Life of Jesus Christ by Anne Catherine Emmerich
Vol 2

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Jesus Preaches about Solomon


 dinner or an entertainment, Jesus usually went from table to table and gave instructions.

The Feast of the Dedication of Solomon's Temple was being celebrated in Aruma. The synagogue was brilliantly illuminated. In the middle of it stood a pyramid of lights. The feast proper was already past. I think it was immediately after the Feast of Taber­nacles. The present nocturnal celebration was a con­tinuation of it. Jesus preached on the Dedication. He told of God's appearing to Solomon and saying to him that He would preserve the Israelites and the Temple as long as they remained faithful to Him, and that He would even dwell among them in the sacred edifice; but that He would destroy it if they fell away from Him. Jesus used severe language when alluding to this. He applied it to the present, to His own day, in which evil had reached its height. If, He said, they were not converted, the Temple would be destroyed. Then the Pharisees began to dispute with Him. They declared that God had not made use of such threats, that it was all a fable, an imagination of Solomon. The discussion became very lively, and I saw Jesus speaking with great animation. There was something in His appearance that affected them strongly and they could scarcely rest their eyes upon Him. He spoke to them upon the passages met today in the Sabbath lessons, of distorting and corrupting the eternal truths, of the history and chronology of ancient heathen nations, the Egyptians, for instance. He demanded of the Pharisees how they could ven­ture to reproach these pagans, they themselves being even then in so miserable a condition, since what had been handed over to them as something so pecu­liarly theirs, something so sacred, the Word of the Almighty upon which His covenant with their holy Temple was founded, they could whimsically and capriciously reject as imaginations and fables. He affirmed and repeated God's promises to Solomon, and told them that in consequence of their false


Life of Jesus Christ

 interpretations and sinful explanations, Jehovah's menaces were about to be fulfilled, for when faith in His most holy promises was wavering, the foun­dation of His Temple also began to totter. He said: "Yes, the Temple will be overturned and destroyed, because ye do not believe in the promises, because ye do not know that which is holy, because ye treat it as a thing profane! You yourselves are laboring at its downfall. No part of it shall escape de­struction. It will go to pieces on account of your sins!" In this wise spoke Jesus, and with such sig­nificance that He appeared to allude to Himself under the name of the Temple, as before His Passion He said still more plainly: "I will build it up again in three days." His words on this occasion were not so significant, though sufficiently so to fill His hearers with fury not unmixed with dread, and make them feel that there was something extraordinary and mysterious in His speech. They expressed their in­dignation in loud mutterings. Jesus paid no atten­tion to them. He coolly continued His discourse in language they could not gainsay, for though against their will, they were interiorly convinced of the truth of His words. As He left the synagogue, the Phar­isees offered Him their hand, as if desirous of apol­ogizing for their violence. They wished to maintain an appearance of friendliness. Jesus gently addressed to them some earnest words, and left the synagogue, which was then closed.

I had a vision of Solomon. He was standing upon a column in the court of the Temple and near the altar of incense, addressing the people and praying aloud to God. The column was high enough for him to be distinctly seen. There was an interior ascent to the top upon which was a broad platform with a chair. It was movable and could be transported from place to place. I afterward saw Solomon in the fortress of Sion, for he did not yet occupy his new palace. It was there also that at an earlier period I saw God com­municating

Jesus Cures the Sick at Night


 with David, especially at the time of Nathan's embassy. There was also a terrace sheltered by a tent, upon which David slept. I saw Solomon praying on that terrace. A supernatural light of intense brilliancy shone around him, and from the light a voice proceeded.

Solomon was a handsome man. He was tall and his limbs were rounded, not spare and angular like those of most people of that place. His hair was brown and straight, his beard short and well trimmed, his brown eyes full of penetration, his face round and full with rather prominent cheekbones. He had not at that time devoted himself to his seraglio of pagan women.

