Life of Jesus Christ by Anne Catherine Emmerich
Vol 2

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John's Imprisonment


 and friends, awaiting the return of Jesus. They went in and out the house and gazed along the road, to catch the first sight of Him. And now came some of John's disciples with the news of their master's imprisonment, which filled the hearts of the little company with anxiety. The disciples then went on to meet Jesus with whom they came up not far from Capharnaum, and made known to Him their errand. He consoled them, and continued His way to His Mother's alone. He had sent His disciples on in advance. Lazarus came out to meet Him, and washed His feet in the vestibule.

When Jesus entered the apartment, the men bowed low before Him. He greeted them, and went up to His Mother, to whom He stretched out His hands. She, too, most lovingly and humbly inclined to Him. There was no rushing into each other's arms; their meeting was full of tender and ingenuous reserve, which touched all present and made upon them the holiest impression. Then Jesus turned toward the other women, who lowered their veils and sank on their knees before Him. He was accustomed to give His blessing at such meetings and leave-takings.

I saw now a repast made ready, and the men reclin­ing around the table, the women at one end sitting cross-legged. They spoke indignantly of John's impris­onment, but Jesus rebuked them. He said that they should not be angry and pass sentence upon it, for that it had to be. Were John not removed from the scene, He Himself would not be able to begin His work and go to Bethania. Then He told them of the people among whom He had been. Of Jesus' coming, none knew excepting those present and the confi­dential disciples. Jesus slept with the other guests in a side building. He appointed the disciples to meet Him after the next Sabbath at a house, high and solitary, in the neighborhood of Bethoron.

I saw Him conversing with Mary alone. She was weeping at the thought of His exposing Himself to


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 danger by going to Jerusalem. He comforted her, telling her that she must not be anxious, that He would accomplish His mission, and that the sorrowful days had not yet come. He encouraged her to persevere in prayer, and exhorted the others to refrain from all comments and judgments upon John's imprisonment and the action of the Pharisees against Himself, for such proceedings on their part would only increase the danger, that the Pharisees' manner of acting was permitted by Divine Providence, though thereby they were working out their own destruction.

Some mention was made of Magdalen also. Jesus again told them to pray for her and think of her kindly, for she would soon be converted and become so good as to be an example for many.

Early next morning, Jesus went to Bethania with Lazarus and about five of the disciples belonging to Jerusalem. It was the beginning of the Feast of the New Moon, and I saw floating from the synagogues of Capharnaum and other places, long streamers of knotted drapery and festoons of fruit on the princi­pal houses.

9. John the Baptist Arrested by Herod and Imprisoned at Machaerus

Herod had once before caused the Baptist to be arrested at the place of baptism and brought to him where he kept him in custody some weeks in the hope of intimidating him and leading him to a change of sentiment. But through fear of the immense crowds that were hurrying to hear John, he had released him. John then retired to the place where he had formerly baptized near Ainon and opposite Salem. It was one hour and a half east of the Jordan and about two hours south of Socoth. The baptismal well was in the region of a lake, about a quarter of an hour long, from which two streams, after bathing the foot of a hill, flowed into the Jordan. On this hill were

John at Machaerus


 the remains of an old castle, whose towers were still habitable, and scattered around were gardens and walks and other dwellings. Between the lake and the hill was John's baptismal well. In the center of the spacious, caldron-shaped summit of the hill, John's disciples had raised an awning over a terraced ele­vation formed of stone, and it was there that he taught. This region was under Philip's jurisdiction. But it ran like a point into Herod's country, who on that account was somewhat reserved in executing his designs against John.

An uncommonly great concourse of people had assembled to hear John: whole caravans from Ara­bia on camels and asses, and hundreds of people from Jerusalem and all Judea, both men and women. The crowds came and went by turns, covered the caldron-shaped plateau, encamped at the base of the hill, and stood on the heights around. The most beautiful order was established and maintained by John's disciples. Those nearest the preacher reclined on the ground, those behind them sat on their heels, while the outer rows stood; in this way all could see. The heathens were separated from the Jews, and the men from the women, who always stood back in the last row. On the slope of the hill were other groups squatting, head and arms resting on their knees, or again, clasping one knee and lying or sitting on the other hip.

