On the Sabbath, Jesus was teaching in the synagogue. He spoke of God’s love and mercy, and he explained the Scriptures by using stories and parables. The people who heard him were amazed by his words, yet they had doubts about him as well.
“What kind of wisdom has been given to this man?”
“What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands!”
“Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary? Are not his sisters here with us?” Jesus knew the hearts of the people, and he heard their questions. So he said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.” Jesus was unable to perform very many miracles among his people because of their lack of faith.
As Jesus prepared to visit other regions to preach, he called his 12 disciples to be with him. He sent them out to teach as well, and he gave them authority over unclean spirits. He also told them not to take anything but a walking stick and a good pair of sandals. They were not to take any money or food.
Before the disciples left on their mission, Jesus said, “Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them.” Then the men went out in pairs to preach repentance, to drive out unclean spirits and to heal the sick.
After the disciples had all returned, Jesus had them meet together, because he wanted to hear what they had been doing. He told his disciples that he was proud of their faith and their service. He prayed with them and asked his Father to keep them safe and to always provide for their needs. Then Jesus said that he knew his friends were tired.
“Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” The 12 disciples had not even had a chance to eat since they had returned.
Because of their ministry and miracles, people had begun to follow them to see what else they were going to do. Jesus had arranged to have a boat ready to take his disciples to a remote spot where they could rest.
The people who had been following Jesus and his disciples wanted to follow him to his new destination as well. They traveled by donkey and on foot to the place they thought Jesus might be going.
READ MORE ABOUT IT:
1. What did Jesus tell his disciples to bring with them?
2. How did Jesus escape the crowd that followed him?
Thomas will always be remembered as the apostle who doubted. He needed proof that the Jesus who stood in front of him had truly been raised from the dead. But when he touched Jesus, Thomas declared, “My Lord and my God.” He never doubted in the Lord after that. Although truth and tradition may have blended together over time, most scholars believe Thomas became a missionary to India, where he was also able to use his skills as a carpenter and a stone carver. There are records of a group in India called the Christians of St. Thomas, and several churches may also have been established by him. We honor him on July 3.