Life of Jesus Christ by Anne Catherine Emmerich
Vol 1

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 knees to His Father, after which He again rejoined them. On the following afternoon I saw Him arrive at a shepherd village whose houses lay scattered here and there. It possessed a school, but no resident priest; the people were attended by one from a distance. When Jesus arrived, the school was closed. He assem­bled the shepherds in an apartment of the inn and there instructed them. As the Sabbath was approach­ing, there came that evening several priests of the sect of the Pharisees, some of them from Nazareth. Jesus spoke of baptism and the near advent of the Messiah. The Pharisees were very hostile toward Him; they spoke of His humble origin, and tried to make little of Him. Jesus slept here that night.

Jesus, in His instructions on the Sabbath, expounded many parables. He called for a grain of mustard seed and, when they brought it to Him, He spoke for some time of it, saying that if they had faith equal only to a grain of that seed, they would be able to transport the pear tree before them into the sea. A large pear tree laden with fruit stood nearby. The Pharisees mocked at His teaching, which they considered childish. Jesus explained at length, but I have forgotten. He also recounted the parable of the unjust steward.

The people of this place and of the whole country around were in admiration of Jesus. They related what they had heard from their fathers of the teach­ing and works of the last Prophets, and they com­pared this new Teacher to them with this exception, however, that He was much milder. The shepherd settlement was named Chimki. The hills of Nazareth could be discerned in the distance, for they were only about two hours off. It was a scattered little place, a few houses only around the synagogue. Jesus took up His abode with a poor family, the mistress of which lay sick of the dropsy. He had compassion upon her and cured her, laying His hand upon her head and stomach. She was perfectly restored, and served


Life of Jesus Christ

 her Guest at table. Jesus forbade her to speak of what had happened until He should have returned from the baptism. Whereupon she asked why she might not tell it everywhere. Jesus answered: "If thou wilt publish it everywhere, thou shalt become dumb," and she did become dumb, and remained so until His return from baptism. At this time it may have been about fourteen days until then, for at Bethu­lia or Jezrael He had spoken of three weeks.

Jesus taught three days in the synagogue of this place. The Pharisees were greatly incensed against Him. He spoke of the coming of the Messiah, say­ing, "Ye are expecting Him to appear surrounded by worldly glory. But He is already come, and He will make His appearance as a poor Man. He will teach truth. He will get more blame than praise, for He wills justice. But separate not from Him, that ye may not be lost. Be ye not like those children of Noe who mocked him when he so laboriously built the ark that was to save them from the flood. All they that derided not went into the ark and were saved." Then turning to His disciples, He addressed them, saying, "Separate not from Me like Lot from Abraham when, seeking more fertile regions, he went to Sodom and Gomorrha. And look not around after the glory of the world which fire from Heaven shall destroy, that ye may not be turned into pillars of salt! Remain with Me under every trial. I will always help you," etc. The Pharisees, still more irritated, exclaimed: "What is this that He promises them, seeing that He has nothing Himself?" Then turning to Him, they asked: "Art Thou not from Nazareth? The son of Joseph and Mary?" But Jesus answered evasively that He whose Son He was, would manifest it. Then they continued: "Why dost Thou speak here as else­where of the Messiah? We have heard of Thy teach­ing. Thinkest Thou indeed that we shall imagine that Thou meanest Thyself?" Jesus answered: "Upon that question I have nothing to say, excepting these words,

The Shepherd Village


 yes, ye do think it." The excitement in the synagogue became great, the Pharisees extinguished the lights, while Jesus and the disciples, although it was night, left the place and journeyed some distance along the highroad. I saw them sleeping under a tree.