Since his return from Herod, John was as if pen­etrated by a new spirit. His voice sounded usually sweet, and yet was so powerful and far-reaching that every word was understood. He again wore his man­tle of skins, and was more roughly clothed than at On where he had sometimes appeared in a flowing robe. His teaching was of Jesus and His persecution in Jerusalem. Pointing toward Upper Galilee where Jesus was at that instant going about working mirac­ulous cures, John said: "But He will soon reappear in those parts. His persecutors will gain nothing over


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 Him until His mission shall have been fulfilled."

Herod also and his wife came with a guard of sol­diers to John's place of instruction. He had travelled from his castle of Livias twelve hours, passing near Dibon where he had to cross two branches of a lit­tle river. As far as Dibon the road was good, but after that it became very rough and difficult, properly speaking fit only for foot-passengers and beasts of burden. Herod rode upon a long, narrow chariot on which one could recline or sit sideways. There were several with him. The wheels proper were heavy, low, round disks without spokes, though there were other larger ones and rollers at the back. The road was so uneven that on one side the chariot rested on the high wheels, and on the other upon low ones. The journey was a painful one. Herod's wife, along with her ladies in waiting, rode upon a similar chariot. They were drawn by asses preceded and followed by soldiers and courtiers.

Herod had undertaken this journey because John was now preaching again, and that more boldly and zealously than before. He was anxious to hear him and learn whether he said anything personally against himself. His wife was only waiting for an opportunity to excite him to extreme measures against John; she hid her crafty designs, however, under a fair appearance. Herod had still another motive in making this journey. He knew that the Arabian king Aretas, father of his repudiated first wife, had come hither to John and, to escape observation, had min­gled with the disciples. He wanted to see whether Aretas had any design to stir up the people against himself. His first wife, a good and very beautiful lady, had returned to her father who, having heard of John's teaching and of his opposition to Herod's un­lawful desires, had come to satisfy himself of the truth of what had been told him. But anxious to attract no attention, he was dressed simply, like John's disciples with whom he identified himself.

John Preaching Before Herod


Herod alighted at the old castle on the hill and sat during John's instruction upon the graded ter­race in front. His wife, surrounded by her guards and attendants, sat on cushions under an awning. John was preaching in a loud voice and at that moment crying out to the people that they should not be scandalized at Herod's second union, that they should honor him without imitating him. These words pleased Herod at first, though on second thought they irritated him. The force with which John spoke was indescribable. His voice was like thunder, and yet sweet and intelligible. He seemed to be exerting himself for the last time. He had already warned his disciples that his days were drawing to a close, but that they should not abandon him, they should visit him when in prison. For three days he had neither eaten nor drunk. The whole time had been spent in teaching, proclaiming aloud his testimony to Jesus, and in rebuking Herod for his adultery. The disci­ples implored him to discontinue and take a little nourishment, but he listened not; he was wholly under the spirit of inspiration.

The view from the height upon which John taught was uncommonly beautiful. One could see off in the distance the Jordan, the cities lying around, fields, and orchards. There must have been here in days gone by a great building, for I could still see stone arches like those of bridges, overgrown with thick green moss. Two of the towers of the castle at which Herod stopped, had been lately restored and it was in them that he lodged. This region was rich in springs and the baths were kept in perfect order. The water that supplied them was brought through a skillfully constructed, vaulted canal from the hill upon whose summit John taught. The baptismal pool was oval in form and encircled by three beautiful green ter­races through which five pathways were cut. This region was indeed much smaller, but richer in appear­ance than that of Bethsaida at Jerusalem, which is


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 here and there rendered unsightly and impure by reeds and by the leaves that fall into it from the sur­rounding trees. The baptismal pool lay behind the hill, and about one hundred and fifty feet beyond was the great pond in which were numbers of fish. They seemed to be crowding to the side at which John was teaching, as if they wanted to hear. On the pond were little skiffs, trunks of trees hollowed out, large enough at most for two men only, with seats in the middle for fishing. John ate only a little poor honey. When he took food with his disciples, it was always in very small quantities. He prayed alone, and spent much of the night gazing up to Heaven.

