Life of Jesus Christ by Anne Catherine Emmerich
Vol 2

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Parable of the King's Son


 the King's Son and put Him to death, killed Him who had poured oil and wine into the sufferer's wounds. Jesus related this parable to His disciples that, reflecting upon it, they might express their thoughts, and He might clear up any misconceptions they might have concerning it. But they did not under­stand Him. Noticing that He had described the King's Son under characteristics that belonged to Himself, they began to entertain all kinds of thoughts and to whisper among themselves: "Who can that Father of His be of whom He is always speaking?" Then Jesus touched upon the solicitude they had expressed on the preceding day for the loss experienced by the neglect of their fisheries, and compared it with the disposition of the King's Son. He had abandoned all things and, when others in their abundance had left the wounded man to die, He had anointed him with oil and wine. And He went on: "The Father will not abandon the servants of His Son. They shall receive all back with a rich reward when He gathers them around Him in His Kingdom."

In the midst of these and similar instructions, they reached the lake a little below Bethsaida, where lay the barques of Peter and Zebedee. A part of the shore was entirely fenced in, and up on the bank were little mud cabins for the fishermen's use. Jesus went down to it with His disciples. On the ships were the heathen slaves, but no Jews were engaged in fishing because of the fast day. Zebedee was in one of the huts on the shore. Jesus told those in the ships to discontinue their fishing and come to land. He was at once obeyed, and then He gave them an instruction.

Jesus afterward proceeded up the lake toward Bethsaida, a half-hour distant. Peter's license to fish embraced about an hour's distance along the shore. Between the harbor and Bethsaida was a little bay into which emptied several streams, branches of that which flowed from Capharnaum through the valley,


Life of Jesus Christ

 and which received in its course other rivulets and creeks. It formed a great pool outside Capharnaum. Jesus did not go to Bethsaida. He went to the west and then by the north side of the valley to Peter's house, which stood on the eastern side of that high ground upon whose opposite side was Mary's dwelling.

Jesus entered with Peter. Mary and the other holy women were already there. The other disciples did not go in. They waited nearby in the garden, or went on ahead to Mary's. As Peter entered the house with Jesus, he said: "Master, we have had a fast day, but Thou hast fed us." Peter's house was very neatly built with forecourt and garden. It was very long, and on the roof, one could promenade and enjoy a beautiful view toward the lake. I saw neither Peter's step-daughter nor his wife's sons. They may have been at school. His wife was with the holy women. Peter had no children by her. His mother-in-law was a tall, thin woman, so weak and sickly that, in going around the house, she had to lean against the walls for support.

Jesus held a long conference with the women on the subject of the house they had hired up on the borders of the lake, where He intended often to be. Be warned them against extravagance and indiscre­tion, though they were to guard likewise against anx­iety and solicitude. As for Himself, He said, He needed very little, it was chiefly for the disciples and for the poor they should provide. Leaving Peter's, He crossed with His disciples to His Mother's. There He con­versed for some time and then went out alone to pray.

The stream of Capharnaum flowed along by Peter's house. He could in his little boat, in the middle of which was a seat, sail down to the lake with his fish­ing tackle.

When the holy women heard from Jesus that He was going to Nazareth for the coming Sabbath, a dis­tance



 of nine or ten hours, they did not like the idea. They begged Him to remain where He was, or at least to come back soon. Jesus replied that He did not think He would stay long at Nazareth, since the inhabitants would not be very well pleased with Him for not complying with their wishes. He mentioned several points upon which they would reproach Him, and drew His Mother's attention to them, adding that He would let her know if things turned out as He said.

3. Jesus in Bethsaida

From Mary's, Jesus went with the disciples along the north side of the valley to the declivity of the mountain which stretched on to Bethsaida, distant not quite an hour. The holy woman also left Peter's house and went to that of Andrew at the northern extremity of Bethsaida. It was in good condition, though not so large as Peter's.