To avoid scandalizing His enemies, Jesus did not publicly cure in Aruma. The people were besides intimidated by the Pharisees, and dared not make their appearance by day. It was an exceedingly touch­ing sight to see Jesus, as I did, going on two succes­sive nights through the moonlit streets and seeking admittance at some of the poorest gates where peo­ple were humbly awaiting Him. With the two disci­ples that accompanied Him, He entered the courtyards and cured many sick. They were pious souls who believed in Him and had implored His help through the intervention of the disciples. All this could be easily done without observation, since the streets in that quarter were very quiet. They were lined by the walls of the forecourt in which were little entrance gates; the windows of the houses were in the back, opening into the courtyards and little gardens. The people were patiently waiting for Jesus. I remember seeing a woman afflicted with an issue of blood. She was closely enveloped in a long veil, and was led by two young girls into the court. Jesus did not remain long by the sick when He cured at night. To arouse their faith, He usually put to them the question: "Dost thou believe that God can cure thee, and that He has given that power to One on earth?" These


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 were the words, or something to the same effect, for I cannot clearly recall them. Then He presented His girdle to the sick woman to kiss and spoke some words that sounded like the following: "I heal thee through the Mystery" (or it may have been: I heal thee in the intention) "in which this girdle had been worn from the beginning and will be worn till the end." In curing others Jesus laid the ends of the gir­dle on their heads. It was a long, wide strip like a towel. It was worn sometimes unfolded, sometimes folded into a narrow band, and again with long, hang­ing ends ornamented with fringe.

The valley to the east of Aruma, which extended from east to west in the direction of Sichar and north­ward to the mountain northeast of Sichem, was woody. To the east of this mountain, which rose in the midst of the plain of Sichar, was the little wood known as the Grove of Mambre. It was there that Abraham had first pitched his tent, there also that God appeared to him and made to him the promise of a numerous posterity. A large tree stood nearby. Its bark was not so rough as that of the oak and it bore flowers and fruit at the same time. The latter were used for the knobs of pilgrim staffs. It was near this tree that the Lord appeared.

The highroad ran from Sichar to the left of the wood and around Mount Garizim. In the plain to the north of the forest was a city that recalled Abra­ham's sojourn in those parts. Some vestiges of it must still exist. It was three hours north of Aruma and two northwest of Phasael. It was called Thanath-Silo.

Jesus in Thanath-Silo


4. Jesus Leaves Aruma and Goes to Thanath-Silo and Aser-Machmethat

After Jesus had once more earnestly addressed the Pharisees, telling them that they had lost the spirit of their religion, that they now held only to empty forms and customs which, however, the devil had managed to fill with himself, as they might see if they looked around on the pagans, He left Aruma and went to the city Thanath-Silo, outside of which stood one of the inns established by Lazarus. He instructed the men and women whom He found at work on the immense corn ricks in the field. He intro­duced into His discourse parables relating to agri­culture and the various kinds of land. These people were slaves and followers of the Samaritan creed. That evening Jesus taught in the synagogue. It was the feast of the new moon, consequently the syna­gogue and other public buildings were hung with wreaths of fruit.

A great many sick had assembled in front of the synagogue. They were mostly afflicted with paraly­sis, gout, or issue of blood, and some were possessed. Jesus blessed numbers of children, both sick and well. Many of those that were paralyzed in their hands and on one side owed their sickness in most cases to their labors in the field and to lying on the damp earth at night or in the daytime when in a profuse perspiration. I saw such cases in the fields outside of Gennabris, in Galilee.

Jesus went next day into the harvest field and cured many whom He found there. Some people brought out from the city baskets of provisions, and a great entertainment was spread in one of the taber­nacles that still remained standing. Jesus afterward delivered a long discourse, in which He spoke against unnecessary and extravagant care for the preserva­tion of life. He brought forward the example of the lilies. They do not spin, and yet they are clothed


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 more beautifully than Solomon in all his glory. Jesus said many beautiful things to the same effect of the different animals and objects around. He also taught that they should not profane the Sabbath and feasts by working for gain. Works of mercy, such as deliv­ering a man or a beast from danger, were allowable; but as for the harvest, they should commit the care of its fruits to God's providence and not on account of threatening weather gather them in on the Sab­bath. Jesus' words on this subject were very beauti­ful and detailed. It was almost the same kind of a sermon as that on the Mount, for He often repeated the words: "Blessed are these! Blessed are those!"