John knew that the time of his arrest was near; therefore had he spoken as if under inspiration and as if taking leave of his auditors. He had announced Jesus more clearly than ever. He was now coming, he said; consequently he himself should retire and they should go to Jesus. He, John, was soon to be apprehended. They were, he continued addressing his audience, a hard and indocile people. They should recall how he had come at first and prepared the ways for the Lord. He had built bridges, made foot paths, cleared away stones, arranged baptismal pools, and conducted thither the water. He had a difficult task, struggling against stony earth, hard rocks, and knotty wood. And these labors he had had to con­tinue toward a people stubborn, obdurate, and unpol­ished. But they whom he had stirred up should now go to the Lord, to the well-beloved Son of the Father. They whom He received would be truly received; they whom He rejected should indeed be rejected. He was coming now to teach, to baptize, to perfect what he himself had prepared. Then turning toward Herod, John earnestly reproached him several times before the people for his scandalous connection. Herod, who both reverenced and feared him, was inwardly furi­ous, though preserving a cool exterior.

The instruction was ended and the crowd began

John Arrested


 to disperse on all sides, the people from Arabia and Aretas, Herod's father-in-law going with them. Herod had not caught sight of him. Herod's wife had already gone, and now he himself departed, concealing his rage and taking a friendly leave of John.

John sent several disciples to different quarters with messages, dismissed the others, and retired to his tent to give himself up to prayer. It was already dark and the disciples had departed, when about twenty soldiers, after placing guards on all sides, surrounded the tent and one entered. John told him that he would follow quietly, that he knew his time had come and that he must make way for Jesus, they needed not to fetter him, for he would willingly accom­pany them, and that, in order to avoid a tumult, they should lead him away with as little noise as possi­ble. And so the twenty men hurried him off at a rapid pace. He had only his rough mantle of skins thrown about him, and his staff in his hand. Some of his disciples met him as he was being led away. He took leave of them with a glance, and bade them visit him in his imprisonment. But soon the disci­ples and people mobbed together and cried aloud: "They have arrested John!" and then arose weeping and lamentations. They wanted to follow, but they knew not what direction to take, for the soldiers had turned quickly out of the usual way and proceeded southward by an unknown route. Intense excitement, grief, and mourning prevailed. The disciples scat­tered and fled in all quarters just as they did later, at the time of Jesus' arrest, and the news was soon spread throughout the whole country.

After marching with the soldiers the whole night, John was conducted first to a tower at Hesebon. Toward morning some soldiers of the place came to meet the prisoner, for it was already known there that John had been arrested, and the people were gathering together in groups. The soldiers who had charge of John seemed to be a kind of bodyguard to


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 Herod. They wore helmets, their breasts and shoul­ders protected by armor formed of metal plates and rings, and they bore long lances in their hands.

The people of Hesebon gathered in crowds before John's prison, and the guards had enough to do to drive them off. The upper part of the tower had sev­eral exterior openings. John stood in his prison cry­ing in a voice loud enough to be heard without. His words were to this effect, that he had prepared the ways, had broken rocks, had directed streams, had dug fountains, had built bridges; he had had to cope with obstacles the most adverse and contradictory, and it was owing to the obstinacy of those whom he now addressed that he had been arrested. But they should turn to Him whom he had announced, to Him who would soon come by the paths he himself had made straight. When the Master approached, then should they who had prepared His way withdraw, and all should turn to Jesus, the latchets of whose shoes he himself was not worthy to loose. "Jesus," he continued, "is the Light, the Truth, and the Son of the Father," etc. He called upon his disciples to visit him in his confinement, for no one would yet ven­ture to lay hands upon him, his hour was not yet come. John uttered the above in a voice as loud and distinct as if he were addressing the multitude from an orator's stand. Again and again the guard dis­persed the crowd, but the throng soon reassembled, and John's instructions recommenced.

