Life of Jesus Christ by Anne Catherine Emmerich
Vol 2

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Jesus Goes to the Jordan


 the sins of the world." (John 1:36). Jesus then turned away from the shore and returned to Bethabara.

Andrew and Saturnin, who had been standing near John, hurried over the river by the same way that Jesus had passed. They were followed by one of the cousins of Joseph of Arimathea, and two others of John's disciples. They ran after Jesus, who, turning, came to meet them, asking what they wanted. Andrew, overjoyed at having found Him once more, asked Him where He dwelt. Jesus answered by bid­ding them follow Him, and He led them to an inn near the water and outside of Bethabara. There they entered and sat down. Jesus stayed all this day with the five disciples in Bethabara, and took a meal with them. He talked of His teaching mission about to begin and of His intention to choose His disciples. Andrew mentioned to Him many of his own acquain­tances whom he recommended as suitable for the work, among others Peter, Philip, and Nathanael. Then Jesus spoke of baptizing here at the Jordan, and commissioned some of them to do so. Where­upon they objected that there was no convenient place around those parts. The only suitable locality was where John was baptizing, and it would never do to interfere with him. But Jesus spoke of John's vocation and mission, remarking that his work was well nigh its completion, and confirming all that John had said of himself and of the Messiah.

Jesus alluded also to His own preparation in the desert for the mission of teaching that was before Him, and of the preparation necessary before under­taking any important work. Jesus was cordial and confidential toward the disciples, but they were hum­ble and somewhat shy.

Next morning Jesus went with the disciples from Bethabara to a group of houses that stood near the river ferry. Here He taught in presence of a small audience. After that He crossed the river and taught in a little village of about twenty houses, distant


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 perhaps one hour from Jericho. Crowds of neophytes and John's disciples kept coming and going, to hear His words and report them to the Baptist. It was near midday when Jesus taught here.

After the Sabbath Jesus commissioned several of the disciples to cross the Jordan and go up the river to the distance of about one hour from Bethabara, there to prepare a pool for Baptism. The site cho­sen by Jesus was that upon which John, when going down from Ainon, had baptized before he had crossed to the west bank of the river opposite Bethabara.

The people of this place wanted to give Jesus an entertainment, but He would not stay. He crossed the Jordan and returned to Bethabara where He cel­ebrated the Sabbath and taught in the synagogue. He ate with the principal of the school and slept in his house.

The baptismal pool which John had used just before he removed near Jericho was soon put in order again by the disciples. It was not quite so large as that just mentioned. It had an elevated margin and a projecting tongue of land on which the bap­tizer could stand. A small canal surrounded it, and from this the water could be turned into the basin.

There were now as many as three pools for Bap­tism: that above Bethabara, that of Jesus on the lately formed island in the Jordan, and that in use by John.

On Jesus' arrival, He poured into the baptismal pool some of the water from the well on the island where He Himself had been baptized, and blessed it. Andrew had brought the water with him in a flask. The neophytes became unusually touched and agitated. Andrew and Saturnin administered Bap­tism, but not by complete immersion. The neophytes stood in the water near the edge of the pool, the sponsors' hands upon their shoulders, while the bap­tizers, dipping the water up in the hollow of their hand, poured it thrice over them, baptizing in the

Jesus at the Jordan


 name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. John baptized somewhat differently. He used a three-channeled shell for dipping up the water. Crowds were baptized at this time, most of them from Peraea.

Jesus, standing on a little green hill nearby, instructed the people on penance, baptism and the Holy Ghost. He said: "When I was baptized, my Father sent down the Holy Ghost and uttered the words, 'This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.' These words are addressed to everyone that loves his Heavenly Father and is sorry for his sins. Upon all that will be baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, He sends His Holy Spirit. They then become His sons in whom He is well pleased, for He is the Father of all that receive His Baptism and to Him by the same are born again."

