Most excellent Theophilus,
I am writing to give you the account of the reading of the last will and testament. Assembled in the upper room were the heirs and closest friends of our Lord Jesus Christ. I was astounded at the change in these men. A new confidence surrounded them, replacing earlier misunderstandings concerning Jesus’ death and resurrection.
The sons of thunder were there, James and John, and they took the lowest seats. The other nine disciples were amazed, no doubt remembering the time James and John had asked to sit, one, on Jesus’ right, and the other, on His left.
Peter, the disciple who walked on water and the one who later denied our Lord and Savior, now had a new boldness. This most assuredly is the result of him witnessing the empty tomb.
Thomas was not present with the disciples shortly after the resurrection, but he was present this day. And this day his countenance reflected no doubts. He had seen the nail prints in the hands and the wound in the side of His Lord and God.
A vacant stool, in the corner of the room, was a austere memorial to the betrayer, Judas Iscariot. Judas, the purser, loved money more than he loved the lover of his soul. I would say that coins bearing Caesar’s image did not occupy the minds of the other eleven here.
Bartholomew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus were there, as was Simon the Zealot, Andrew, Philip, and Matthew, the tax collector. There was no discussion by these men, as to who would be the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. I could feel a renewed sense of fellowship. It seemed to permeate the room.
Then the reading of the will began:
“Whoever humbles himself (like this child) is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
“I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever--- …The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.”
“It was for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you, but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes he will convict the world of sin and righteousness and judgment:”
As the reading of these beautiful words continued, I could tell the hearts of the men burned within them.
“In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”
“Behold, I am coming soon. My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”
“Yes, I am coming soon.”
When the last word was spoken, each man held his breath yearning for more. The disciples were on the edge of their seats. “I am coming soon,” still echoed in their ears.
“I write these things to you , most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.”
Matthew 18:4 (parenthesis mine), John 14:16 , John 14:25-27, John 16:7, John 14:2-3, Revelation 22:12 , Revelation 22:20, Luke 1:4 All scripture quotations are from the NIV.
(Authors note: while based on the Bible this “reading of the will” is not an actual event in Scripture)
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