THE BOY ASKED, “Why doesn’t God send Jesus back to earth again to remove all doubt?”
He took the thought no further. What would he have wanted? That Jesus come to Iowa, climb the steps to his parents’ porch, and knock on his door?
If they fed the 5,000 on catfish and Wonder Bread in Dostal’s pasture, would the boy have investigated the perimeter for signs of caterers’ trucks? How great a bonfire of abandoned crutches and canes would it take to substantiate the miracle of healing? Would a resurrection at the Emerson School playground have convinced the world?
Still, the question lingers.
The man finds the answer in Luke. Jesus himself provides it, in a parable. A man is howling in agony from hell. Oh, God, he pleads, send one of the dead who is with you in heaven to my brothers on earth, so they can know the truth of your word and repent.
But God refuses. “They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone rises from the dead.”
Is the boy listening?