It is always a subject of astonishment to me that the Gospel narratives of the facts in Jesus' life are so short; for instance, it records the meeting of Jesus with Peter as happening close upon Andrew's fol­lowing Jesus after the testimony of John; while in reality, Peter was at the time not in that part of the country, but in Galilee. But still more wonderful is it to read of the Last Supper and the Passion's fol­lowing so closely the triumphal entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem, celebrated by us on Palm Sunday, since I always see so many days, and hear Jesus delivering so many instructions between the two events. So I think that Jesus remained here four­teen days before going to Galilee.

Andrew had not as yet been formally received as a disciple; indeed, Jesus had not even called him. He had come of himself, had offered himself, for he would gladly be near Jesus. He was more eager to serve, more ready to offer service than Peter. Peter was ever ready to quiet himself with the thought: "Oh, I am too weak for that! That is beyond my


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 strength," and so went about his own affairs. Sat­urnin and the two nephews of Joseph of Arimathea, Aram and Themeni, had, like Andrew, followed Jesus of their own accord.

John's place of baptism was daily becoming less frequented, and many more of his disciples would have gone over to Jesus, had they not been pre­vented by some others, pertinacious characters, who took it hard that so many of his disciples aban­doned John. They complained to him about it, say­ing that Jesus had no right to baptize in those parts, that He was encroaching upon John's privilege, etc. John had some difficulty in convincing them to the contrary. He told them that they should call to mind his words and how he had always foretold what was now happening. He repeated that his duty was only to prepare the way, which done, he was to desist entirely from the work, and that that would be soon, since the way was almost prepared. But his disci­ples were greatly attached to him and they would not understand his words. Jesus' baptismal place was already so crowded that He told His disciples they should on the morrow move further down the river.

With about twenty companions, among them Andrew, Saturnin, Aram, and Themeni, Jesus left Bethabara and went over the Jordan at the usual crossing place where the passage was easy. Leaving Gilgal on the right, He went to a very densely set­tled place called Ophra, situated in a narrow moun­tain valley. Hither flocked the merchants from the regions beyond Sodom and Gomorrha. With their camels laden with merchandise they passed to the east side of the Jordan, where they were baptized by John. There was at this place a byway leading from Judea to the Jordan. Ophra was in many respects quite forgotten. It was between three and four hours from John's place of baptism, not quite so far from Jericho, and from Jerusalem about seven

Jesus at Ophra


 hours. It was not exposed to the influence of the sun; consequently, though well built, it was cold. The inhabitants were made up of merchants, publicans, and smugglers. They were not exactly wicked, but they were indifferent, and as is often the case among traders and innkeepers, they cleared great profits. I t seemed as if they made something off everyone that passed through their city. As yet they had paid little attention to John's baptism; they hungered not after salvation. Things went on here as in places of which it is said: Business thrives there.

When they approached Ophra, Jesus sent the nephews of Joseph of Arimathea on ahead, in order to get the key of the synagogue and to call the peo­ple to the instruction. Jesus always entrusted such messages to these youths, for they were very clever and amiable. At the entrance of the city, the pos­sessed and lunatics ran around Jesus, crying out: "Here comes the Prophet, the Son of God, Jesus Christ, our enemy! He will drive us out!" Jesus com­manded them to be silent and to cease their fran­tic gestures. All became quiet and followed Him into the synagogue, to which He had to go from almost one end of the city to the other. There He taught till evening, going out only once to take some refreshment. His theme was, as usual, the nearness of the Kingdom of God and the necessity of Bap­tism. In vigorous words He warned the inhabitants to awake from their indifference and fancied secu­rity' lest judgment should come upon them. He spoke in strong terms against their usury, their smuggling, and such sins as are common to publi­cans and merchants. His hearers did not contradict Him, though they were not very well disposed. They were captives to their gains. Still some of them were really touched and very much changed by His teach­ing. That evening several of the most important men of the city, as well as some of the humblest class, called upon Jesus at the inn. They had resolved


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 to receive baptism, and on the following day they went to John.