Such instructions were much needed by the peo­ple of this place, for they were extraordinarily cov­etous and greedy for gain in trade and agriculture. They were wholly engrossed in their calling, and their servants were overburdened. They were charged with the collection of the tithes from the surround­ing country. The sums thus coming into their pos­session they used to hold back for a considerable time, in order to put them out at usury. The prod­ucts of their fields they sold. The old people worked in wood, for which they often betook themselves to the neighboring forest. I saw them cutting in large numbers the wooden heels worn under the sandals. There were many fig orchards around the city. There were no Pharisees here. The people were rather coarse, but very proud of their descent from Abra­ham. The sons of Abraham, however, whom the Patri­arch had settled here, had soon degenerated. They intermarried with the Sichemites, and when Jacob returned to that region the law of circumcision was already forgotten. Jacob had intended to fix his res­idence there, but was deterred from doing so by Dina's seduction. He knew the children of Abraham who dwelt in those parts, and sent them presents. Dina had gone to take a walk by the well of Salem. Some of the people in the fields, those to whom her father

Jesus' Manner of Curing


 had sent presents, invited her to visit them. She was accompanied by her maids, but leaving them, she ventured alone into the fields, desirous of gratifying her curiosity. It was then that the Sichemite saw and ensnared her.

Wherever Jesus went, the sick were collected in crowds. We shall not be surprised at this when we remember that, as soon as His presence became known in any place, they were hurried thither from the huts and villages around the whole country.

Here in Thanath the Jews and Samaritans lived separate, the former being the more numerous. Jesus preached to the Samaritans also, though remaining the while on Jewish territory. His hearers were gath­ered on the boundary of their own quarter at the head of one of the streets. He also cured their sick. The Jews of Thanath were not so hostile toward them as were those of other places, since here they held not so rigorously to the Law, and especially to the observance of the Sabbath.

Jesus cured here in diverse ways. Some cures were effected at a distance by a glance and a word, some by a mere touch, some by imposition of hands; over some of the sick He breathed, others He blessed, and the eyes of some He moistened with saliva. Many of the sick happening to touch Him were cured, and others at a distance were cured without His even turning to them. Toward the close of His career, He seemed to be more rapid in His movements than in the beginning. I thought that He made use of these different forms of healing to show that He was bound to no single one, but could produce a similar effect by the use of varied means. But He once said Him­self in the Gospel that one kind of devil was to be expelled in one way, another in a different way. He cured each in a manner analogous to his malady, his faith, and his natural temperament, as in our own time we behold Him chastising some sinners and converting others. He did not interrupt the order of


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 nature, He merely loosened the bonds that bound the sufferer. He cut no knots, He untied them, and He did everything so easily for He possessed the key to all. Inasmuch as He had become the God-Man, He treated those that He cured in a human manner. I had already been told that Jesus had healed in these different forms in order to instruct the disciples how to act in similar cases. The various forms of bless­ings, consecrations, and Sacraments made use of by the Church, find their models in those then observed by Jesus.

Toward noon Jesus left the city accompanied by several persons. He proceeded along a tolerably broad highway toward the northeast. It led to Scythopolis with Doch upon the right and Thebez on the left at the eastern extremity of the mountain upon which Samaria was built. He descended toward the Jordan and into a valley through which a stream flowed to the river. Here He encountered a crowd of people, most of them Samaritan laborers who, eager to receive instruction, had hurried thither in advance of Him. He found them waiting for Him, and He stopped to address them. To the left of the valley and upon a height stood a little place consisting of one long row of houses. It was called Aser-Machmethat, and into it Jesus entered toward evening. Abelmahula may have been seven hours dis­tant. Mary and the holy women passed by Aser on their journeys to Judea when they did not take the mountainous road past Samaria. The Blessed Virgin and Joseph took this route on their flight into Egypt. That same evening Jesus went to the well of Abra­ham and to the pleasure gardens outside of Aser­-Machmethat, and there cured many sick. Among them were two Samaritans who had been brought thither. Jesus was very affectionately received by the people of this place. They were very good and each one cov­eted the honor of showing Him hospitality. But He put up outside the place with a family whose mode



