After Syriac King Abgar of Edessa sent his Armenian troops to meet some other kings his deputies detoured to see Christ because of His fame spreading. Here we supposedly find a brief encounter with Christ.
“On their return, the Armenian deputies went to Jerusalem to see our Saviour the Christ, being attracted by the report of His miracles. Having themselves become eye-witnesses of these wonders, they related them to Abgar. This prince, seized with admiration, believed truly that Jesus was indeed the Son of God, and said: ‘These wonders are not those of a man, but of a God. No, there is no one among men who can raise the dead: God alone has this power’. Abgar felt in his whole body certain acute pains which he had got in Persia, more than seven years before; from men he had received no remedy for his sufferings; Abgar sent a letter of entreaty to Jesus: he prayed Him to come and cure him of his pains. Here is this letter:—
VI. Abgar’s letter to the Saviour Jesus Christ.
Abgar, son of Archam, prince of the land, to Jesus, Saviour and Benefactor of men, who has appeared in the country of Jerusalem, greeting:—
I have heard of You, and of the cures wrought by Your hands, without remedies, without herbs: for, as it is said, You make the blind to see, the lame to walk, the lepers to be healed; You drive out unclean spirits, You cure unhappy beings afflicted with prolonged and inveterate diseases; You even raise the dead. As I have heard of all these wonders wrought by You, I have concluded from them either that You are God, come down from heaven to do such great things, or that You are the Son of God, working as You do these miracles. Therefore have I written to You, praying You to condescend to come to me and cure me of the complaints with which I am afflicted. I have heard also that the Jews murmur against You and wish to deliver You up to torments: I have a city small but pleasant, it would be sufficient for us both.
The messengers, the bearers of this letter, met Jesus at Jerusalem, a fact [Now he’s talking] confirmed by these words of the Gospel [John 12:22?]: Some from among the heathen came to find Jesus, but those who heard them, not daring to tell Jesus what they had heard, told it to Philip and Andrew, who repeated it all to their Master.
The Saviour did not then accept the invitation given to Him [consistent with the words recorded in John 12] , but He thought fit to honour Abgar with an answer in these words:—
VII. Answer to Abgar’s letter, which the apostle Thomas wrote to this prince by command of the Saviour.
“Blessed is he who believes in me without having seen me! For it is written of me: ‘Those who see me will not believe in me, and those who do not see me will believe and live.’ As to what you have written asking me to come to you, I must accomplish here all that for which I have been sent; and, when I shall have accomplished it all, I shall ascend to Him who sent me; and when I shall go away I will send one of my disciples, who willcure your diseases, and give life to you and to all those who are with you.”
Anan, Abgar’s courier, brought him this letter, as well as the portrait of the Saviour, a picture which is still to be found at this day in the city of Edessa.”