10. Jesus in a Shepherd Village Near Nazareth

On the following morning I saw crowds of people on the road waiting for Jesus. They had not been with Him in that last place, but had gone on ahead of Him. I saw Him turning aside from the road with them and, about three o'clock in the afternoon, corning up to another shepherd field. In it were only some light huts occupied by the shepherds in grazing time. There were no women here. The shepherds went forward to meet Jesus; they must have been informed of His corn­ing by those that had gone on before. While some of their number went to meet Him, the others busied themselves killing birds and lighting a fire in order to prepare a meal. This took place in an open hall, something like an inn, the fireplace being separated from the guest room by a wall. All around the hall ran a mossy bank with a platted support for the back overgrown by green foliage. The hosts led the Lord and His followers in, about twenty in number, equal to that of the shepherds themselves. All washed their feet, a separate basin being assigned to Jesus. He asked for more water and, after using it, commanded it not to be thrown out. When all were ready for table, Jesus questioned the shepherds, who appeared anx­ious about something, as to the cause of their trou­ble, and asked if there were not some of their number absent. In answer to His questions, they acknowl­edged that they were sad on account of two of their companions who were lying sick of leprosy. Fearing that it might be the unclean leprosy, and dreading lest Jesus might not come to them on that account,


Life of Jesus Christ

 they had taken care to conceal them. Then Jesus ordered them to be brought before Him, and He sent some of His disciples after them. At last, they appeared so closely enveloped from head to foot in sheets that it was with great difficulty they could walk, though each was supported on either side. Jesus addressed them, telling them that their leprosy had come not from within, but from an outward infection. While He spoke, I was spiritually enlightened that, not through malice, but through temptation they had sinned. Jesus commanded them to wash in the water which He had used for His feet. They obeyed, and I saw the crusts falling from them leaving the scars behind. The water was then poured into a hole in the ground and cov­ered with earth. Jesus strictly commanded the good people to say not a word of their cure until He should have returned from the baptism.

He afterward gave an instruction upon John, the baptism, and the coming of the Messiah. His hear­ers questioned Him very simply as to which they should follow, Himself or John, and they desired to know which was the greater. Jesus answered: "The greatest is he who serves as the least and last of all. He who for the love of God humbles himself as the least—he is the greatest." He exhorted them also to go to the baptism, spoke of the difficulties to be encountered in following Him, and sent away all that had done so excepting the five disciples. He appointed a meeting place in the desert, not far from Jericho, I think in the region of Ophra. Joachim had owned a pasture ground in those parts. Some of Jesus' hear­ers left Him entirely, some went straight to John, while others returned home to prepare for their jour­ney to the baptism.

Jesus and the five disciples afterward went on to Nazareth, which at most was only about a short hour's distance. They approached by the side whose gate opens to the east on the road leading to the Sea of Galilee, but they went not into the city.

Eliud, the Essenian


Nazareth had five gates. A little less than a quar­ter of an hour's distance from the city, rose the moun­tain from whose steep summit they often hurled people, and whence, at a later period, they wanted to cast Jesus. At the foot of this mountain lay some huts. Jesus directed the five disciples to seek lodg­ings in them, as He did Himself. They were supplied with water to wash their feet, a piece of bread, and a place in which to sleep. Anne's property lay to the east of Nazareth. The shepherds had bread baked in the ashes, also a well dug in the earth, but without masonry.

11. Jesus with Eliud, the Essenian

The valley through which Jesus went by night from Kisloth-Thabor is called Edron, and the shep­herd village in whose synagogue the Pharisees of Nazareth had so derided Him was named Chimki. The people with whom Jesus and the five disciples put up outside of Nazareth were Essenians and friends of the Holy Family. The Essenians, both men and women, dwelt around here in the ruins of old stone vaults, solitary and unmarried. The former wore long white garments, the latter mantles, and both cultivated little gardens. They had once dwelt near Herod's castle in the valley of Zabulon but out of friendship for the Holy Family had come hither.

He with whom Jesus stayed was named Eliud. He was a very venerable, gray-haired old man with a long beard. He was a widower, and his daughter took care of him. He was the son of a brother of Zacharias. The Essenians lived very retired around here, attended the synagogue at Nazareth, and were very devoted to the Holy Family. The care of Mary's house during her absence had been entrusted to them.

Next morning the five disciples of Jesus went into Nazareth to visit their relatives and acquaintances, also the school. Jesus, however, stayed with Eliud,


Life of Jesus Christ

 with whom He prayed and very confidentially con­versed, for to that simple-hearted, pious man many mysteries had been revealed.

