Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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In Matthew 28:16-20, it states "Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, 'All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go 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 that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.' Amen."

  1. Did the disciples go to Galilee in compliance to the Lord's message to Mary delivered at the tomb on Sunday?
  3. 11 = St. Thomas was with them. How come he complied to go?

The disciples were inclined to believe Mary Magdalene when she told them the great news about the resurrection of the Lord. First, the angel announced the glorious resurrection to the Marys. As they went in haste to tell the disciples, Christ personally appeared to the Marys to confirm this message and assure them lest they should begin to fear and doubt. Furthermore, when the disciples, Peter and John, saw the empty tomb for themselves, it confirmed Mary Magdalene's and the other Marys' message as legitimate.

The passages in John 28:16-20 occurred just before the Ascension. Christ had already appeared to the other ten disciples in the absence of St. Thomas. One week later, He appeared personally and specifically to that same disciple to strengthen his faith. St. Thomas was a devout and beloved disciple of Christ. Each of the disciples had unique strengths and weaknesses. St. Thomas believed wholeheartedly in Christ, evangelized Christianity in India, and was eventually martyred for his faith. He tended to seek proof before committing to blind faith. That was sometimes a fault in him. However, he was often bold and outspoken to say what others may have thought but hesitated to say. The Lord's replies to St. Thomas actually confirms our faith as well especially when it is weakened since often we have questions and sometimes doubts of our own, but may shy away from expressing our lack of understanding. Nevertheless, St. Thomas' faith in the Lord was far stronger than his doubts. It was St. Thomas who requested to know the way and Christ responded favorably to his question. "Thomas said to Him, 'Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?' Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me'" (John 14:4-6). St. Thomas was also eager and obedient to follow Christ even to his own demise. "Then Jesus said to them plainly, 'Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him.' Then Thomas, who is called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, 'Let us also go, that we may die with Him.'" (John 11:14-16).

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