Next morning Jesus and His disciples left Ophra and returned to Bethabara. On the way they sepa­rated, Andrew and the greater number being sent on ahead by the same route by which they had come; while Jesus with Saturnin and Joseph of Arimathea's nephew went on toward John's place of baptism, He took the same road as at the time upon which John rendered to Him the first public testimony after His baptism. On the way He entered some of the houses, taught their occupants, and exhorted them to Bap­tism. They reached Bethabara in the afternoon, where Jesus again delivered an instruction at the place of Baptism. Andrew and Saturnin baptized the crowds that succeeded one another. Jesus' teaching was gen­erally the same; viz., that to all that did penance and were baptized His Heavenly Father had said: "This is My beloved Son," and that, in truth, all then became God's children.

Most of those who now received Baptism were under the jurisdiction of the Tetrarch Philip, who was a good man. His people were tolerably happy, and therefore had thought little about receiving Baptism.

From Bethabara Jesus, with three disciples, went up through the valley to Dibon, where He had lately been for the Feast of Tabernacles. He taught in some houses, also in the synagogue, which was somewhat distant from the city on the road running through the valley. Jesus did not enter Dibon itself. He stayed overnight at a poor, retired inn which indeed was little more than a shed where the field laborers from the country around obtained food and lodging. It was now seed time on the sunny side of the valley, the crops of which were to ripen about the Pasch. They had to dig the ground here, for it was made up of soil, sand, and stone. They could not use the implement generally employed in breaking up the ground. Part of the standing-out harvest was now

Jesus at Eleale


 gathered in for the first time. The inhabitants of this valley, which was about three hours in length, were good people, of simple habits, and well inclined toward Jesus.

In the synagogue, as also among the field labor­ers, Jesus related and explained the parable of the sower. He did not always explain His parables. He often related them to the Pharisees without an expla­nation.

Andrew and Saturnin with some other disciples went afterward to Ophra, to confirm in their good resolu­tions those that Jesus had roused by His teaching.

When Jesus left the inn near Dibon, He started southward for Eleale about four hours distant, tak­ing a road two hours farther to the southeast of the Jordan than that by which He had come thither from Bethabara. He arrived with about seven disci­ples, and put up with one of the Elders of the syn­agogue. When the Sabbath began, He taught in the synagogue taking for His subject a parable upon the waving branches of a tree scattering around their blossoms and bearing no fruit. By this parable Jesus intended to rebuke the inhabitants who for the most part had not become better after having received John's baptism. They allowed the blossoms of penance to be scattered by every wind without bearing fruit. Such were they here. Jesus chose this similitude because these people found their support chiefly in the cultivation of fruit. They had to carry it far away for sale, as no highroad passed near their isolated city. They were also largely engaged in coarse embroi­dery and the manufacture of covers.

Up to the present Jesus had met no contradic­tion. The people of Dibon and the country around loved Him, and said that never before had they heard such a teacher. The old men always likened Him to the Prophets of whose teaching they had heard from their forefathers.

After the Sabbath Jesus went about three hours


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 westward to Bethjesimoth on the east side of a moun­tain, the sunny side, about one hour from the Jor­dan. Andrew and Saturnin with some others of John's disciples met Him on the way. Jesus spoke to them of the Children of Israel who had formerly encamped here, and of Josue and Moses who had instructed them, applying it to the present time and to His own teaching. Bethjesimoth was not a large place, but it was very fruitful, especially in wine.

Just as Jesus arrived, some demoniacs, who had been confined together in a house, were led out into the open air. All at once they began to rage and to cry: "There He comes, the Prophet! He will drive us out!" Jesus turned, enjoined silence upon them, com­manded their fetters to fall, and that they should follow Him into the synagogue. Their chains fell miraculously and the poor creatures became quite calm. They cast themselves down before Jesus, thanked Him, and followed Him into the synagogue. There He taught in parables of the culture of the vine and its fruitfulness, after which He visited and cured many sick in their homes. Bethjesimoth did not lie on any highroad. The people had to carry their fruit to market themselves.