 of life was patriarchal in its simplicity. The father was named Obed. Jesus and all the disciples were very lovingly entertained by him. The road through the country from Thanath-Silo to this place was far wider and better than that through Akrabis to Jeri­cho. The latter was so very narrow, so uneven and rocky that beasts of burden could with difficulty tra­verse it with their loads of merchandise.

It was under the tree near Abraham's Well that, in the time of the Judges, the false prophetess car­ried on her sorcery and gave advice that always turned out disastrously. She used to perform all kinds of ceremonies there at night by the light of torches, calling up by her incantations singular figures of ani­mals, etc. She was nailed to a board by the Madian­ites at Azo. This took place under the same tree beneath which Jacob buried the idols plundered from the Sichemites.

Joseph with the Blessed Virgin and Jesus had lain concealed a day and a night near that tree on their flight into Egypt, for Herod's persecution had been proclaimed and it was very unsafe to travel in these parts. I think too that, on the journey to Bethlehem when Mary was so chilled by the cold, it was near this tree she suddenly became warm.

Aser-Machmethat lay across a mountain ridge that descends toward the valley of the Jordan. The south­ern side of the mountain belonged to Ephraim; the northern, to Manasses. On the former stood Mach­methat, on the latter Aser, the two forming but one city called Aser-Machmethat. The boundary ran between them. The synagogue was in Aser. The inhab­itants of the two quarters were dissimilar in their customs, and had little communication. Machmethat, the quarter belonging to the tribe of Ephraim, extended up the mountain in one long line of houses; below in the valley was the little stream by which Jesus had instructed the Samaritans who had preceded Him thither. A little beyond this point and


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 nearer to the entrance of the city was the beautiful well surrounded by baths and pleasure gardens. The well, access to which was by a flight of steps, con­sisted of a solid basin in whose terraced center rose the tree to which I have more than once alluded. From this reservoir the surrounding bathing cisterns were fed. It was here that Jesus cured the two Samar­itan women.

Obed's house was on his large estate outside of Machmethat. He was a kind of chief, or head mag­istrate of the place. The inhabitants of this quarter were for the most part related to one another, and several of the families were either those of Obed's own children or those of his other relatives. In his character of eldest and chief, Obed managed their business, directed their agricultural and pastoral affairs. His wife, with her housekeeping and the female portion of the family, occupied a separate part of the house. She was still quite a vigorous old Jew­ess. She had a kind of school, and taught the young girls of the other families all sorts of handiwork, Charity, wise counsels, and industry reigned through­out the whole house. Obed had eighteen children, some of whom were still unmarried. Two of his daugh­ters had wedded husbands from Aser, the quarter belonging to Manasses. This was a cause of regret to Obed, as I learned from his conversation with Jesus, for the people of Aser were not the best in the world and their customs were very different from those of their sister city.

Next morning Jesus preached near the well to an audience of about four hundred people, all ranged around on the grass of the terraced declivity. He spoke in significant terms of the approach of the Kingdom, of His own mission, of penance, and of Bap­tism. He also prepared some for the last-named cer­emony, among whom were Obed's children. After that, accompanied by Obed, He went to some dwellings in the fields where He consoled and instructed the ser­vants

Entertainment at Obed's


 and aged persons who had had to remain at home while the others repaired to His sermon. Obed conversed long with Jesus of Abraham and Jacob, who had once sojourned in this region, and of Dina's misfortune. The inhabitants of Machmethat looked upon themselves as descendants from Judah. Holofernes, the Median adventurer, had at his invasion quite ruined this place, and after that the ancestors of these people settled here with the firm determination to live together according to their ancient, pious customs. This they had done down to the present. Obed followed the ancient usages of the pious Hebrews, and reverenced Job in an especial manner. He amply provided for his sons and daugh­ters on their settlement in life, and at every mar­riage in his family he gave large offerings to the poor and to the Temple.