There were four women in Mary's house besides herself: her niece, Mary Cleophas; Johanna Chusa, a cousin of Anna the Prophetess; the relative of Simeon, Mary, mother of John Marc; and the widow Lea. Veronica was no longer there, nor was Peter's wife, whom I had lately seen at the place where the publicans lived.

The Blessed Virgin and Mary Cleophas came to Jesus in the morning. Jesus stretched out His hand to His Mother, His manner to her being affection­ate, though very earnest and grave. Mary was anx­ious about Him. She begged Him not to go to Nazareth, for the feeling against Him there was very bitter. The Pharisees belonging to Nazareth, who had heard Him in the synagogue of Chimki, had again roused indignation against Him. Jesus replied to His Mother's entreaties that He would await where He was the multitude that were to go with Him to the baptism of John, and then pass through Nazareth. Jesus conversed much with His Mother on this day, for she came to Him two or three times. He told her that He would go up to Jerusalem three times for the Pasch, but that the last time would be one of great affliction for her. He revealed to her many other mysteries, but I have forgotten them.

Mary Cleophas was a handsome, distinguished looking woman. She spoke with Jesus that morning of her five sons, and entreated Him to take them into His own service. One was a clerk, or a kind of magistrate, named Simon; two were fishermen, James the Less and Jude Thaddeus, and these three were the sons of her first marriage. Alpheus, her first hus­band, was a widower with one son when she mar­ried him. This stepson was named Matthew. She wept bitterly when she spoke of him, for he was a publi­can. Joses Barsabas, who also was at the fishery, was

Eliud, the Essenian


 her son by her second husband Sabas; and, by her third marriage with the fisherman Jonas, she had another son, the young Simeon still a boy. Jesus con­soled her, promising that all her sons would one day follow Him. Of Matthew, whom He had already seen when on His way to Sidon, He spoke words of com­fort, foretelling that he would one day be one of His best disciples.

The Blessed Virgin returned from Nazareth with some of her female relatives to her abode near Capharnaum. Servants had come with asses from the latter place to conduct them home. They took several pieces of furniture with them which, after their last journey, had been left behind in Nazareth, various kinds of tapestry and woven stuffs, packages of other things, and some vessels. All were packed in chests formed of broad strips of inner or outer bark, and fastened to the sides of the asses. Mary's house in Nazareth was so ornamented that it had, during her absence, the appearance of a chapel. The fireplace looked like an altar. A chest was placed over it on which stood a flowerpot with a plant grow­ing in it. After Mary's departure this time, the Esse­nians occupied the house.

12. Jesus Discourses with Eliud, the Essenian, Upon the Mysteries of the Old Testament and the Most Holy Incarnation

Jesus passed the whole day in most confidential intercourse with Eliud, who asked Him various ques­tions about His mission. Jesus explained all to the old man, telling him that He was the Messiah, speak­ing of the lineage of His human genealogy and the Mystery of the Ark of the Covenant. I learned then that that Mystery had, before the flood, been taken into the ark of Noe, that It had descended from gen­eration to generation, disappearing from time to time, but again coming to light. Jesus said that Mary at


Life of Jesus Christ

 her birth had become the Ark of the Covenant of the Mystery. Then Eliud who, during the discourse fre­quently produced various rolls of writing and pointed out different passages of the Prophets which Jesus explained to him, asked why He, Jesus, had not come sooner upon earth. Jesus answered that He could have been born only of a woman who had been con­ceived in the same way that, were it not for the Fall, all mankind would have been conceived; and that, since the first parents, no married couple had been so pure both in themselves and in their ancestors as Anne and Joachim. Then Jesus unfolded the past generations to Eliud, and pointed out to him the obstacles that had delayed Redemption.