Jesus healed here for the first time since His return from the desert. On account of the cures wrought among them, the people were instant in their prayers for Him to remain. But He departed. With Andrew, Saturnin, Joseph of Arimathea's nephews, and oth­ers, about twelve in all, He went in an oblique line toward the north until He reached the public ferry leading to the highroad of Dibon, over which He had crossed in going from Gilgal to Dibon at the Feast of Tabernacles. It takes tolerably long to cross the river at this point, because the steep bank directly opposite does not afford a landing place. From here Jesus and His little company journeyed on for about an hour over the base of a mountain in the direc­tion of Samaria, until they arrived at a small place

Jesus in Silo


 consisting of only one row of houses and which had no school.

It was occupied entirely by shepherds and kind­hearted people, who were habited in almost the same style as the shepherds I saw at the Crib. Jesus taught in the open air on a little elevation whereon a teacher's chair of stone was erected. The people here had received John's baptism.

3. Jesus in Silo, Kibzaim, and Thebez

I next saw Jesus in Silo, a city built around a high, steep rock with an extended plateau on a gen­tly rising mountain range. On this plateau, the high­est elevation of the mountain range, in early times after the departure from Egypt and during the jour­ney through the desert, the Tabernacle with the Ark of the Covenant had rested. There was a large space surrounded by a wall partly in ruins, and in it might still be seen the remains of the little building that had been erected over the Tabernacle. On the spot whereon the Ark had stood, under a roof which rested upon open arches, was a pillar similar to the one in Gilgal, and under it a kind of vault excavated in the rocky foundation. Not far from the spot occupied by the Ark was a place for offering sacrifice and a cov­ered pit for the reception of the refuse of the slaugh­ter, for they were permitted to offer sacrifice here three or four times in the year. The synagogue also was built on this enclosed space of the plateau, from which was presented a widely extended view. From it one could see the plateau of Jerusalem, the Sea of Galilee, and far over many mountains.

Silo itself was a somewhat dilapidated and not very populous city. It possessed two schools, one belonging to the Pharisees, the other to the Sad­ducees. But the people were not good; they were arro­gant, full of self-conceit and false assurance. At some distance from the city gate with its dilapidated


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 towers, stood an Essenian cloister now fallen to ruin, and nearer to the city was the house wherein the Benjaminites had confined the virgins whom, at the Feast of Tabernacles, they had brought captive to Silo. (Judges 21:19-24).

Jesus with His twelve companions put up at a house at which travelling teachers and prophets were privileged. It was adjoining the schools and dwellings of the Pharisees and Scribes, who had a kind of sem­inary here. About twenty of these Scribes in their long robes and girdles, with long, rough tufts hang­ing from their sleeves, gathered around Jesus. They feigned not to know Him, and spoke of Jesus as of a third person using all kinds of cutting speeches, such as: "Now, how will it be? There are two bap­tisms, that of John and that of Jesus, the car­penter's son of Galilee. Which, now, will be the right baptism?" They went on to say that they had heard also that women attached themselves to the mother of this carpenter's son; for instance, a widow with her two sons. These latter, at the instigation of their mother, joined the followers of Jesus, while she her­self went with His Mother, and so they travelled about. But as for themselves, they needed not such novelties. They had the Promise and the Law. All this they did not express bluntly and rudely, but with a semblance of mock friendship for Jesus. He answered their pointed speeches by saying that He was the One of whom they were speaking. And when they referred to the voice heard at His baptism, He informed them that it was the voice of His Heavenly Father, who was the Father of everyone who would repent of his sins and be regenerated by Baptism.