Jesus blessed numbers of children everywhere pre­sented to Him by their mothers.

That afternoon there was a grand entertainment given in the open space around Obed's house and in the courtyard under the tabernacles which were still standing everywhere. Almost all the inhabitants of Machmethat took part in it, especially the poor of the whole region. Jesus went around to all the tables, blessing and teaching and lovingly helping to the various dishes. He related many parables. The women were seated in a separate tabernacle. Afterward Jesus visited and cured some sick in their homes, and again blessed many little ones presented to Him by their mothers, who stood ranged in a row. There were a great many children present, especially around Obed's wife, for she had many pupils. Obed had a little son of about seven years, and with him Jesus exchanged many words. The boy lived in the field at the house of one of his elder brothers. He was an exceedingly pious child, and often knelt out in the field at night to pray. This did not please the elder brother, and Obed himself felt a little anxiety about the boy. But


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 Jesus' words restored peace to their anxious hearts. After His death, the boy joined the disciples.

In the war of the Machabees, Machmethat re­mained true and rendered much help to the Jews. Judas Maccabeus himself sojourned here at differ­ent times. Obed took Job for his model in all things, and led in the bosom of his large family a life alto­gether patriarchal.

When Jesus went into the other part of the city, the quarter belonging to the tribe of Manasses, He found near the synagogue some Pharisees (not the best disposed toward Himself) and many arrogant citizens. They were friends and supporters of those that collected the taxes and imposts for the Romans, which they afterward put out at usury. Jesus taught, and then cured the sick. The Pharisees and proud citizens treated Jesus with coldness and indifference. They were displeased at His having visited the sim­ple, rustic people of Machmethat before honoring their own city with His presence. They had no love for Him. And yet, they were ambitious for His first visit as a learned Doctor to be to themselves, rather than to their unsophisticated neighbors, upon whom they looked down.

Jesus, accompanied by a crowd of people, went back to the well outside Machmethat and began prep­arations for the ceremony of Baptism. Many con­fessed their sins in general terms, while many others, going in private to Jesus, made them known in detail, and asked for penance and pardon. Saturnin and Judas Barsabas performed the ceremony of Baptism, the other disciples acting as sponsors. It took place in an immense bathing cistern. After the Baptism, Jesus returned to Aser for the Sabbath. He preached from Genesis 18:23, et seq., of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrha, and then taking up the miracles recorded of Eliseus, He spoke in strong language on the necessity of penance. His words were not pleas­ing to the Pharisees, for He reproached them with

Jesus Preaches of the Kingdom of God


 their contempt for the publicans while they them­selves were secretly practicing usury, though hiding the fact under their sanctimonious exterior.

After He had again taught in the synagogue at Aser, His subjects being Abraham and Eliseus, He cured many sick, some of them demoniacs and oth­ers possessed by the spirit of melancholy. That after­noon a dinner was given in the public house. The Pharisees had issued invitations; but ignoring that fact, Jesus invited many poor people, as also the inhabitants of Machmethat, and ordered the disci­ples to defray all expenses. While at table He had a warm discussion with the Pharisees, whereupon He related the parable of the unjust debtor who desired the remission of his own debts, though oppressing others on account of theirs. Jesus applied the para­ble to themselves. They extorted taxes from the poor and at the same time deceived the Romans by pock­eting the proceeds and declaring the people unable to pay; or again, by levying high taxes, only a third part of which was delivered over to the Romans. The Pharisees tried to justify themselves, but Jesus silenced them with the words: "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's, and to God that which is God's." In their fury they exclaimed: "What's that to Him?"