He was afterward led by the soldiers from Hese­bon to the prison of Machaerus, the access to which was up a high and steep mountain. He rode with several in a low, narrow, covered chariot like a box, drawn by asses. Arrived at Machaerus, the soldiers conducted him up the steep mountain path to the fortress. But they did not enter by the principal gate, but through a postern in the wall nearby, which over­hanging moss almost concealed. Traversing a pas­sage somewhat inclined, they reached a brazen door

Jesus in Bethania


 which opened into another that ran under the gate­way of the fortress, and thence led into a large under­ground vault. It was lighted from above and was clean, though destitute of every species of comfort.

From the place of baptism, Herod went to his cas­tle of Herodium, which had been built by Herod the Elder, and where once, for mere sport, he had caused some persons to be drowned in a pond. Here, filled with dejection, Herod hid himself away and would see nobody, although many had already presented themselves to express to him their disapproval of John's arrest. A prey to inquietude, he shut himself up in his own apartments.

After some time John's disciples, provided they came in small numbers, were allowed to approach the prison, converse with him, and pass things to him through the grating. But if many came together, they were turned away by guards. John ordered the disciples to go on baptizing at Ainon, until Jesus came to establish Himself there for the same pur­pose. The prison was large and well-lighted, but its only resting place was a stone bench. John was very serious. His countenance always wore an expression of thoughtfulness and sadness. He looked like one that loved and heralded the Lamb of God, but who knew the bitter death in store for Him.

10. Jesus in Bethania. Inns Established for the Accommodation of Jesus and the Disciples on Their Journeys. The Pearl Lost and Found

With Lazarus and the five disciples belonging to Jeru­salem, Jesus traversed the road from Capharnaum to Bethania through the region of Bethulia. But to Bethulia itself, which lay high in the distance, they did not go. Their way ran around it toward Jezrael, outside of which Lazarus owned a kind of accommo­dation inn with a garden.


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The disciples had gone on ahead and prepared a luncheon. One of the trusty servants of Lazarus had charge of the place. It was early in the morning when they washed their feet here, shook the dust from their clothes, ate something, and took a little rest. From Jezrael they went over a little river, leaving Scythopolis and afterward Salem to the left, crossed a mountain spur, and approached the Jordan. Con­tinuing their course southward, they crossed the river below Samaria and, because it was already night, rested some hours on an eminence of the river's bank where some faithful shepherds dwelt. Before day­break next morning they started again and directed their steps between Hai and Gilgal through the desert of Jericho. Jesus and Lazarus journeyed together, while the disciples went ahead by another route. Jesus and Lazarus walked the whole day by unfre­quented paths without touching at any place, not even at the inn that Lazarus owned on this side of the desert. When within a few hours of Bethania, Lazarus went on ahead and Jesus continued His jour­ney alone.

There were assembled at Bethania with Lazarus and the five disciples from Jerusalem, about fifteen disciples and followers of Jesus and seven women: Saturnin, Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathea, his nephews, Simeon's sons, and those of Johanna Chusa, Veronica, and Obed respectively. Among the women were Veronica, Johanna Chusa, Susanna, Mary Mar­cus the widow of Obed, Martha, and the discreet old servant of the last named, who afterward joined the holy women who cared for the wants of the Lord and His disciples. All were gathered in a large, subter­ranean vault of Lazarus' castle, quietly and, it seemed, secretly awaiting the coming of Jesus.

Toward evening He arrived and entered the gar­den by a back gate. Lazarus went out to meet Him in a reception hall, where he washed His feet. There was here a deep basin connected with the house by

Jesus at Lazarus' Castle


 pipes, through which Martha poured tepid water for the use of their Guest. Jesus, sitting on the rim of the basin, immersed His feet, which Lazarus washed and dried. After that he shook out Jesus' garments, put on His feet fresh sandals, and handed Him a lit­tle food and drink.