I learned from this conference many details con­cerning the Ark of the Covenant. Whenever it was in any danger, or whenever there was fear of its falling into enemies' hands, the Mystery was removed by the priests; yet still was it, the Ark, so holy that its pro­faners were punished and forced to restore it. I saw that the family to whom Moses entrusted the special guardianship of the Ark existed until Herod's time. At the Babylonian Captivity, Jeremias hid the Ark and other sacred things on Mount Sinai. They were never afterward found, but the Mystery had been removed. A second Ark was, at a later period, con­structed on the first model, but it did not contain the sacred objects that had been preserved in the first. Aaron's rod, also a portion of the Mystery were in the keeping of the Essenians on Horeb. The Sacrament of the Blessing was, however, but I know not by what priest, again replaced in the Ark. In the pit, which was afterward the Pool of Bethsaida, the sacred fire had been preserved. I saw in pictures very many things, which Jesus explained to Eliud, and I heard part of the words, but I cannot recall all.

He related the fact of His having taken Flesh of the blessed germ of which God had deprived Adam before his fall. That blessed germ, by means of which

Eliud, the Essenian


 all Israel should have become worthy of Him, had descended through many generations. He explained how His corning had been so often retarded, how some of the chosen vessels had become unworthy. I saw all this as a reality. I saw all the ancestors of Jesus, and how the ancient Patriarchs at their death gave over the Blessing sacramentally to the first­born. I saw that the morsel and the drink out of the holy cup, which Abraham had received from the angel along with the promise of a son, Isaac, were a sym­bol of the Most Holy Sacrament of the New Cove­nant, and that their invigorating power was due to the Flesh and Blood of the future Messiah. I saw the ancestors of Jesus receiving this Sacrament, in order to contribute to the Incarnation of God; and I saw that Jesus, of the Flesh and Blood received from His forefathers, instituted a most august Sacrament for the uniting of man with God.

Jesus spoke much to Eliud also of the sanctity of Anne and Joachim, and of the supernatural Con­ception of Mary under the Golden Gate. He told him that not by Joseph had He been conceived, but from Mary according to the flesh; that she had been con­ceived, of that pure Blessing which had been taken from Adam before the Fall, which through Abraham had descended until it was possessed by Joseph in Egypt, after whose death it had been deposited in the Ark of the Covenant, and thence withdrawn to be handed over to Joachim and Anne.

Jesus said that to free man He had been sent in the weakness of humanity; that He received and felt everything like a man; that, like the serpent of Moses in the desert, He would one day be raised up on Mount Calvary where the body of the first man lay buried. He referred also to the sad future that awaited Him and to the ingratitude of man.

Eliud simply and confidently asked question after question. Although he understood all that Jesus said better than did the Apostles, although looking upon


Life of Jesus Christ

 things in a more spiritual sense than they, yet all was not clear to him; he could not rightly compre­hend how the mission of Jesus was to be accom­plished. He asked Jesus where His Kingdom was to be, in Jerusalem, in Jericho, or in Engaddi. Jesus answered that where He Himself was, there would His Kingdom be, and that He would have no exter­nal Kingdom.

The old man spoke to Jesus so naturally and sim­ply. He related to Him many things of His Mother, as if He knew them not, and Jesus listened to him so kindly. He told Him of Joachim and Anne, and spoke of the life and death of the latter. Jesus remarked that no woman had ever been more chaste than Anne; that she had married twice after Joachim's death in accordance with the command of God, for it was proper that the number of fruits destined to be produced by this branch should be filled up.

As Eliud recounted the circumstances of Anne's death, I had a vision of the same. I saw her lying on a rather high couch in a back room (something like Mary's) of her own large house. She was unusu­ally animated and talkative, and not at all like a dying person. I saw her blessing her little daugh­ters, also her other relatives, who were in the antechamber. Mary was standing at the head, Jesus at the foot of her bed. Jesus was, at this time, a young man, His beard just beginning to appear. Anne blessed Mary, begged the blessing of Jesus, and con­tinued speaking in a joyous strain. Suddenly she glanced upward, became white as snow, and I saw drops like pearls starting out on her forehead. I cried out: "Ah, she is dying! she is dying!" and, in my eager­ness, I wanted to clasp her in my arms. Then it seemed to me that she came and rested in them. On awaking I still thought that I held her.