A fast day commemorative of the putting out of Sedecias' eyes by Nabuchodonosor having begun, Jesus preached in the fields among the shepherds, also at Abraham's Well. He spoke of the Kingdom of God, declaring that it would pass from the Jews to the Gentiles, the latter of whom would even attain preeminence over the former. Obed afterward re­marked to Jesus that if He preached to the Gentiles in that strain, they might possibly become proud. Jesus replied very graciously, and explained that it was just on account of their humility that they should reach the first place. He warned Obed and his peo­ple against the feeling of conscious rectitude and


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 self-complacency to which they were predisposed. They in a measure distinguished themselves from their neighbors, and on account of their well regulated life, their temperance, and the fruits of salvation amassed thereby, they esteemed themselves good and pleasing in the sight of God. Such senti­ments might very easily end in pride. To guard against such a consequence, Jesus related the para­ble of the day laborers. He instructed the women also in their own separate pleasure garden, in which was a beautiful bower. To them He related the para­ble of the wise and the foolish virgins. While so engaged, Jesus stood, and they sat around Him in a terraced circle, one above another. They sat on the ground with one knee slightly raised, and on it rest­ing their hands. All the women on such occasions wore long mantles or veils that covered them com­pletely; the rich had fine, transparent ones, while those of the poor were of coarse, thick stuff. At first these veils were worn closed, but during the sermon they were opened for the sake of comfort.

About thirty men were here baptized. Most of them were servants and people from a distance who had come hither after John's imprisonment.

Jesus took a walk with the people through the vineyards, the fruits of which were ripening for the second time that year.

Jesus left Machmethat with five disciples (the two disciples of John had gone back to Machaerus) and descended the road by which He had come. The lit­tle stream in the valley to the south of Aser-Machmethat had its source in the fountain at which Jesus had given Baptism by means of the disciples. He proceeded about three hours westward along the valley at the southern foot of the mountain upon which Thebez and Samaria lay. He gave instructions to the shepherds whom He met along the way, and toward noon reached the field that Jacob had destined for the special inheritance of Joseph. (Gen. 48:22). It lay

Jacob's Field


 in a valley to the south of Samaria and extended from east to west, one hour long and a half broad. A brook flowed westward through that valley. From the vineyards on the heights around could be seen Sichem a couple of hours to the south. It had every­thing to make it desirable: vineyards, pasture lands, grain, orchards and water, besides the necessary build­ings, all in good order. The landlord of this property was leaseholder, for it now belonged to Herod. It was the house at which the Blessed Virgin and the holy women awaited the coming of Jesus from Sichem, and in which He cured the boy. The people here were very good. They assembled in crowds to hear Jesus' instructions, after which they tendered to Him a din­ner in the open air which He graciously accepted. This special patrimony of Joseph was not the field near Sichem which Jacob had purchased from Hemor. It was another property upon which the Amorrhites had a footing along with the rightful occupants. They were dwelling on it at the time of purchase, and Jacob was obliged to drive them off. He did not relish their proximity, fearing lest his own people would inter­marry among them. A kind of single combat or ami­cable contention took place between the two parties. It had been agreed upon that the one who broke his opponent's sword, or shield, or struck it out of his hand, should take possession of the land, the other having to retire. They decided the question in another way also, namely, by shooting at a certain boundary with the bow and arrow. Jacob and the Amorrhite leader took their places opposite each other, each at­tended by a certain number of his own followers stand­ing in the rear. The struggle began. Jacob conquered his adversary, and the latter had to remove. After the contest they made a treaty. All this took place soon after the purchase of the field. Jacob dwelt eleven years near Sichem.

From this place Jesus again ascended the mountain northwestwardly to Meroz, a city on the southern side


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 of a mountain on whose northern side stood Ataroth. Meroz was built on a higher elevation than Samaria, as well as Thebez off to the north and Aser-Mach­methat to the east.