Then Jesus accompanied Lazarus through a long, shady walk up to the house and down into the vaulted chamber. The women drew their veils and bowed low on their knees before Him, while the men inclined profoundly. Jesus greeted all and blessed them, after which they took their place at table. The women sat on cushions at one side of the table, their feet crossed under them.

Nicodemus was remarkably impressed and very desirous of hearing every word of Jesus. The men spoke indignantly of John's imprisonment. But Jesus said that it had to be, it was the will of God, and that they should not speak of such things in order not to attract attention and thereby give rise to dan­ger. If John had not been removed from the scene of action, He Himself would not yet have been able to labor here. The blossoms must fall, if the fruit is to appear.

Then they spoke angrily of the spying and perse­cution set on foot by the Pharisees, whereupon Jesus again commanded them to be at peace. He deplored the action of the Pharisees and related the parable of the unjust steward. The Pharisees, too, were unjust stewards, though not so prudent as the subject of the parable, therefore would they have no resource on the day of reckoning.

After the meal, they retired to another apartment where lamps were lighted. Jesus prayed aloud, and they began the exercises of the Sabbath. After that Jesus conversed awhile with the men, and all retired to rest.

When silence reigned in the house and the inmates were sunk in slumber, Jesus arose from His couch


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 and went out unperceived to the cave on Mount Olivet in which, on the day before His bitter Passion, He would wrestle in prayer. He prayed several hours to His Heavenly Father for strength to accomplish His work, and before daybreak returned unnoticed to Bethania.

The sons of Obed, who were servers in the Tem­ple, now returned with some others to Jerusalem, but the rest of the guests remained quietly in the house, and none but themselves knew of Jesus' presence.

During the meal today, Jesus told them of His stay among the people of Upper Galilee, at Amead, Adama, and Seleucia. And as the men in their zeal vehe­mently inveighed against the sects, He reproved them for their bitterness, and related to them a parable. He told them of a man who on the way to Jericho had fallen among robbers, and who had received more pity from a Samaritan than from a Levite. I have always heard this parable related in the same way, though with different applications. He spoke also of the calamities about to befall Jerusalem.

At night when all were asleep, Jesus went again to pray in the cave on the Mount of Olives. He shed many tears and endured intense fear and anguish. He was like a son going forth to great labors, and who first threw himself on the bosom of his father to receive strength and comfort. My guide told me that whenever Jesus was in Bethania and had an hour to spare, He used to go to that cave to pray. This was a preparation for His last agony on Mount Olivet. It was also shown to me that Jesus chiefly on Mount Olivet prayed and sorrowed, because Adam and Eve when driven from Paradise had here first trodden the inhospitable earth. I saw them in that cave sorrowing and praying, and it was on this moun­tain, which Cain was cultivating for the first time, that he became so enraged as to resolve to kill Abel. I thought of Judas, I saw Cain murdering his brother in the vicinity of Mount Calvary, and on Mount Olivet

Inns Established


 called by God to account for the same. Daybreak found Jesus back again in Bethania.

The Sabbath over, that took place on account of which principally Jesus had come to Bethania. The holy women had heard with sorrow what hardships Jesus and His followers had had to endure upon their journeys, and that Jesus especially, on His last hur­ried journey to Tyre, had suffered such want; they had heard of His having to soften the hard crusts, which Saturnin had begged on the way, in order to be able to eat them. They had therefore offered to establish inns and furnish them with all that was necessary. Jesus accepted their offer, and came hither to make with them the necessary arrangements. As He now declared that He would henceforth publicly teach everywhere, Lazarus and the women again offered to establish inns, especially since the Jews in the cities around Jerusalem, instigated by the Pharisees, would furnish nothing to Him and His disciples. They also begged the Lord to signify to them the principal stopping places on His journeys and the number of His disciples, that they might know how many inns would be needed and what quantity of provisions to supply.

