A draft of an imaginary letter that might have been found around
the year 30 in Jerusalem (if in fact it had been written):
I have heard you are a man of great learning, well-versed in the
Torah and wise beyond telling. My name is Thomas. I am part of a
group of like-minded people who follow and listen to Jesus of Nazareth.
We have seen him perform wondrous things healing the sick,
curing long-time afflictions, changing water to wine, even raising
the dead all in the name of God. We believe him to be a great
man, one who is clearly blessed by and sent from God. But many of
us still are not sure who this Jesus is exactly. Is He the Messiah?
A great prophet? Some say He is divine, but that seems so blasphemous
as to be beyond belief.
Today in the temple, some of the priests pressed Jesus with this
question. Practical men, they asked Jesus to simply say if He is
in fact the Messiah. I have been with Him for a while, and I sometimes
wonder the same thing. He doesn't always speak clearly, but teaches
us in parables and examples, and doesn't always tell us what the
lesson is. So we argue and try to put our thoughts together, but
we still don't always agree. And many times, what He says He came
to do doesn't sound a lot like what we think the Messiah is supposed
to do. Many of us want the Romans out of our land and for a resurgence
of Israel, but He doesn't even talk of raising armies or seizing
His answer today was more direct than normal. He said he has told
us in the past, and that His works testify to who He is. I don't
recall Him saying specifically in the past that He is the Messiah
(although He has said things that imply He is the Chosen One), but
then not all of us are with Him at all times. I can testify that
the people who come to hear Him and be touched by Him are in awe
of His power to soothe their suffering, no matter what form it takes.
His works truly do make a difference in the lives of so many of
the people in our land, Jew and gentile alike. He is the best man
I have ever known or heard of.
I understand what He means when He speaks of being a shepherd and
that we are His sheep who follow Him. But I need to understand more
what He means when He says "The Father and I are one."
So I am still not sure who this Jesus is, but I know that I must
keep following Him to learn more. Perhaps you can help me in my
doubts - who do you think He is?