Eliud related also many things connected with the virtues of Mary in the Temple. As he spoke, I saw it all in vision. I saw that her teacher Noemi was

Eliud, the Essenian


 one of Lazarus's relatives. She was about fifty years old and, like all the other women who served in the Temple, she was an Essenian. I saw that Mary learned from her how to knit. Even as a child, she used to go with Noemi when the latter went to cleanse the different vessels and utensils that had been soiled with the blood of sacrifice. Certain parts of the ani­mal sacrificed were received by them, then cut up and prepared as food for the priests and others who served in the Temple; for they depended in part upon that for support. I saw the Blessed Virgin at a later period helping in these duties. I saw Zachary, when it was his turn to serve in the sanctuary, visiting the child Mary. Simeon, also, knew her. And so, as Eliud was recounting it to the Lord, I saw all her pious and lowly serving in the Temple.

They spoke, also, of Christ's conception, and Eliud told of Mary's visit to Elizabeth. Eliud mentioned also a spring that Mary had found there; and that, too, I saw.

I saw the Blessed Virgin going with Elizabeth, Zach­ary, and Joseph from Zachary's house to another lit­tle property belonging to him, and on which there was no water. The Blessed Virgin went alone into the gar­den, a little rod in her hand, and prayed. She pierced the earth with the rod, and a tiny stream gushed out and flowed around a little knoll. When Zachary and Joseph removed the earth with a spade, an abundant supply rushed forth, and soon formed a most beauti­ful spring. Zachary dwelt about five hours southward from Jerusalem, and a little to the west.

In confidential discourse like the above, interrupted only by prayer, Eliud treated with Jesus. He hon­ored Him, but quite simply and joyously, looking upon Him as a chosen human being. Eliud's daughter did not dwell in the same house with her father, but at some distance in a rocky cavern.

There were about twenty Essenians living on the mountain. The women dwelt apart from the men,


Life of Jesus Christ

 about five or six together. All honored Eliud as their Superior and daily assembled around him for prayer. Jesus ate with him alone, but very sparingly, their repast consisting of bread, fruit, honey, and fish. Weav­ing and agriculture formed the chief occupation of these people.

The mountain at whose base the Essenians dwelt, was the highest peak of a ridge on one of whose plateaus Nazareth was built. A valley lay between it and the city. On the other side the descent was steep and overgrown with verdure and grapevines. The abyss at its base, the one into which the Phar­isees at a later period wanted to precipitate Jesus, was full of all kinds of rubbish, ordure, and bones. Mary's house stood on a hill outside the city, part of it extending into the hill like a cave. The top of the house, however, arose above the hill, on the opposite side of which lay other dwellings.

Mary and the other women accompanied by Colaya, Lea's son, arrived at her house in the valley of Caphar­naum. Her female friends in the neighborhood came out to meet her. Mary's dwelling at Capharnaum belonged to a man named Levi, who lived in a large house not very far from it. It had been rented from Levi by Peter's family and given over to the Holy Fam­ily; for Peter and Andrew knew the Holy Family in a general way, also through John the Baptist, whose disciples they were. The house had several buildings attached to it in which relatives of the family and the disciples could stay when visiting the Holy Family. It appeared to have been chosen on that account. Mary Cleophas had with her her little boy Simeon, about two years old, the son of her third marriage.

Toward evening Jesus accompanied Eliud from his house to Nazareth. Outside the city walls, where Joseph had had his carpenter shop, lived several peo­ple, poor but good, who had been known to Joseph, and among whose sons were some of the playmates of Jesus' childhood. Eliud took Jesus to visit these

Jesus and Eliud


 people. They offered their guests a morsel of bread and a little fresh water. The water was especially good in Nazareth. I saw Jesus sitting on the ground among them and exhorting them to go to the bap­tism of John. They acted somewhat shyly in Jesus' regard. They had in the past looked upon Him as one of themselves. But now that He was so gravely introduced to them by Eliud, whom they all so highly honored, whose advice they often asked, from whom they were accustomed to seek consolation, and who, moreover, united in persuading them to go to the baptism, they could scarcely reconcile themselves to the position He now held toward them. They had indeed heard of the Messiah, but they could hardly think that Jesus was He.