Jesus replied by giving them the route of His future journeys, also the stopping places, and the probable number of disciples. It was decided that about fif­teen inns should be made ready and entrusted to the care of confidential persons, some of them relatives either of Lazarus or of the Holy Family. They were scattered throughout the whole country, with the exception of the district of Cabul toward Tyre and Sidon.

The holy women then consulted together as to what district each should see to and what share each should take in the new establishments, to supply furniture, covers, clothes, sandals, etc., to provide for washing and repairing, and to attend to the furnishing of bread and other necessaries. All this took place before


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 and during the meal. Martha was in her element.

After the meal Jesus, Lazarus, the other friends, and the holy women assembled secretly in another of the subterranean halls. Jesus sat on a raised seat at one side of the hall, the men standing and sitting around Him; the women were on the opposite side on steps covered with carpets and cushions. Jesus spoke of the mercy of God to His people. He had sent them Prophets one after another whom they had dis­owned and ill-treated; now they would reject the Supreme Grace, and He predicted what would betide them. After He had dwelt upon this at length, some of His hearers said to Him: "Lord, relate this to us in a beautiful parable," and Jesus told them the para­ble of a king who after all his servants had been killed by the unfaithful vinedressers, sent his son into the vineyard where he too was murdered.

Some of the men withdrew at the close of this instruction and Jesus went with others into the hall and walked up and down. Martha, who was passing to and fro, approached Him and had a long talk about her sister Magdalen. She related what she had heard of her from Veronica, and her own con­sequent anxiety.

While Jesus was walking up and down the hall with the men, the women sat playing a kind of lot­tery for the benefit of their new undertaking. On the elevated platform was a table on rollers around which they sat. The plane of the table, which projected into five angles like the rays of a star, covered a box about two inches in depth. From the five points to the cen­ter of this partitioned box, ran deep furrows on the surface, and between them were slits connecting the interior. Each of the women had some long strings of pearls and many other little precious stones. Each in turn placed some of them in one of the furrows on the table. Then resting a delicate little bow on the outer end of the furrow, she shot a tiny arrow at the nearest pearl or stone. The shock received by

The Precious Pearl


 this one communicated itself to the rest, which rolled into the other furrows or dropped through the holes into the compartments in the interior of the box. When all the pearls and stones had been shot from the surface, the table, which was upon rollers, was agitated to and fro, by which movement the contents fell into other little compartments which could be drawn out at the edge. Each of these little drawers had previously been assigned to one of the players, so that when the holy women drew them out, they saw at once what they had won for their new under­taking or which jewel they had lost. Obed had died not long before and his widow was still mourning for him. Before the baptism, he had been at Lazarus' with Jesus.

During the game the holy women lost a very pre­cious pearl that had fallen down among them. All moved back and looked for it most carefully. When at last they found it and were expressing their joy, Jesus came over to them and related the parable of the lost drachma and the joy of the owner upon find­ing it again. From their pearl, lost, carefully sought, and joyfully found, He drew a new similitude to Mag­dalen. He called her a pearl more precious than many others that, from the lottery table of holy love, had fallen and were going to destruction. "With what joy," He exclaimed, "will ye find again the precious pearl!" Then the women, deeply moved, asked: "Ah, Lord! Will that pearl be found again?" and Jesus answered: "Seek ye more earnestly than the woman in the para­ble sought the lost drachma, or the shepherd his stray sheep." Profoundly touched at this answer, all promised to seek after Magdalen more diligently than after their lost pearl, and assured Him that their joy upon finding her would far exceed what they now felt. Some of the women begged the Lord to receive among His disciples the young man of Samaria who, after the Pasch, had besought this favor of Him on the road to that city. They praised his great wisdom


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 and virtue. I think he was related to one of them. But Jesus replied that He could not count upon him as he was blinded by love of riches.