Then, affecting to consider it a very sacred place, they expressed unwillingness to allow Jesus and His disciples to enter the enclosure where formerly the Ark of the Covenant had stood. But Jesus, heed­less of their opposition, entered. He reproached them with having, on account of their wickedness, lost

Jesus Goes to Kibzaim


 the Ark of the Covenant; that now, preserving only the remembrance of it, they were still just as bad; that they had always violated the Law in the past, as well as in the present; and that, as the Ark had been withdrawn from the keeping of their ancestors, so now would the fulfillment of the Law be taken from themselves. As these men showed a desire to dispute with Him on some points of the Law, He stood them out, two by two, and interrogated them like children, proposing to them many deep ques­tions in the Law. They were unable to answer; so, confused and angry, muttering and nudging one another with the elbow, they began to slink away. Then Jesus led them to the covered pit in which had been thrown the refuse of the sacrifice. He ordered them to uncover it and told them in a similitude that they were like unto that pit, inwardly full of ordure and rottenness and unfit for sacrifice, though out­wardly clean, their unsightliness covered over by a fine exterior. He reminded them that from this very spot, as punishment of the sins of their forefathers, the Holy Ark had been taken away. They all left the place in anger.

When Jesus taught in the synagogue, He insisted especially upon the reverence due the aged and love toward parents. He spoke warmly on these points, for the people of Silo had long been in the wicked habit of slighting, despising, and disowning their aged parents.

A road led to Silo from Bethel on the south. Lebona was not far distant, and to Samaria from Bethel, it may have been from eight to nine hours. The Prophet Jonas lies buried at Silo.

When Jesus left Silo from the opposite side of the city, the northwest, Andrew, Saturnin, and Joseph of Arimathea's nephews separated from Him, and pro­ceeded on ahead to Galilee. Jesus with some disci­ples of John, then in His company, directed His steps to Kibzaim, where He arrived before the Sabbath.


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 Kibzaim lay in a valley between two branches of a mountain range that extended through the middle of the country, and assumed in this place almost the exact shape of a wolf's claw. The people were good, hospitable souls, and well-inclined to Jesus, whose coming they were expecting. Kibzaim was a Leviti­cal city. Jesus put up near the school with one of the head men.

There arrived also to salute Jesus, Lazarus, Martha, Johanna Chusa, the son of Simeon (who was employed at the Temple), and the old servant of the first named. They were on their way to the wedding at Cana, and had been informed by messengers that they would here meet Jesus. Jesus, from the very first, always treated Lazarus with distinction and as a very dear friend. And yet I never heard Him ask: How is such or such a one of thy relatives or acquaintances?

Kibzaim was a solitary place hidden away in a corner of the mountain. The inhabitants subsisted chiefly by the cultivation of fruits. The manufacture of tents and carpets was also carried on, and many were engaged in sandal-making. Jesus spent the Sab­bath here, and cured several sick persons by a word of command. Some were dropsical and others sim­pletons. They were brought on litters to Jesus and set down in front of the school. Jesus took a repast at the house of a distinguished Levite. After the Sab­bath He went again to Sichar, where He arrived late, and passed the night at an inn appointed for Him. Lazarus and his party went from Kibzaim straight to Galilee.

Early next morning, Jesus went from Sichar north­eastwardly toward Thebez. In Sichar, or Sichem, He could not teach. There were no Jews there. The inhab­itants were made up of Samaritans and some oth­ers who had settled there either after the Babylonian Captivity, or in consequence of a war. They used to go up to the Temple at Jerusalem, though they did not join in the Jewish sacrifices. Near Sichem is that

Jesus in Thebez


 beautiful field which Jacob bought for his son Joseph. A part of it already belonged to Herod of Galilee. A boundary consisting of stakes, a rampart of earth, and a path ran through the valley.

Thebez was quite an important city, traversed by a highway and possessed of considerable trade. Heav­ily laden camels, their burdens rising high upon their backs, came and went. It was something wonderful to see those animals with their packs like so many little towers, climbing slowly over the mountain, their head at the end of the long neck moving from side to side before their lofty burden. Raw silk formed a chief staple of trade. The people of Thebez were not bad, nor were they prejudiced against Jesus, but they were neither simple nor childlike. They were indif­ferent, as well-to-do trades people often are. The priests and Scribes were content with themselves and indifferent to others. As Jesus entered the city, the possessed and the lunatics raised their cry: "There comes the Prophet of Galilee! He has power over us! He will drive us away!" Jesus commanded them silence, and instantly they became quiet. Jesus put up near the synagogue whither the crowds followed Him, bringing with them their sick, of whom He healed many. That evening He taught in the school and celebrated the Feast of Dedication, which then began. In the school and in all the houses seven lights were lit, also outdoors in the fields and on the roads near the shepherds' huts were little burning tufts of something on the ends of stakes. Thebez was admirably situated on the mountain. At some dis­tance, one could see the mountain road running through it and the laden camels climbing up; but near the city the view was hidden.