Bethsaida was a little fishing place. Only the cen­tral part of the city extended some distance inland; the two extremities stretched around the lake like slender arms. From Peter's fishery, one could see it lying off toward the north. The inhabitants were made up for the most part of fishermen, blanket weavers, and tentmakers. They were people, simple and untu­tored, reminding me of our turf cutters. The blankets were made of goats' and camels' hair. The long hairs from the camel's neck and breast fell over the edges and shone so beautifully that they looked like fringe and lace.

The old Centurion Zorobabel had not come to Beth­saida. He was too infirm for so long a walk. He might indeed have gone on horseback, but then he would have missed Jesus' instructions on the way; besides, he was not yet baptized. Bethsaida was full of peo­ple from the surrounding towns and villages, along with strangers from the other side of the lake, from


Life of Jesus Christ

 the country of Corozain and Bethsaida-Julias.

Jesus taught in the synagogue, which was not a very large building, He spoke of the nearness of God's Kingdom, saying in very plain words that He Him­self was the Monarch of that Kingdom, and arous­ing the usual amount of wonder in His disciples and hearers. As on the preceding days, He taught in gen­eral terms and cured many sick who had been brought and laid outside the synagogue. Several pos­sessed cried after Him: "Jesus of Nazareth! Prophet, King of the Jews!" He commanded them silence, for the time had not yet come to make Him known.

When Jesus had finished teaching and healing, He went with His disciples to Andrew's to get some­thing to eat. But He did not go in—He said that He had another kind of hunger. Taking with Him Sat­urnin and another of the disciples, they went up the shores of the lake about seven minutes' walk from Andrew's. There in a lonely hospital were some poor lepers, simpletons, and other miserable, forlorn crea­tures languishing, quite forgotten by the rest of the world; some of them were entirely nude. No one from Bethsaida had followed Jesus for fear of contract­ing impurity. The cells of these poor creatures were built around a court. They never left them, their food being given them through an aperture in the door. Jesus commanded the superintendent of the hospital to bring out the miserable patients. The dis­ciples covered all in need with the clothing they had brought with them. Then Jesus instructed and con­soled them, going from one to another around the circle, and healing many by the imposition of His sacred hands. He passed some in silence, others He commanded to bathe or fulfill different prescriptions. The cured sank on their knees before Him, giving thanks with abundant tears. It was truly touching. These people were utterly neglected. Jesus took the superintendent back to Andrew's to dine with Him. As they were leaving the hospital, the relatives of

Andrew and His Wife


 some of the cured presented themselves from Beth­saida bringing them clothes. They took them joy­fully first to their homes and next to the synagogue, to give thanks to God.

There was a grand dinner prepared at Andrew's consisting of fine, large fish. They ate in an open hall, the women at a separate table. Andrew himself served. His wife was very active and industrious, rarely leaving the house. She carried on a kind of trade in net weaving, employing a number of poor girls for the work. The greatest system and order reigned throughout her establishment. Among those so employed were some poor, fallen women, once hon­orable wives, but afterward repudiated for miscon­duct. They had no place of refuge, and so the good mistress, pitying their distress, gave them work, instructed them in their duty, and prevailed upon them to implore the mercy of God.

That evening Jesus taught in the synagogue, and then recommenced His journeying with the disciples. He passed many sick, but without curing them, for, as He said, their time had not yet come. After tak­ing leave of His Mother, He returned with all His disciples to the house near Capharnaum that Peter had placed at His service. Jesus conversed there a long time with His disciples, and then left them to go spend the night in prayer on a hill, which tapered to a point and was covered with cypresses.

Capharnaum lay in a half-circle up on a mountain. It had numerous vineyards and terraced gardens. On the top of the mountain grew wheat, thick and stout as rushes. It was a large and pleasant place. It had once been still more extensive, or another city had stood in the vicinity, for not far off I saw all kinds of ruins like tokens of a destructive war.