That evening several of the men and women began their preparations to go to Bethoron, where Jesus was to preach next day. That night Jesus again retired secretly to the Mount of Olives and prayed with His whole heart and soul, after which He went with Lazarus and Saturnin to Bethoron, about six hours off. It was then one hour past midnight. They cut through the desert on their way. When about two hours distant from Bethoron, they were met by the disciples whom Jesus had appointed to join Him there, and who had arrived at the inn near Bethoron the day before. They were Peter, Andrew, and their half-brother Jonathan, James the Greater, John, James the Less, and Judas Thaddeus, who was with them now for the first time, Philip, Nathanael Chased, also the bridegroom of Cana, and one or two of the widow's sons. Jesus rested with them under a tree in the desert for a long time, and gave them an instruc­tion. He spoke again on the parable of the lord of the vineyard who had sent his son to the vinedressers. At the conclusion of the discourse, they proceeded to the inn and took something to eat. Saturnin had received from the women a purse of money with which to procure provisions for the little party.

11. Jesus in Bethoron. The Hardships and Privations of the Disciples

It was toward eight o'clock in the morning when Jesus arrived in Bethoron. A couple of the disciples went to the dwelling of the Elders and demanded the keys of the synagogue, as their Master wanted to deliver an instruction; others scattered through the streets and summoned the people to the school, while Jesus went with the rest to the synagogue, which was soon filled with auditors. He taught again

Jesus in Bethoron


 in severe terms on the parable of the lord of the vineyard whose servants were murdered by the unfaithful vinedressers, whose son whom he had sent to them shared the same fate, and who at last gave the vineyard into the hands of others. He spoke like­wise of the persecution of the Prophets and the impris­onment of John, saying that they would persecute Him also and lay hands upon Him, and He ended by predicting the judgment and woe that were to come upon Jerusalem. This discourse occasioned great excitement among the Jews. Some rejoiced, while others muttered angrily to one another: "Whence came this Man so unexpectedly here? No one knew of His arrival!" And some who had heard that there were women, followers of Jesus, at the inn in the valley, went out to question them on the designs of their Master.

Jesus cured several that were sick of a fever, and after some hours left the city.

Veronica, Johanna Chusa, and Obed's widow had arrived at the inn, and prepared a luncheon. Jesus and the disciples partook of it standing, after which they girded themselves and recommenced their jour­ney. Jesus taught on this same day in Kibzaim on similar subjects as at Bethoron, also in some small shepherd settlements. All the disciples were not pre­sent in Kibzaim, but they met again at a large house belonging to a shepherd. It was surrounded by out­buildings and stood on the confines of Samaria. Mary and Joseph had been hospitably received there on their journey to Bethlehem, after having vainly sought admittance elsewhere. Here Jesus and the disciples, about fifteen in all, ate and slept. Lazarus and the women had returned to Bethania.

On the next day Jesus and the disciples sometimes together, sometimes in separate groups, passed rapidly through several large cities and small towns that lay in a district of some hours in extent. Gabaa and Najoth, about four hours from Kibzaim, were among them.


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 In none of these places did Jesus take time to go to the synagogues to teach, but instructed the crowds that gathered to hear Him on hills in the open air, on the public places, and in the streets. Several of the disciples remained with Jesus, while the others scattered through the valleys and shepherd villages to call the dwellers to the places which Jesus was to pass. The whole day's work was performed with in­credible hardship and fatigue, with constant going from place to place. Jesus cured many sick, some of whom were carried to Him, but others cried out them­selves for His aid. There were some lunatics among them. Many possessed ran clamoring after Him, but He commanded them to be silent and to retire.