13. Jesus and Eliud Walking and Conversing Together

The next day Jesus went with Eliud southward from Nazareth through the valley of Esdrelon on the road to Jerusalem. When about two hours beyond the brook Kison, they arrived at a village consisting of a synagogue, an inn, and only a few houses. It was one of the environs of the not far distant Endor, and nearby was a celebrated spring. Jesus put up at the inn. The people of the place behaved rather coldly, though not inimically toward Him. Eliud was not held in special esteem by them, for they were rather pharisaical. Jesus notified their head men that He intended to teach in the synagogue, but they replied that that was not usual for strangers. Jesus told them that He had a special call to do so and, enter­ing the school, He taught of the Messiah whose King­dom was not of this world, whose coming would not be attended by outward splendor, also of John's bap­tism. The priests of the synagogue were not favor­ably inclined toward Jesus. Jesus bade them give Him the Scriptures. He unrolled them and explained


Life of Jesus Christ

 many passages from the Prophets.

Eliud's confident communications with Jesus were to me singularly touching. He knew of and believed in His mission and supernatural advent, still with­out appearing to have a suspicion that He was God Himself. He told Jesus quite naturally, as they walked together, many things connected with His youth, what the Prophetess Anna had related to him, also what she had heard from Mary after the return from Egypt, for Mary had sometimes visited her in Jerusalem. Jesus, in turn, related to Eliud some things that he did not know, each accompanied with significant inter­pretation. But all was so natural, so simple, like a dear old man speaking with a beloved young friend.

While Eliud was rehearsing what Anna had heard from Mary and told to him, I saw all in pictures. I rejoiced to find them exactly similar to what I had long before seen and partly forgotten.

Jesus spoke to Eliud also of His journey to the baptism. He had gathered together many people and sent them to the desert near Ophra; but He said that He would go alone by the road past Bethania, where He wanted to speak with Lazarus. He spoke of Lazarus by another general name, which I have forgotten. He mentioned also his father, saying that he had been in war. He said that Lazarus and his sisters were rich, and that they would devote all they had to the advancement of Redemption.

Lazarus had three sisters: the eldest Martha, the youngest Mary Magdalen, and one between them also called Mary. This last lived altogether secluded, her silence causing her to be looked upon as a simple­ton. She went by no other name than Silent Mary. Jesus, speaking to Eliud of this family, said, "Martha is good and pious. She will, with her brother, follow Me." Of Mary the Silent, He said, "She is possessed of great mind and understanding; but, for the good of her soul, they have been withdrawn from her. She is not for this world, therefore is she now altogether

Jesus and Eliud


 secluded from it. But she has never committed sin. If I should speak to her, she would perfectly com­prehend the greatest mysteries. She will not live much longer. After her death, Lazarus and his sis­ter Martha will follow me and devote all that they possess to the use of the Community. The youngest sister Mary has strayed from the right path, but she will return and rise to higher sanctity than Martha."

Eliud spoke also of John the Baptist, but he had not yet seen him and was not yet baptized. Jesus and Eliud spent the night at the inn near the syn­agogue, and early on the following morning, they journeyed along Mount Hermon toward the some­what dilapidated city of Endor. Around the inns lay masses of broken walls all the way along the moun­tain' so broad that a wagon could pass over them. Endor was full of ruins interspersed with gardens. On one side were large, magnificent buildings like palaces, while in other quarters of the city the des­olation of war was visible. It seemed to me that the inhabitants were a race apart from the Jews. There was no synagogue in Endor, so Jesus went with Eliud to a large square in which three side buildings con­taining small chambers were built around a pond. The pond was in the center of a green lawn, and on its waters little barks were sailing. There was a pump nearby, and the place bore the appearance of a health giving resort. The little chambers around the pond were occupied by invalids. Jesus, accompanied by Eliud, entered one of the buildings. He was hospitably received, and His feet washed. A high seat was erected for Him on the lawn, and there He taught the peo­ple. The women who occupied one of the wings, took back seats in the audience. These people were not orthodox Jews. They were more like slaves, cast out and oppressed, who had to pay tribute of all that they earned. After a certain war, they remained behind in the city. I think their leader, Sisara, was defeated not far off, and was then murdered by a