Life of Jesus Christ

4. Jesus in and Around Lesser Sephoris. His Different Ways of Curing the Sick

Jesus went from Capharnaum to Nazareth, the Galilean disciples accompanying Him for about five hours. He instructed them on the way concerning their future vocation. He counseled Peter to leave the borders of the lake, take up his abode in his house near Capharnaum, and give up his business. They passed several cities, also the little lake with the country seats around it. In a shepherd field two possessed men came running to Jesus and implored to be cured. They were the owners of the herds brows­ing around, and were only now and then tormented by the devil. Just at that time they were free from his influence. Jesus would not cure them, but com­manded them first to amend their ways. He made use of an example: If a man was sick from overload­ing his stomach, and wanted to get well in order to indulge in new excesses, what would they think of him? The men turned away quite ashamed. The dis­ciples left Jesus a couple of hours from Sephoris and returned to Peter's, Saturnin among them. There were only two with Him now. They were from Jerusalem, and were on their way home. Jesus went to Lower Sephoris, or Lesser Sephoris, and put up with the relatives of St. Anne. It was not, however, at Anne's paternal home, for that was between this Sephoris and Upper Sephoris, the latter distant about an hour. There were many houses lying around in a circle of five hours, all belonging to the city of Sephoris. Jesus did not go at this time to Upper Sephoris, where were schools of the various sects and tribunals of justice.

There were not many rich people in Lower Sepho­ris. They manufactured cloth and the rich women made silk tassels and laces for the service of the Temple. The whole region was like an enchanting garden, consisting of many little hamlets with coun­try

The Jewish Law


 seats, gardens, and walks scattered among them. Greater Sephoris was a far more important place; it was very large and possessed many castles. The coun­try around was lovely and abounded in springs. The cattle were of extraordinary size.

Jesus' relatives had three sons, one of whom, by name Colaja, was His disciple. The mother wanted Jesus to admit the others also into the number of His disciples, and brought forward the sons of Mary Cleophas as an argument in her own favor. Jesus gave her room to hope. After the death of Christ, these sons were ordained to the priesthood at Eleutheropolis by Joses Barsabas, the Bishop of that place.

Jesus taught in the synagogue before a great con­course assembled from the country around. He went also with His cousins out of the city, and gave instruc­tions here and there to little crowds of people that followed Him or were waiting for Him. On His return He cured many sick persons outside the synagogue, then entering, He taught of marriage and divorce. He reproached the Doctors with having made addi­tions to the Law. He pointed to a certain place in a roll of parchment, accused one of the oldest among them of having inserted it, convicted him of fraud, and commanded him to erase the passage. The old man humbled himself before Jesus, even prostrating at His feet in presence of all the others, acknowl­edged his fault, and thanked for the lesson just received.

Jesus spent the night in prayer. From the house of His relatives in Lesser Sephoris He went to that which had in former times belonged to Anne's father. It was situated between Lesser Sephoris and Greater Sephoris. There was now only one disciple with Him. The present occupants of the house were, in conse­quence of frequent marriages, no longer related to Jesus. There was only one old woman who could still claim relationship. She was dropsical and bedridden.


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 Her usual companion was a little blind boy, who sat by her bedside. Jesus prayed with the old woman, making her repeat after Him. He laid His hand for an instant on her head, then on the region of the stomach. She began to grow faint, remained uncon­scious for about a minute, and then found herself quite relieved. Jesus ordered her to rise. The dropsy had not entirely disappeared, but the woman could walk, and soon after, without difficulty, through copi­ous perspiration and the healthful action of nature, she was entirely freed from her trouble. She inter­ceded with Jesus for the blind boy. He was about eight years old, and had never seen nor spoken, although he could hear. The old woman praised his piety and obedience. Jesus put His forefinger into the child's mouth, then breathing upon His thumbs or moistening them with saliva, He held them upon the closed eyes of the boy while He prayed, His eyes raised to Heaven. Suddenly the child opened his eyes, and the first object he beheld was Jesus His Redeemer! Out of himself with joy and amazement, he threw himself into Jesus' arms, stammering his thanks, and then fell weeping at His feet. Jesus admonished him affectionately to be obedient and to love his parents. He told him that if, when blind, he had exercised those virtues, he should more faithfully practice them now that he could see, and never use his eyes to sin. Then in came the parents and the whole family, and there were intense joy and thanksgiving.