Andrew, Saturnin, and Joseph's nephews had already left Silo and gone to Galilee. Andrew had been up among his relatives at Bethsaida. He had informed Peter that he had again found the Mes­siah, who was taken on His way up to Galilee, and


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 that he would take him (Peter) to Him. All went now to Arbela, called also Betharbel, to see Nathanael Chased, who was there on business, and to induce him to go with them to celebrate the feast at Gen­nabris. Chased resided at that time in Gennabris in a high house that, with several others, stood by itself outside the city. The disciples spoke much to him of Jesus. Andrew had purposely taken them there for the feast because he, as well as they, counted upon Nathanael. They were eager to hear his opinion, but Nathanael appeared rather indifferent to the whole affair.

Lazarus had brought Martha and Johanna Chusa to Mary then at Capharnaum, whither she had come from Cana. They set off again for Tiberias where they hoped to meet Jesus. Simeon's son was one of the escorts, and the bridegroom of Cana went also to meet the Lord. This bridegroom was the son of the daughter of Sobe, the sister of Anne. His name was Nathanael. He did not belong to Cana, though he was married there. Gennabris was a populous city. A highway ran through it, and there was much busi­ness and traffic carried on, especially in silk. It was in the country, a couple of hours from Tiberias, from which it was separated by mountains. To reach it, one had to go somewhat southward between Emmaus and Tiberias, and then turn to the latter. Arbela was between Sephoris and Tiberias.

4. First Formal Call of Peter, Philip, and Nathanael

Jesus departed before daybreak from Thebez. He and His disciples proceeded at first eastward, and then turning to the north, journeyed along the base of the mountain and through the valley of the Jor­dan toward Tiberias. He passed through Abelmahula, a beautiful city, where the mountain extends more to the north. It was the birthplace of Eliseus. The

Call of Peter, Philip, and Nathanael


 city is built on a spur of the mountain, and I noticed the great difference between the fruitfulness of its sunny side and its northern one. The inhabitants were tolerably good. They had heard of the mira­cles wrought by Jesus at Kibzaim and Thebez, so they stayed with Him on the way, begging Him to tarry with them and heal their sick. The excitement became almost tumultuous, but Jesus did not stay with them long. This city was about four hours from Thebez. Jesus passed near Scythopolis and on to the Jordan.

As He was journeying from Abelmahula, He met near a little city about six hours from Tiberias, Andrew, Peter, and John. Leaving the other friends in Gennabris, these three had come on to meet Jesus. Peter and John were in this part of the country upon some business connected with their fishery. They intended to proceed direct to Gennabris, but Andrew persuaded them to go first to meet the Lord. Andrew presented his brother to Jesus, who among other words said to him: “Thou art Simon, the son of Jonas; thou shalt be called Cephas.” This was said at the first salutation. To John, Jesus addressed some words relative to their next meeting. Then Peter and John went out to Gennabris, while Andrew accompanied Jesus into the environs of Tarichaea.

John the Baptist had by this time abandoned his place of baptism on this side of the Jordan. He had crossed the river and was now baptizing about one hour to the north of Bethabara, at the place whereon Jesus had lately allowed the disciples to baptize and where John himself had baptized at an earlier period. John had made this change to suit the convenience of the people from the region under Philip the Tetrarch. Philip was a good-natured man. Many of his people desired baptism, but were unwilling to cross the Jordan to receive it. Among them were many of the heathens. The last visit that Jesus made to this part of the country had roused in numbers


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 the desire after baptism. Another reason also influ­enced John to baptize where Jesus' disciples had lately been similarly engaged, and that was to show that there was no disunion between him and Jesus.