Life of Jesus Christ

 woman.1 His army had been scattered throughout the whole country and reduced to servitude. There were still about four hundred in these parts. Their fore­fathers had, under David and Solomon, been forced to quarry stones for the building of the Temple. They were long accustomed to such work. The deceased King Herod had employed them in building an aque­duct to Mount Sion of several hours in length. They were very compassionate and stood by one another under all circumstances. They wore long coats and girdles. Their pointed caps covered their ears like those of the ancient hermits. They had no communication with the Jews, although they were allowed to send their children to the Jewish schools. But the poor lit­tle creatures were so badly treated and so despised that the parents preferred keeping them home.

Jesus felt great compassion for them. He had the sick brought to Him. They sat in a kind of bed like my reclining chair (I can still see them), under the movable back of which were supports. When the back was let down, the chair formed a bed.

As Jesus instructed them about the Messiah and baptism and exhorted them to the latter, they answered timidly that they could not lay claim to such a privilege, for that they were only poor out­casts. Then He taught them by the parable of the unjust steward. The clear interpretation He gave of it, I perfectly understood. It haunted me the whole day, but now I have forgotten it. Perhaps I shall recall it again. Jesus also related the parable of the son sent by his father to take possession of his vineyard. He always related that when instructing the poor, neglected heathens. The people prepared a repast for Jesus out in the open air. He invited to it the poor and the sick, and He and Eliud served them at table. This action greatly impressed His entertainers. That evening Jesus returned with Eliud to the place out­side

1. Judges 4:2.

Jesus and Eliud


 of Nazareth, where He stayed overnight and cel­ebrated the Sabbath in the synagogue.

The following day, Jesus and Eliud returned to Endor, which was only a Sabbath distance from the inn, and there He taught. The inhabitants were Canaanites and, I think, from Sichem; for I heard that day, at least once, the name Sichemite. They had an idol hidden away in a subterranean cavern. By some kind of mechanism on springs, it could be made to rise suddenly out of the earth and seat itself on an altar beautifully ornamented and prepared to receive it. They had procured this idol from Egypt, and it was named Astarte, which I understood yes­terday to be the same as Esther. The idol had a face round like the moon. On its outstretched arms it held something long and swathed, like the chrysalis of a butterfly, large in the middle and tapering at either end. It may have been a fish. On the back of the idol was a pedestal upon which stood a high pail, or a small half-tub, which extended over the head. In it was something like ears in green husks, also fruits and green leaves. The idol stood in a cask that reached up to the lower part of the body, and all around it were pots of growing plants. These people worshipped their idol in secret, and Jesus in His instructions to them reprehended them for it. They had been accustomed to sacrifice deformed children to the goddess. There was a companion idol belong­ing to this goddess, the god Adonis, who I think was Astarte's husband.

This nation, as has been said, had been defeated in three parts under their general Sisara, and scat­tered as slaves throughout the country. They were at this time greatly oppressed and despised. Not very long before Christ, they had excited some distur­bance around Herod's castle in Galilee, after which they were still more oppressed.

In the afternoon, Jesus and Eliud returned to the synagogue and there ended the Sabbath.


Life of Jesus Christ

The Jews, meanwhile, were very much displeased at Jesus' visit to Endor. But He reprehended them very severely for their hardheartedness toward their abandoned fellow beings. He exhorted them to a spirit of kindness and urged them to take them to the bap­tism, which they themselves had, at His recommen­dation, resolved to receive. The Jews of this place became more favorably inclined toward Jesus after they had heard His instructions. Toward evening He returned to Nazareth with Eliud. I saw them con­versing together the whole way, sometimes even paus­ing to stand and talk. Eliud was again recalling many of the incidents of the flight into Egypt, and I saw them again in vision. He began by asking whether Jesus was not going to extend His Kingdom over the good people in Egypt who had been impressed by His presence among them in His childhood.