5. Jesus Teaches in Meroz and Receives Judas Iscariot to the Number of His Disciples. Ancestry and Character of Judas Iscariot

Jesus had never before been in Meroz. It was sur­rounded by a dry moat, which at times received some water from the mountain streams. The place had a bad name in Israel on account of the perfidy of its inhabitants. It had been peopled by the descendants of Aser and Gad, sons of Jacob and the handmaiden Zelpha, some of whom had intermarried with the Gentiles of Sichem. The other tribes refused to acknowledge the offspring of these mixed marriages, and they were despised likewise on account of their faithlessness and perfidy. Meroz, in consequence, became an isolated place, and its inhabitants, being thus cut off from much good, were likewise shielded from much evil. They had fallen into oblivion, per­ished, as it were, from among men. Their chief occu­pations consisted in dressing skins, making leather, preparing furs and garments of the same, and man­ufacturing leather sandals, straps, girdles, shields, and military jerkins. They brought the skins from afar on asses and dressed them partly near Meroz, using for that purpose a cistern supplied with water from their fountain in the city. But because this itself was fed from an aqueduct and had not always a full supply, they tanned the skins near Iscariot, a marshy region, a couple of hours to the west of Meroz and northward from Aser-Machmethat. It was a des­olate little place of only a few dwellings. Nearby was a ravine through which a little stream flowed to the valley of the Jordan. It was on its banks that the

Jesus in Meroz


 people of Meroz prepared their skins. Judas and his parents had for some time dwelt in this locality, hence the surname borne by the former.

Jesus was very joyfully received at some distance from their city by the poor citizens of Meroz. They knew of His approach and went out to meet Him, carrying sandals and garments for His use while they cleaned and brushed His own. Jesus thanked them and went with the disciples into the city, where they washed His feet and offered the customary refreshments. The Pharisees came to salute Him. Toward evening He taught in the synagogue before a large audience, taking for His subject the slothful servant and the buried talent. By this parable Jesus designated the inhabitants themselves. Born of the maid servant, they had received one talent only which they should have put out at interest; but instead of that they had buried it. The Master was coming and they should hasten to gain something. Jesus rebuked them also for their little love for their neighbor and their hatred of the Samaritans.

The Pharisees were not well pleased with Jesus, but the people so much the more, as they were very greatly oppressed by them. They rejoiced likewise at Jesus' visit because their whole region seemed to lie forgotten by all the world, and no one ever came to help or instruct them in any way.

After the sermon, Jesus went with His disciples to an inn that stood outside the western gate of the city. Lazarus had erected it for their use on some ground that he owned in these parts. Bartholomew, Simon Zelotes, Jude Thaddeus, and Philip came here to see Jesus, by whom they were cordially received. They had already spoken with the disciples. They dined with Jesus and remained overnight. Jesus had often before seen Bartholomew, had given him an interior call to His service and had even spoken of him to the disciples, Simon and Thaddeus were his cousins. Philip also was related to him and, like


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 Thaddeus, was already among the disciples. Jesus had called all these to follow Him when, upon His last visit to Capharnaum at Peter's fishery on the lake, He had spoken of their soon being summoned to do so. It was then that Peter had expressed himself so desirous of being allowed to remain at home as unfit for such a calling. Then it was that Peter uttered the words that later on were recorded in the Gospel.

Judas Iscariot likewise had come with the above named disciples to Meroz. He did not, however, spend the evening with Jesus, but at a house in the city where he had often before stayed. Bartholomew and Simon spoke with Jesus of Judas. They said that they knew him to be an active, well-informed man, very willing to be of service, and very desirous of a place among the disciples. Jesus sighed as they spoke and appeared troubled. When they asked Him the cause of His sadness, He answered: "It is not yet time to speak, but only to think of it." He taught during the whole meal, and all slept at the inn.

