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NEW TESTAMENT TIMES

John 20:24-29

Thomas, one of the apostles, who had been absent from this meeting with the risen Lord, refused to believe at the mere word of the others. But Jesus dealt very graciously with the doubting disciple. Again, one week later, he came to the apostles, the doors of the room being shut, and presented to Thomas his hands and his side. All doubts now melted away in the joy of meeting with the risen Lord. Thomas answered and said unto him, "My Lord and my God." John 20:24–29.

John 21:1-24; I Corinthians 15:6; Matthew 28:16-20

The apostles then went back to Galilee in accordance with Jesus' command, and in Galilee also Jesus appeared to them. First he appeared to seven of the disciples on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Among the seven was John the son of Zebedee, who has given an account of the event in his Gospel. John 21:1–24. Then there was a great appearance of Jesus on a mountain. At that time, apparently, not only the eleven apostles were present, but also five hundred other disciples. I Cor. 15:6; Matt. 28:16–20. On the mountain Jesus instituted the sacrament of baptism, and gave his disciples the Great Commission to make disciples of all nations. The execution of that commission has sometimes been attended with discouragements. But the risen Lord promised always to be with his Church.

I Corinthians 15:7; Acts 1:1-11

After the appearances in Galilee, the apostles returned to Jerusalem. It was no doubt in Jerusalem that Jesus appeared to James, his own brother, I Cor. 15:7, who during the earthly ministry had not believed on him. Other appearances also occurred there. At one or more of these appearances Jesus commanded the apostles to wait in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit should come upon them. Then, said Jesus, they were to be witnesses of him "both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." Acts 1:8. Finally, forty days after the resurrection, Jesus led his disciples out to the Mount of Olives, on the way to Bethany, and there he was taken from them in a cloud into heaven. The disciples were saddened and bewildered by the departure of their Lord. But their sadness was soon turned into joy. "Two men stood by them in white apparel; who also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye looking into heaven?