Here I saw again that the journey of Jesus after the raising of Lazarus through pagan Asia down to Egypt, and which I had seen before, was no dream of mine, for Jesus told Eliud that wherever the seed had been sown, would He before His end reap the harvest.

Eliud knew of the sacrifice of bread and wine, also of Melchisedech; but he knew not what idea to form of Jesus. He questioned Him as to whether He was not another Melchisedech. Jesus answered: "No. Melchisedech had to pave the way for My sacrifice. But I shall be the Sacrifice itself."

I learned also from that conversation that Noemi, Mary's teacher in the Temple, was the aunt of Lazarus, his mother's sister. Lazarus' father was the son of a Syrian king who had, for services in war, received some property as a reward. His wife was a Jewess of distinction. She belonged to the priestly race of Aaron (although Manasses allied with Anna), and dwelt in Jerusalem. They owned three castles: one in Bethania; one near Herodium; and one at Magdalum, on the Sea of Galilee, not far from

Jesus in Nazareth


 Tiberias and Gabara. Herod also had a castle in the country near Magdalum. Jesus and Eliud spoke also of the scandal Magdalen gave her family.

Jesus went home with Eliud. There they found assembled the five disciples, the Essenians, and many others who were desirous of going to the bap­tism. Some publicans, also, had come to Nazareth for the same purpose, and several bands had already started for the place of baptism.

14. Jesus in Nazareth

Next morning Jesus resumed His instructions. Two of the Pharisees from Nazareth came to Him and, in a friendly manner, invited Him to go back with them to the school. They had, as they said, heard so much of His teaching in the country around that they were eager to hear Him explain the Prophets. Jesus went with them. They conducted Him to the house of a Pharisee, in which many others were assembled. The five disciples were with their Mas­ter. The Pharisees listened very politely to Jesus while He spoke to them in beautiful parables. His teach­ing appeared to please them greatly, and they led Him to the synagogue, where a numerous audience awaited Him. Jesus spoke of Moses and explained the Prophecies concerning the Messiah. But when­ever He dropped any words from which they might infer that He alluded to Himself, they showed dis­pleasure. One of the Pharisees spread for Him a repast, and He spent the night with His five disci­ples at an inn near the school.

Next day Jesus addressed a crowd of publicans who were journeying just then to receive the bap­tism. He afterward taught in the synagogue, mak­ing use of the similitude of the grain of wheat which must die in the earth before producing its fruit. His words displeased the Pharisees, and they repeated their remarks about the son of the carpenter Joseph.


Life of Jesus Christ

 They reproached Him also for His communications with publicans and sinners, to which Jesus replied with great firmness. Then they took up the Esseni­ans whom they denominated hypocrites who lived not according to the Law. But Jesus showed them clearly that the Essenians were stricter followers of the Law than the Pharisees, and so the reproach of hypocrisy fell back upon themselves. It was the ques­tion of benedictions that had led to the Essenians. Blessings were in common use among them, and the Pharisees were annoyed at seeing Jesus blessing lit­tle children. When, for instance, He was entering or leaving the synagogue, He was stopped by many moth­ers with their children, and His blessing craved for the little ones.

While Jesus dwelt at Nazareth, He had always much to do with the children, who became still and quiet near Him. No matter how passionately they cried, His blessing had power to calm them. The mothers, remembering this, now brought their little ones to Him to see whether He had become too proud to notice them. There were some among them who kicked violently, rolling over and over on the floor, as if they had cramps, screaming loudly all the while. But Jesus' blessing stilled them instantly. I saw some­thing like a dark vapor going out from some of them. Jesus laid His hand on the heads of the boys and gave them the Patriarchs' blessing in three lines, one from the head and one from either shoulder down to the heart where all three united. He blessed the girls in the same way, but without laying His hand on them, though He made a sign on their lips. I thought as I saw Him do it that it meant that they should not prattle so much; still, however, it was sig­nificant of something else. Jesus passed the night with His disciples in the house of a Pharisee.

Life of Jesus Christ by Anne Catherine Emmerich
Vol 1

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