The newly arrived disciples had come from Caphar­naum where they had met Peter and Andrew. They had messages from there and had also brought Jesus some money for the expenses of the journey, the char­itable gift of the women. Judas, having met them at Naim, accompanied them to Meroz. Even at this early period, he was already known to all the disciples, and he had recently been in Cyprus. His manifold accounts of Jesus, of His miracles, of the various opinions formed of Him, namely, that some looked upon Him as the Son of David, others called Him the Christ, and the majority esteemed Him the great­est of the Prophets, had made the Jews and pagans of the island very inquisitive with regard to Him. They had heard, too, many wonderful things of His visit to Tyre and Sidon. The Cyprian pagan, the offi­cer who visited Jesus in Ophra, had in consequence of all these marvelous accounts been sent thither by his master, who was very much impressed by them.

Judas Iscariot


 Judas had accompanied the officer back to Cyprus. On his return journey he stopped at Ornithopolis where the parents of Saturnin, originally from Greece, then dwelt.

When Judas learned on the way that Jesus was going into the region of Meroz, where he himself was well-known, he went to seek Bartholomew in Deb­baseth. He was already acquainted with him and he invited him to go with him to Meroz and present him to Jesus. Bartholomew expressed his willingness to do so. But he went first to Capharnaum with Jude Thaddeus to see the disciples there, thence with Thad­deus and Philip to Tiberias, where Simon Zelotes joined them, and then stopped at Naim for Judas who had journeyed thither to meet them. He begged them again to present him to Jesus as one desirous of becoming a disciple. They were well pleased to do so, for they took delight in his cleverness, his readi­ness to render service, and his courteous manner.

Judas Iscariot may have been at that time twenty-five years old. He was of middle height and by no means ugly. His hair was of a deep black, his beard somewhat reddish. In his attire he was perfectly neat and more elegant than the majority of Jews. He was affable in address, obliging, and fond of making him­self important. He talked with an air of confidence of the great or of persons renowned for holiness, affect­ing familiarity with such when he found himself among those that did not know him. But if anyone who knew better convicted him of untruth, he retired confused. He was avaricious of honors, distinctions, and money. He was always in pursuit of good luck, always longing for fame, rank, a high position, wealth, though not seeing clearly how all this was to come to him. The appearance of Jesus in public greatly encouraged him to hope for a realization of his dreams. The disciples were provided for; the wealthy Lazarus took part with Jesus, of whom everyone thought that He was about to establish a kingdom;


Life of Jesus Christ

 He was spoken of on all sides as a King, as the Mes­siah, as the Prophet of Nazareth. His miracles and wisdom were on every tongue. Judas consequently conceived a great desire to be numbered as His dis­ciple and to share His greatness which, he thought, was to be that of this world. For a long time pre­viously he had picked up, wherever he could, infor­mation of Jesus and had in turn carried around tidings of Him. He had sought the acquaintance of several of the disciples, and was now nearing the object of his desires. The chief motive that influenced him to follow Jesus was the fact that he had no set­tled occupation and only a half-education. He had embarked in trade and commerce, but without suc­cess, and had squandered the fortune left him by his natural father. Lately he had been executing all kinds of commissions, carrying on all kinds of business and brokerage for other people. In the discharge of such affairs, he showed himself both zealous and intelli­gent. A brother of his deceased father, named Simeon, was engaged in agriculture in Iscariot, the little place of about twenty houses that belonged to Meroz and from which it lay only a short distance toward the east. His parents had lived there a long time, and even after their death he had generally made it his home, hence his appellation of Iscariot. His parents at one time led a wandering life, for his mother was a public dancer and singer. She was of the race of Jephte, or rather that of his wife, and from the land of Tob. She was a poetess. She composed songs and anthems, which she sang with harp accompaniment. She taught young girls to dance, and carried with her from place to place all sorts of feminine finery and new fashions. Her husband, a Jew, was not with her; he lived at Pella. Judas was an illegitimate child whose father was an officer in the army near Dam­ascus. He was born at Ascalon on one of his mother's professional journeys, but she soon freed herself from the encumbrance by exposing the child. Shortly after

Life of Jesus Christ by Anne Catherine Emmerich
Vol 2

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