Jesus did not always operate His cures in the same manner, though performing them in much the same way as the Apostles, the saints, and the priests after them down to our own day. He laid hands upon and prayed with the sick, but His action was quicker than that of the Apostles. He performed His cures and other miracles as models for His followers and disciples. He always made the manner of their per­formance conform to the evil and the special needs of those that had recourse to Him. He touched the

Manner of Jesus' Curing


 lame, their muscles were loosened, and they stood upright. The broken parts of fractured members He placed together, and they united. He touched the leprous, and immediately at the touch of His divine hand, I saw the blisters drying and peeling off, leav­ing behind the red scars. These, little by little, though more quickly than was usual in ordinary cures, dis­appeared. The greater or less merit of the invalid often determined the rapidity of his cure. I never saw a humpback instantly become straight, nor a crooked bone suddenly become a perfectly formed one. Not that Jesus could not have produced such effects, but His miracles were not intended as spec­tacles for a gazing multitude. They were works of mercy, they were symbolical images of His mission, a releasing, a reconciliation, an instruction, a devel­opment, a redeeming. As He desired man's cooper­ation in the work of his own Redemption, so too did He demand from those that asked of Him a mirac­ulous cure their own cooperation by faith, hope, love, contrition, and reformation of life. Every state had its own manner of treatment. As every malady of the body symbolized some malady of the spiritual order, some sin or the chastisement due to it, so did every cure symbolize some grace, some conversion, or the cure of some particular spiritual evil. It was only in presence of pagans that I saw Jesus some­times operating more astonishing, more prodigious miracles. The miracles of the Apostles and of saints that came after them were far more striking than those of Our Lord and far more contrary to the usual course of nature, for the heathens needed to be strongly affected, while the Jews needed only to be freed from their bonds. Jesus often cured by prayer at a distance, and often by a glance, especially in the case of women afflicted by a bloody flux. They did not venture to approach Him, nor dared they do so according to the Jewish laws. Such laws as carried with them some mysterious signification He


Life of Jesus Christ

 followed, others He ignored. Jesus went afterward to a school situated at an equal distance from Nazareth and from Lesser Sephoris. Parmenas, the disciple from Nazareth, went thither to meet Him. He had been one of the companions of Jesus' boy­hood, and he would have joined the disciples at once, were it not for his aged parents at Nazareth. He supported them by executing commissions.

There were many Doctors and Pharisees in the school of Lesser Sephoris and Greater Sephoris, also some people who had assembled to argue with Jesus on that passage relating to divorce which He had declared unlawful, and for the insertion of which passage He had reprehended the Doctor in the syn­agogue. That reprehension of Jesus had been very badly received in Greater Sephoris, for the addition made to the Law on that point was in keeping with the teaching of the Pharisees. In this city divorces were obtained on most insignificant pretexts, and there was even an asylum for the reception of repu­diated wives. The Doctor who had been guilty of the interpolation had transcribed a roll of the Law and inserted little false interpretations here and there. They disputed a long time with Jesus, affirming that they could not understand how He could presume to expunge that passage. He reduced them to silence, though not to the acknowledgment of their error, as He had done the first. He showed them the prohi­bition against any interpolation, and consequently the obligation of expunging such a passage. He demonstrated to them the falsity of their ex­planations, and sharply rebuked them for the facil­ity with which the marriage bond was dissolved in their city. He enumerated some cases in which it would be quite unlawful for the husband to put away his wife, but said that if one party could not live in peace with the other, they might with per­mission separate. The stronger party, however, ought not without cause drive away the weaker one against