When Jesus with Andrew reached the neighbor­hood of Tarichaea, He put up near the lake at a house belonging to Peter's fishery. Andrew had previously given orders for preparations to be made for Jesus' reception. Jesus did not go into the city. There was something dark and repulsive about the inhabitants, who were deeply engaged in usury and thought only of gain. Simon, who here had some employment, had with Thaddeus and James the Less, his brothers, gone for the feast to Gennabris, where James the Greater and John were. Lazarus, Saturnin, and Simeon's son came here to meet Jesus, as also the bridegroom of Cana. The last named invited Jesus and all His com­pany to his marriage.

The principal motive that led Jesus to pass a cou­ple of days in the vicinity of Tarichaea was that He desired to give the future Apostles and disciples time to communicate to one another the reports circulated about Himself, and especially what Andrew and Sat­urnin had to relate. He desired also that, by more frequent intercourse, they should better understand one another. While Jesus traversed the country around Tarichaea, I saw Andrew remaining in the house. He was busy writing letters with a reed upon strips of parchment. The writings could be rolled into a little hollow, wooden cylinder and unrolled at plea­sure. I saw men and youths frequently entering the house, and seeking employment. Andrew engaged them as couriers to convey to Philip and his half brother Jonathan, also to Peter and the others at Gennabris, letters notifying them that Jesus would go to Capharnaum for the Sabbath and engaging them to meet Him there.

Meanwhile a messenger arrived from Capharnaum begging Andrew to solicit Jesus to go thither right

Jesus at Capharnaum


 away, for a messenger from Cades had been there awaiting Him for the past few days. This man wanted to ask Jesus for help.

Accordingly, with Andrew, Saturnin, Obed, and some of John's disciples, Jesus set out from the fisher house near Tarichaea to Capharnaum. This last named city was not close to the lake, but on the plateau and southern slope of a mountain. On the western side of the lake, the mountain formed a val­ley through which the Jordan flowed into the lake. Jesus and His companions went separately, Andrew with his half-brother Jonathan, and Philip—both of whom had come in answer to his notification—walked together. Jonathan and Philip had not yet met Jesus. Andrew spoke enthusiastically to them. He told them all that he had seen of Jesus, and protested that He was indeed the Messiah. If they desired to follow Him, he added, there was no need of their present­ing to Him a formal petition to that effect; all they had to do was to regard Him attentively, and He, seeing their earnest wish, would give them a hint, a word to join His followers.

Mary and the holy women were not in Caphar­naum itself, but at Mary's house in the valley out­side the city and nearer to the lake. It was there that they celebrated the feast. The sons of Mary Cleophas, Peter, James the Greater, and his brother John had already arrived from Gennabris with others of the future disciples. Chased (Nathanael), Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, however, were not present. But there were many other relatives and friends of the Holy Family who had been invited to Cana for the wedding, celebrating the Sabbath here, because they had been notified that Jesus was expected.

Jesus along with Andrew, Saturnin, some of John's disciples, Lazarus, and Obed, stopped at a house belonging to the bridegroom Nathanael. Nathanael's parents were dead. They had left a large patrimony


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 to their son.

The future disciples, just come from Gennabris, experienced a certain shyness in Jesus' company. They were actuated in this by the influence Nathanael Chased's opinion had over them and then again, by the thought of the wonderful things they had heard of Jesus from Andrew and some others of John's dis­ciples. They were restrained also by their own nat­ural bashfulness and likewise by the remembrance of what Andrew had told them; viz., that they were not to make advances themselves, but merely pay attention to the teaching of Jesus, for that would be sufficient to make them decide to follow Him.

