doesn’t matter.
1: Sure it does. Sure it does. Everything matters now.
T: How so?
1: Well, now that He’s back to live, the jig is up
just as He said the night He passed the cup.
His body and blood were shed for us
to forgive our sins and free us from all fuss.
The world is God’s. It can’t get rid of Him.
T: But the light has flickered, it’s grown awful dim!
Don’t you remember Friday, how they pounded those stakes?
Just a few hard blows, that’s all it takes.
The blood dripped down, it flowed like wine;
that’s when my hope withered, right on the vine.
2: We can understand that, Tom. We felt the same.
For a few long hours, the world had gone insane.
We thought it was over then, just like you;
we returned home in quite a stew.
But haven’t you heard a single word we’ve said?
He’s come back to life; He’s no longer dead!
T: “Unless I see in His hand the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in His side, I will not believe.”
1: (after pause) I guess that’s it then, isn’t it?
T: I’m afraid so.
T: Is it really so difficult to comprehend?
Natural laws don’t so easily bend.
Call me a skeptic, if you think I am.
Or if the label’s “doubter,” then I’m your man.
I think I’m enlightened and rational;
a theory needs proving if it’s actual.
So bring me some proof, and then I’ll know,
some clear-cut evidence that you can show.
1: You’re like so many other people today;
“give me evidence” is all they say.
They think they’re sophisticated, clever and wise;
they’ll only believe what they see with their eyes.
T: Are we really all that odd; tell me, why do you believe?
The last couple days you’ve been filled with grief.
(conversationally) Isn’t it simply because you, too, have been given proof? Tell me, how would you be behaving tonight, if, contrary to what you say, Jesus hadn’t come into your midst?
2: Hmm. You’ve got a point there.
T: You bet I do, you bet I do.
The only difference between me and you
is that I haven’t seen Him risen yet.
In fact, if you’re willing to make a little bet…
2: Wait a minute, Tom, we’re getting nowhere.
And neither one of us is being fair.
We’ll just have to wait, that’s all we can do,
and hope that something will satisfy you.
T: Well, don’t hold your breath.
1: (to audience) “Eight days later, His disciples were again in the house and Thomas was with them.”
T: Well, what’cha say, fellows, it’s been over a week.
1: If I were you, Tom, I’d be careful how I speak.
T: Just the same, it’s now the eighth day.
2: Don’t be so smug; watch what you say.
T: I’ve been hanging ’round here just marking time,
without any reason, without any rhyme.
Don’t you think it’s time to leave, get back to Galilee,
see our friends and even family?
Nothing’s going to happen, it’s rather clear,
we’re just wasting time, sitting ’round here.
1: Come on, Tom, you promised you’d wait and stick with us. We’re not letting you out of our site. Next time you’re going to be with us.
2: I can only hope the Lord will come back soon,
and show you, Tom, how you’ve been a buffoon.
The greatest stubbornness I’ve ever heard.
You know, Tom, you’ve really been a nerd!
1: Okay, that’s enough, cut it out.
We can’t help it if he wants to live in doubt.
But I do home we can show some courtesy,
patience, kindness and love if need be.
The Lord wouldn’t want us carrying on like this,
He said by love we’d show we’re really His.
T: Okay, I promise to cut it out, if the rest of you will.
1 & 2: It’s a deal.
2: (to audience) “The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood among them, and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas:
J: (Jesus enters) Thomas, I’ve heard every word you’ve said.
Did you really think that I was still dead?
I know how weak all your faiths can be,
so come on over, come closer to me. (pause)
Do you see my hand, see the mark’s still there.
If you need proof, then it’s only fair
to give you all you want, and take up your dare.
See the wound where they pierced my side,
No, don’t turn away, there’s no place to hide.
Place your hand inside it, if you so choose,
go ahead, you’ve got nothing to lose.
(in normal speech)
J: “And do not be faithless, but believing.”
T: “My Lord and my God!”
J: “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have never seen and yet believe.”
2: (to audience) That’s what Jesus said to Thomas that day.
The words were passed to us, and here’s what they say:
We have no proof, we’re left to faith alone.
But that’s nothing to gripe about, nothing to bemoan.
In fact, we’re more blessed, more blessed than they,
if we keep the faith, right up to the last day.
(to audience – normal speech)
1: “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples
2: which are not written in this book;
T: But these are written that you may believe that
All: Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
T: and that believing, you may have life in His name.”
Unless otherwise stated, the Scripture quotations in this publication are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyrighted 1946, 1952, 1971, 1973 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. and used by permission.
Originally published in Resources for Youth Ministry, 1974:1.
Updated for thESource February 2013.