The Law of Divorce


 the will of the latter. But Jesus' words did not effect much among His opponents. They were vexed and proud, but they could not gainsay His arguments. The Doctor of the Law who had been reprimanded and converted by Jesus in Lower Sephoris separated entirely from the Pharisees and made known to the people that he would for the future teach the Law without addition. If they were unwilling to retain him on those conditions, he would withdraw. The interpolated passage in the Law of divorce ran as follows: "If before marriage one of the parties has had illicit communication with a third person, the marriage is invalid. The third person has the right to claim the one with whom he or she has sinned, even though the parties of the present marriage desire to remain united." Jesus inveighed against this, and declared the law of divorce to have been given to a barbarous people only. Two of the most distinguished Pharisees engaged in the dispute were precisely in that predicament. They were preparing to avail themselves of that interpolation with regard to divorce, and therefore had they been zealous in proclaiming that part of their so-called law. This fact was not publicly known, but Jesus knew it and therefore He said to them: "In defending this dis­tortion of the Law, are you not perhaps defending your own case also?" at which words they fell into a fury.

5. Jesus in Nazareth. The Pharisees Want to Cast Him Down a Mountain

Jesus went from this place to Nazareth, the dis­tance being about two hours. He taught outside the city in the dwelling belonging to the children of His deceased friend, Eliud the Essenian. They washed His feet, gave Him some refreshment, and remarked how rejoiced the Nazarenes would be at His coming.


Life of Jesus Christ

 Jesus replied that their joy would be of short dura­tion, since they would not care to hear what He must say to them, and then He went into the city. Someone had been appointed to wait for Him at the gate. Scarcely had He made His appearance when several Pharisees and a crowd of people came for­ward to meet Him. They received Him very ceremo­niously and wanted to conduct Him to a public inn where they had prepared for Him a feast of wel­come before the Sabbath. But Jesus refused to par­take of it, saying that He had just now other work on hand. He went immediately to the synagogue, whither He was followed by the Pharisees and a concourse of people. The hour of the Sabbath had not yet sounded.

Jesus taught of the coming of the Kingdom and the fulfillment of the Prophecies. Asking for the Book of Isaias, He unrolled it and read as follows: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because the Lord hath anointed Me: He hath sent me to preach to the meek, to heal the contrite of heart, and to preach a release to the captives, and deliverance to them that are shut up." (1 Is. 61:1). The manner in which Jesus read this text gave His hearers to understand that it was spoken of Himself, that the Spirit of God had descended upon Himself, that He Himself had come to announce salvation to poor, suffering humanity, that all wrong should be made right, widows should be consoled, the sick cured, sinners forgiven. His words were so beautiful, so loving that, wondering and full of joy, they said one to another: "He speaks as if He Himself were the Messiah!" They were so carried away with admiration for Him that they became quite vain of the fact that He belonged to their own city. Jesus went on teaching after the Sab­bath began. He spoke of the voice of the Precursor in the desert, and said that all things should be made even, the crooked ways straight, etc.

The instructions over, Jesus accepted a meal that

Jesus in Nazareth


 had been prepared for Him. The people behaved toward Him in a very friendly manner, and told Him that they had many sick whom He must cure. Jesus excused Himself. But they thought that He meant: "Not today. Wait till tomorrow." After the meal, He returned to the Essenians outside the city. As they were congratulating Him upon the kind reception He had received, He told them to wait till the fol­lowing day when they would have another story to tell.

When Jesus went next morning to the synagogue, a Jew whose turn it was to read was about to take the roll of Scriptures. But Jesus desired them to hand it to Him. He taught from Deuteronomy, chapter 4, of the obedience due to the Commandments, from which nothing must be taken and to which nothing must be added. He reminded them that, although Moses had zealously repeated to the Children of Israel all that God commanded, yet they had frequently violated His ordinances. The Ten Commandments pre­sented themselves in the course of the reading, and Jesus explained the first, that on the love of God. He spoke very severely, reproaching them with the additions they made to the Law, laying burdens upon the poor people, and not fulfilling the Law itself. He assailed them so sharply on this point that they became angry, for they could not say that He was uttering falsehood. But they murmured and said one to another: "How does He dare all at once to speak so boldly! He has been away from His native city only a short time, and now He wants to pass Him­self off for some extraordinary personage. He speaks as if He were the Messiah. But we know His father, the poor carpenter, well, and we know Him too. Where did He learn the Scriptures? How can He dare pre­sume to interpret for us?" And so they went on, grow­ing more and more excited against Him, for they were mortified to have been thus convicted before all the people.