For two whole days had the messenger from Cades been waiting here for Jesus. Now he approached Him, cast himself at His feet, and informed Him that he was the servant of a man of Cades. His master, he said, entreated Jesus to return with him and cure his little son who was afflicted with leprosy and a dumb devil. This man was a most faithful servant; he placed his master's trouble before Jesus in very pathetic words. Jesus replied that He could not return with him, but still the child should receive assis­tance, for he was an innocent boy. Then He directed the servant to tell his master to stretch himself with extended arms over his son, to recite certain prayers, and the leprosy would disappear. After which, he, the servant himself, should lie upon the boy and breathe into his mouth. A blue vapor would then escape from the boy and he would be freed from dumbness. I had a glimpse of the father and servant curing the boy, as Jesus had directed.

There were certain mysterious reasons for the com­mand that the father and the servant should stretch themselves alternately upon the boy. The servant himself was the true father of the child, of which fact, however, the master was ignorant. But Jesus knew it. Both had therefore to be instrumental in freeing the child from the penalty of sin.

Jesus at Capharnaum


Cades was about six hours from Capharnaum, on the boundary toward Tyre and west of Paneas. It was once the capital of the Canaanites, but was now a free city whither the prosecuted might flee from justice. It bordered on a region called Kabul, which had been presented by Solomon to the king of Phoenicia. I saw this region ever dark, gloomy, dis­mal. Jesus always shunned it when going to Tyre and Sidon. I think robbery and murder were freely carried on in it.

When on the Sabbath Jesus taught in the syna­gogue, an unusually large crowd was assembled to hear Him, and among His audience were all His friends and relatives. His teaching was entirely novel to these people, and quite transporting in its elo­quence. He spoke of the nearness of the Kingdom of God, of the light that should not be hidden under a' bushel, of sowing, and of faith like unto a mustard seed. He taught, not in naked parables, but with explanations. The parables were short examples and similitudes, which He used to explain His doctrine more clearly. I have indeed heard Him in His teach­ing making use of a great many more parables than are related in the Gospel. Those there recorded are such as He most frequently used with explanations more or less varied to suit the occasion.

After the close of the Sabbath, Jesus went with His disciples into a little vale near the synagogue. It seemed intended for a promenade or a place of seclusion. There were trees in front of the entrance, as well as in the vale. The sons of Mary Cleophas, of Zebedee, and some others of the disciples were with Him. But Philip, who was backward and hum­ble, hung behind, not certain as to whether he should or should not follow. Jesus, who was going on before, turned His head and, addressing Philip, said: "Fol­low Me!" at which words Philip went on joyously with the others. There were about twelve in the little band.

Jesus taught here under a tree, His subject being


Life of Jesus Christ

 "Vocation and Correspondence." Andrew, who was full of zeal for his Master's interests, rejoiced at the happy impression made upon the disciples by the teaching of Jesus on the preceding Sabbath. He saw them con­vinced that Jesus was the Messiah, and his own heart was so full that he lost no opportunity to recount to them again and again all that he had seen at Jesus' baptism, also the miracles He had wrought.

I heard Jesus calling Heaven to witness that they should behold still greater things, and He spoke of His mission from His Heavenly Father.

He alluded also to their own vocation, telling them to hold themselves in readiness. They would, He con­tinued, have to forsake all when He called them. He would provide for them, they should suffer no want. They might still continue their customary occupa­tions, because as the Passover was now approaching He would have to discharge other affairs. But when He should call them, they should follow Him imme­diately. The disciples questioned Him unrestrainedly as to how they should manage with regard to their families. Peter, for instance, said that just at present he could not leave his old stepfather, who was also Philip's uncle. But Jesus relieved his anxiety by His answer, that He would not begin before the Paschal feast; that only insofar as the heart was concerned, should they detach themselves from their occupa­tions; that exteriorly they should continue them until He called them. In the meantime, however, they should take the necessary steps toward freeing them­selves from their different avocations. Jesus then left the vale by the opposite end, and went to His Mother's house, one of a row that stood between Capharnaum and Bethsaida. His nearest relatives accompanied Him, for their mothers also were with Mary.

Very early the next morning, Jesus with His rel­atives and disciples started for Cana. Mary and the other women went by themselves, taking the more direct and shorter route. It was only a narrow foot­path

Life of Jesus Christ by Anne Catherine Emmerich
Vol 2

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