It was time for St Peter's annual three-week vacation, and Jesus volunteered to fill in for him at the Pearly Gates.
"It's no big deal," St Peter explained. "Just sit at the registration desk, and ask each person a little about his or her life. Then, send them to housekeeping to pick up their wings."
On the third day, Jesus looked up to see a bewildered old man standing in front of him. He asked the old man to tell him something about himself.
"I'm a simple carpenter," said the old man. "And once I had a son. He was born in a very special way, and was unlike anyone else in the world. He went through a great transformation even though he had holes in his hands and feet. He was taken from me a long time ago, but his spirit lives on forever. All over the world people tell his story."
By this time, Jesus was standing with his arms outstretched. There were tears in his eyes, as he embraced the old man. "Father," he cried. "It's been so long."
The old man squinted, removed his glasses, stares blankly for a moment while he wiped the glasses, returned the glasses to his head, looked at Jesus again and said,