Life of Jesus Christ

But Jesus quietly continued His teaching, and went when it suited Him out to the Essenian family. Here He was visited by the sons of the rich man, the youths who some time previously had so earnestly asked to be received among the disciples, and whose parents were aiming only at worldly renown and sci­ence for them. They pressed Jesus to dine with them, but He declined. Then they renewed their entreaties to be received among His followers, saying that they had fulfilled all that He had on a former occasion commanded them. Jesus replied: "If ye have done that, there is no need of becoming My pupils. You are yourselves masters," and with these words He dismissed them.

Jesus ate and taught in the family circle of the Essenians, who told Him in how many ways they were annoyed by their neighbors. He counseled them to remove to Capharnaum, where He Himself would dwell in the future.

Meantime the Pharisees had consulted together, had incited one another against Jesus, and had come to the determination that, if He spoke so boldly again that evening, they would show Him that He had no right to do so in Nazareth, and would perpetrate upon Him what had so long been desired in Jerusalem. Still they were not without hope that He would yield to their wishes and, through respect for them, work some miracle in their presence. When He returned to the synagogue for the close of the Sabbath, He found lying in front of it some sick who had been brought there by order of the Pharisees. But He passed through them without curing any. He went on with His discourse in the synagogue, speaking of the plenitude of time, of His own mission, of the last chance of grace, of the depravity of the Pharisees and the punishment in store for them if they did not reform, and impressed upon them the fact of His own coming to help, to heal, and to teach. They became more and more displeased, especially when He said:

Jesus in Nazareth


 "But ye say to Me, 'Physician, cure Thyself! In Capharnaum and elsewhere, Thou hast wrought mir­acles. Do the same here in Thy native city!' But I say to you no prophet is accepted in his own coun­try." Then comparing the present to a time of famine and the different cities to poor widows, He said: "There was great famine throughout the land in the time of Elias, and there were many widows in those days, but the Prophet was sent to none but the widow of Sarepta. And there were many lepers in the days of Eliseus, but he cleansed none but Naaman the Syr­ian," and so Jesus compared their city to a leper who was not healed. They became terribly furious at being likened unto lepers, and, rising up from their seats, they stormed against Him and made as if they would seize Him. But He said: "Observe your own laws and break not the Sabbath! When it is over do what you propose to do." They allowed Him to proceed with His discourse, though they kept up the murmuring among themselves and addressed scornful words to Him. Soon after they left their places and went down to the door.

Jesus, however, continued to teach and explain His last words, after which He, too, left the synagogue. Outside the door, He found Himself surrounded by about twenty angry Pharisees who laid hands on Him, saying: "Come on up with us to a height from which Thou canst advance some more of Thy doc­trines! There we can answer Thee as Thy teaching ought to be answered." Jesus told them to take their hands off, that He would go with them. They sur­rounded Him like a guard, the crowd following. The moment the Sabbath ended, jeers and insults arose on all sides. They raged and hooted, each trying to outdo his neighbor in the number and quality of his scoffing attacks upon Jesus. "We will answer Thee!" they cried. "Thou shalt go to the widow of Sarepta! Thou shalt cleanse Naaman the Syrian! Art Thou Elias? And art Thou going to drive up to Heaven?


