While the two disciples were speaking, Jesus himself stood among them. And they were frightened and believed that they saw a ghost; but he said to them, |Why are you so frightened? Why do you doubt? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see, for a ghost has not flesh and bones as you see that I have.| While they were still unable for very joy and wonder to believe, he said to them, |Have you anything to eat here?| And when they gave him a piece of broiled fish, he ate before them.
Then he said to them, |This is what I told you when I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled.| Then he helped them to understand the scriptures, and said, |It is written that the Christ must suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that in his name all nations must be called upon to turn from their sins and gain God's forgiveness. You yourselves, beginning at Jerusalem, are to tell men about these things.|
Now Thomas, one of the twelve disciples, who was called |The Twin,| was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, |We have seen the Master.| But he said to them, |Unless I see the marks of the nails in his hands and put my finger where they were and put my hand in his side, I will not believe.|
Eight days later Jesus' disciples were again together, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were closed, Jesus came and stood among them and said, |Peace be with you.| Then he said to Thomas, |Put your finger here and look at my hands, and put your hand here in my side. Do not be a doubter but a believer.| Thomas answered him, |My Master and my God!| Jesus said to him, |You believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who believe though they have never seen me!|
[Illustration: (C) 1903, Braun Clement et Cie
The Walk to Emmaus
Painted by Eugene Girardet]
Later Jesus appeared to his disciples by the Sea of Galilee, and in this way. As Simon Peter, Thomas, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, were together with two other of his disciples, Simon Peter said to them, |I am going fishing.| |We will go too,| they said, and they set out and went on board the boat; but that night they caught nothing. At daybreak Jesus stood on the beach, though the disciples did not know that it was he.
He said to them, |Children, have you anything to eat?| They answered, |No.| And he said, |Throw your net over on the right side of the boat and you will catch something.| So they threw over the net, and now they could not haul it in because of the great number of fish. Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, |It is the Master.| As soon as Simon Peter heard that it was the Master, he put on his fisherman's coat (for he was stripped for his work), and jumped into the water; but the other disciples, being only about one hundred yards from the shore, came in the small boat dragging the net full of fish.
When they landed, they saw a charcoal fire burning, and over it a fish cooking, and some bread. Jesus said to them, |Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.| So Simon Peter went aboard the boat and hauled the net ashore filled with large fish; and although there were so many, the net was not torn. Then Jesus said to them, |Come and eat breakfast.| Not one of the disciples had courage to ask, |Who are you?| for they knew that it was the Master. Jesus came and gave them the bread and also the fish. This was the third time he appeared to his disciples after he had risen from the dead.
After breakfast Jesus said to Simon Peter, |Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?| He said, |Surely, Master, you know I love you.| Jesus said to him, |Feed my lambs.| Then he asked him a second time, |Simon, son of John, do you love me?| And he answered, |Surely, Master, you know that I love you.| Jesus said to him, |Tend my sheep.| Jesus said to him a third time, |Simon, son of John, do you love me with all your heart?| Peter was grieved because Jesus asked a third time, |Do you love me?| And he answered, |Master, you know everything, you know that I love you.| Jesus said to him, |Feed my sheep.|
And Jesus said to them, |All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go you, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you; and, lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world.|
Jesus showed his disciples, by many proofs, that he still lived, revealing himself to them during forty days and telling them about the Kingdom of God. When he and his disciples were together he told them not to leave Jerusalem but to wait for what the Father had promised -- |the promise,| he said, |of which you have heard me speak; for John baptized with water, but before many days have passed you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.|
While they were together they asked him, |Master, is this the time when you are going to restore the rulership to Israel?| Jesus said to them, |It is not for you to know the time or the season which the Father has fixed by his own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses at Jerusalem, throughout all Judea and Samaria and to every part of the earth.| When he had said this and while they were still looking at him, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were staring into heaven, as he went up, two men clothed in white stood beside them, who said, |Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up into heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way as you have seen him go.|
On the Day of Pentecost, as they were all together, suddenly, there came from heaven a sound like the rushing blast of a mighty wind which filled the whole house where they were seated. And they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in a strange way and to cry aloud and shout.
When this was reported a crowd gathered, astonished and perplexed, and asked one another, |What can it mean?| Others with a sneer said, |They are full of new wine!|
But Peter, together with the eleven apostles, stood up and addressed them: |Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, understand this and listen to what I say: these men are not drunk as you suppose, for it is only nine in the morning, but this is what was foretold by the prophet Joel:
|'In the last days,' God declared,
'I will pour out my Spirit on all mankind;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your young men shall see visions.
|'And your old men shall dream dreams,
Even upon my slaves and slave-girls
In those days I will pour out my Spirit,
And they shall prophesy.'|
|Men of Israel, hear these words: By the help of lawless men you nailed to the cross and murdered Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was proved to be from God through the deeds of healing and the wonderful acts which God performed by him among you, as you yourselves know. But God released him from the bonds of death and raised him to life, for death could not hold him. Lifted on high at God's right hand and having received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit, he has poured it upon us as you now see and hear. Let the whole nation of Israel know beyond a doubt that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.|
When they heard this, their conscience troubled them, and they said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, |Brothers, what are we to do?| Peter answered, |Say that you are sorry for your sins, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, that your sins may be forgiven; then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, for it is promised to you, and to your children, and to all in distant lands, to any and to all whom the Lord our God shall call.|
With many other words he warned and urged them to save themselves from this wicked time. So those who believed what he taught were baptized; and on that day about three thousand were added to the brotherhood.