What made that day's work still more wearisome, was the bad dispositions of the people and the insults of the Pharisees. These places, being near Jerusalem, were full of people who had taken part against Jesus. It was then as it is now in little places, they talk of everything without understanding anything. It was to such people that Jesus suddenly appeared with His band of disciples and His grave and denuncia­tory preaching. He repeated the instructions deliv­ered at Bethoron, spoke of the graces now offered for the last time, after which would come the day of Justice, and again alluded to the ill-usage of the Prophets, the imprisonment of John, and the perse­cution directed against Himself. He brought forward above all the parable of the Lord of the vineyard, who had now sent His Son. He said that the King­dom would soon come and the King's Son would enter into possession of it. He often cried, "Woe!" to Jerusalem and to them that would not receive His Kingdom, would not do penance. These severe and menacing discourses were interrupted by many acts of charity and by the cure of the sick. In this way, Jesus journeyed from place to place.

The disciples had much to endure, and it was often very hard for them. On reaching a town or village

Trails of the Disciples


 and announcing the coming of Jesus, they often heard the scornful words: "What! Is He coming again! What does He want? Whence comes He? Has He not been forbidden to preach?" And they laughed at them, derided and insulted them. There were, indeed, a few that rejoiced to hear of Jesus' coming, but they were very few. No one ventured to attack Jesus Himself, but wherever He taught, surrounded by His disci­ples, or proceeded along the street followed by them, the crowd shouted after them. They stopped the dis­ciples and plied them with impertinent questions, pretending that they had misunderstood or only half comprehended His severe words, and demanding an explanation. Meanwhile other cries resounded, cries of joy at some cure just wrought by Jesus. This scan­dalized the crowd and they fell back and left Him. And so He continued till evening these rapid and fatiguing marches without rest or refreshment.

I noticed how weak and human the disciples still were in the beginning. If during Jesus' instructions, they were questioned as to His meaning, they shook their head as if they had not understood what He really meant. Nor were they satisfied with their con­dition. They thought to themselves: "Now we have left all things, and what have we for it but all this tumult and embarrassment? Of what kind of a kingdom is He always speaking? Will He really gain it?" These were their thoughts. They kept them concealed in their own breast, though often manifesting discourage­ment in their countenance. John alone acted with the simplicity of a child. He was perfectly obedient and free from constraint. And yet the disciples had seen and were still witnessing so many miracles!

It was indeed touching to think that Jesus knew all their thoughts, and yet acted as if wholly igno­rant of them. He changed nothing in His manner, but calmly, sweetly, and earnestly went on with His work.

Jesus journeyed far into the night of that day. When on this side of a little river that forms the


Life of Jesus Christ

 boundary of Samaria, He and His disciples stopped for the night among some shepherds from whom they received little or nothing. The river water was not fit for drinking. It was a narrow stream and here, not far from its source at the foot of Garizim, made a rapid turn toward the west.

12. Jesus at Jacob's Well Near Sichar. Dina, The Samaritan

On the following day Jesus crossed the little river and, leaving Mount Garizim to the right, approached Sichar. Andrew, James the Greater, and Saturnin accompanied Him, the others having scattered in dif­ferent directions. Jesus went to the Well of Jacob, on a little hill in the inheritance of Joseph to the north of Mount Garizim and south of Mount Ebal. Sichar lay about a quarter of an hour to the west in a val­ley which ran along the west side of the city for about an hour. About two good hours northward from Sichar stood the city of Samaria upon a mountain.

Several deeply rutted roads ran from different points around the little hill and up to the octangu­lar buildings that enclosed Jacob's Well, which was surrounded by trees and grassy seats. The spring­house was encircled by an open arched gallery under which about twenty people could find standing room. Directly opposite the road that led from Sichar and under the arched roof was the door, usually kept shut, that opened into the springhouse proper. There was an aperture in the cover of the latter, which could be closed at pleasure. The interior of the lit­tle springhouse was quite roomy. The well was deep and surrounded by a stone rim high enough to afford a seat. Between it and the walls, one could walk around freely. The well had a wooden cover, which when opened disclosed a large cylinder just opposite the entrance and lying across the well. On it hung the bucket which was unwound by means of a winch.

Life of Jesus Christ by Anne Catherine Emmerich
Vol 2

This document is: ACE_2_0161

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