Life of Jesus Christ

 Well, we'll show Thee a good starting place! Who art Thou? Why didst Thou not bring Thy followers with Thee? Ah, Thou wast afraid. Was it not here that Thou, like Thy poor parents, gained Thy daily bread? And now that Thou hast whereon to live, wilt Thou turn us to scorn! But we will listen to Thee! Thou shalt speak in the open air before all the people, and we will answer Thee!" and thus shouting and rag­ing they led Jesus up the mountain. He, meanwhile, quietly went on teaching as usual, answering their vain talk with passages from Holy Scripture and sig­nificant words that sometimes put them to shame, and at others threw them into greater rage.

The synagogue was in the western part of Nazareth. It was already dark and two of the crowd bore torches. They led Jesus around by the eastern side of the synagogue, then turned into a broad street that ran westward out of the city. Ascending the mountain, they reached a lofty spur which on the northern side overlooked a marshy pool, and on the south formed a rocky projection over a steep precipice. It was from this point they were in the habit of precipitating malefactors. Here they intended once more to call Jesus to account, and then to hurl Him down. The abyss ended in a narrow ravine. They were not far from the scene of action when Jesus, who had been led as a prisoner among them, stood still, while they continued their way mocking and jeering. At that instant I saw two tall figures of light near Jesus, who took a few steps back through the hotly pursu­ing crowd, reached the city wall on the mountain ridge of Nazareth, and followed it till He came to the gate by which He had entered the evening before. He went straight to the house of the Essenian. The good people had not been anxious about His safety. They believed in Him and were expecting His return. He spoke to them of the late occurrence, reminded them that He had foretold it, again bade them go to Capharnaum and, after about half an hour, left the

“Halt! Where is He? Halt!”


 city in the direction of Capharnaum.

Nothing was more laughable than the perplexity, the alarm, the silly plight of the Pharisees when, all on a sudden, they found Jesus no more among them. The cry was raised: "Halt! Where is He? Halt!" The crowd came rushing on, the Pharisees pressed back upon them, the narrow path became a scene of con­fusion and uproar. They laid hold of one another, they squabbled and shouted, they ran to all the ravines, and poked their torches into the caves, think­ing that He had hidden therein. They endangered neck and limb in their fruitless search, and one upbraided the other for having allowed Him to slip away. Quiet was not restored until long after Jesus had left the city, and then they set guards upon and around the whole mountain. Returning to the city, the Pharisees said: "Now we have seen what He is­—a magician. The devil has helped Him. He will soon spring up again in some other place, and throw all around Him into confusion."

Jesus had ordered His disciples to leave Nazareth at the close of the exercises in the synagogue, and await Him at a certain place on the road to Tarichaea. Saturnin and other disciples from Capharnaum had received the same directions. All met Jesus at dawn and with Him took a little rest in a retired vale. Sat­urnin had brought some bread and honey. Jesus told them of what had taken place at Nazareth, and bade them be calm and obedient, in order not to interfere with His work by stirring up too great excitement among the populace of different cities. Then they took a retired route through the valleys and past cities toward the effluence of the Jordan from the Sea of Galilee. A large, fortified city lay at the southern extremity on a tongue of land not far from the outlet of the Jordan. A large bridge and a dam led to it. Be­tween the city and the lake was a gently sloping plain covered with verdure. The city was called Tarichaea.


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6. Cure of Lepers at Tarichaea. Jesus Instructs His Disciples In Similitudes

Jesus did not go into the city. Taking a bypath, He drew near the southern wall not far from the gate. On the exterior side of this wall was a row of huts built purposely for the leprous. As Jesus approached them, He said to the disciples: "Stand at some distance and call out the lepers. Tell them to follow Me, and I will cleanse them! When they come out, do ye stand at a distance that ye may not be alarmed nor contract stain. Moreover do not speak of what ye shall see, for ye remember the fury of the Nazarenes. Ye must not scandalize anyone." Then Jesus went on a little toward the Jordan while the disciples called to the sick: "Come out and follow the Prophet of Nazareth! He will help you!" When the disciples saw the poor sufferers coming out of their huts, they hurried away. Jesus, turning out of the road that led to the city, walked slowly toward the region of the Jordan. Five men of different ages answered the disciples' invitation and issued from the cells in the city wall. They were clothed in white garments long and wide, but wore no girdle. On their head was a cowl from which fell over the face a black flap with holes in it for the eyes. They fol­lowed Jesus in single file to a retired spot, where He paused. There the first threw himself at His feet and kissed the hem of His robe. Jesus turned, laid His hand upon the leper's head, prayed over him, blessed him, and bade him step aside. He did in like manner to the second, and so on even to the fifth and last. They now removed their masks, uncovered their hands, and the crust of the leprosy peeled entirely off. Jesus warned them against the sins by which they had brought upon themselves that sick­ness, told them how they should henceforth conduct themselves, and commanded them not to say any­thing

Cure of Lepers


 about His having cured them. But they replied: "Lord, Thou didst come so suddenly to us! So long have we hoped for Thee, so long sighed for Thee, and we had no one to tell Thee of our misery, no one to bring Thee to us! Lord, Thou didst come to us so unexpectedly! How can we restrain our joy? How can we be silent about Thy miracle!" Jesus repeated that they must not speak of it until they had fulfilled the Law. They should show themselves to the priests that they might see they were clean, offer the prescribed sacrifices, and perform the pre­scribed purifications; then they might proclaim their cure. At these words the five men again fell on their knees giving thanks, and then went back to their cells. Jesus continued His way to the Jordan and there rejoined the disciples. These five lepers were not closely confined. There was a certain space marked out for them around which they could go. No one went near them, and it was only from a dis­tance that anyone spoke to them. Their food was deposited in a certain place on platters, which were not used a second time. The lepers broke and buried them. A new dish of little value was given them with every fresh supply of food.

Jesus walked with the disciples some distance toward the Jordan through delightful groves and avenues, and in a retired spot rested and took some refreshment. After that they crossed the river in a little boat. Boats of this kind lay at intervals along the shore for the accommodation of travelers, who could by that means ferry themselves over. The work­men, living at different distances along the shore, saw that the boats were taken back to where they belonged. Jesus, with the four disciples, did not jour­ney close to the lake, but up toward the east, to the city of Galaad. The four disciples with Him were Par­menas of Nazareth, Saturnin, and two brothers: one called Tharzissus, the other Aristobolus. Tharzissus afterward became the Bishop of Athens. Aristobolus


Life of Jesus Christ

 later on was associated to Barnabas. I heard that with the word "brother"; but he was his spiritual brother only. He was a great deal with Paul and Barnabas, and I think he became a bishop of Bri­tany.1 Lazarus had brought the two brothers to Jesus. They were foreigners, I think Greeks, whose father had settled lately in Jerusalem. They were shipping merchants. Some of their slaves, or servants, when journeying with a caravan, had gone with their beasts of burden to hear John's teaching and had been bap­tized by him. It was by means of these servants that the young men's parents heard of John and Jesus. Taking their sons, they went themselves to John, and both father and sons were baptized and circumcised, after which the whole family removed to Jerusalem. They were not without means, but later on they relin­quished all their wealth in favor of the rising com­munity of Christians. Both the young men were tall, dark-complexioned, and clever; both had received a polite education. They were fine-looking young men, active and skillful at arranging things and making all comfortable on journeys.

A little river watered the country up which Jesus was now journeying, and at a certain place He crossed it. The Prophet Elias had once been in these parts. Jesus recalled the fact and, during the whole jour­ney, instructed the disciples in simple similitudes borrowed from various conditions of life, from the several professions, from the groves and stones and plants and places that presented themselves on the road. The disciples questioned Him upon all that had happened to Him in Sephoris and Nazareth. He spoke to them of marriage in connection with the dispute He had had with the Pharisees, at Sephoris, upon the question of divorce. The conjugal bond is indis­soluble. Divorce was granted by Moses in favor of a barbarous, sinful people only.

1. Dorotheus writes it “Bethania.” (First Edition of Das Leben Jesu.)

Life of Jesus Christ by Anne Catherine Emmerich
Vol 2

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