Life of Jesus Christ by Anne Catherine Emmerich
1774-1824
Vol 3

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The Pharisees Inveigh Against Jesus

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 caves and endured all manner of ill-treatment from his cruel masters. The poor wretch had long been in Capharnaum, and yet no one had led him to Jesus. Now, however, he went to Him himself and was cured.

While Jesus was teaching in Peter's house near the city gate just before the Sabbath began, a great tumult arose in Capharnaum. The miracle of the swine and the deliverance of the dumb and blind possessed had created great excitement. Several boats of Jews from Gergesa had crossed the lake to spread far and wide the report that Jesus cast out devils by the power of the devil. This irritated the people, and they gathered in large numbers outside the synagogue. As Jesus drew near to the city, the man possessed of the devil, as well as blind and dumb, ran out through the streets to meet Him. He was without a keeper and was followed by a crowd of people who became witnesses of his miraculous cure. They were so transported by it that they gave loud expression to their indignation against the Phar­isees, who never wearied inveighing against Jesus, repeating again as they were now doing that He healed through the power of the devil. Among the crowd here assembled were many armed with a cross­bow. These men called out to the Pharisees to de­sist from slandering Jesus, to recognize His power and acknowledge that never before had such things been done in Israel, and that no Prophet before Him had ever wrought such wonders. If they did not cease from obstinately opposing Jesus, they might depart from Capharnaum, for that they (the people) could no longer support such abuse and ingratitude.

On hearing this, the Pharisees pretended to be quite subdued. One of them, a great, broad fellow, stepped out before the rest and craftily addressed the crowd. He said it was indeed true that never had such doc­trines been heard, never had such doings, such won­ders been seen in Israel, no Prophet had ever performed the like. But he begged them to consider

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 the circumstances attending the driving out of the demon from the man of Gergesa, as also those con­nected with the similar wonders wrought among them that very day. The man whom they had just seen delivered from the power of the devil, owing to his relations with the Gergeseans, just as good as belonged to them. In the critical examination of such things, one could not be too circumspect, etc" etc. Then he went on to give them a lengthy description of the kingdom of darkness. He described its orders and hier­archies, and showed how one is subordinate to another. Jesus, he said, had now a powerful spirit in league with Him. If not, why had He not long ago delivered that furious demoniac? Why, if He were the Son of God, was He not able to banish the demons from the land of Gergesa, without going there in person? No! He was obliged first to go into that country, and con­clude an agreement with the chief of the Gergesean demons. He had to make a bargain with that demon prince and give him the swine as his booty, for although inferior to Beelzebub, that prince was still of some consequence. And now since He had freed that man at Gergesa, He had, by virtue of the same agreement, delivered the one here in Capharnaum through the power of Beelzebub. With much cunning and eloquence the Pharisee advanced the above and similar stuff. Then he begged his hearers to be calm and attend to the conclusion, for their own doings would show forth the fruit of all this excitement. The laborer no longer performed his task on working days, but ran around after the new Teacher and His miracles, and the Sab­bath was turned into a day of din and uproar. Then he exhorted them to reflect, to go home at once and take some rest in preparation for the coming feast. By such persuasions he succeeded in inducing the people to disperse, and many of the light-minded were half convinced by his empty babble.

It was the eve of the Feast of the Dedication of the Temple. In the houses and schools stood pyra­mids

Jairus' Family

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 of lighted lamps, while in the gardens and courtyards and at the fountains were lights and torches arranged in all kinds of figures. Jesus, fol­lowed by His disciples, entered the synagogue and taught unmolested, for His enemies were afraid of Him. He knew their thoughts and in what terms they had addressed the people, and He made allu­sion to it in these words: "Every kingdom divided against itself shall not stand. And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then shall his kingdom stand? And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out?" With words like these Jesus silenced them and, with­out further contradiction, left the synagogue. He passed that night at Peter's.

The next day Jesus, accompanied by some of His disciples, visited Jairus' family, whom He consoled and exhorted to the practice of good. They were very humble and entirely changed. They had divided their wealth into three parts, one for the poor, one for the Community, and the third for themselves. Jairus' old mother was especially touched and thoroughly con­verted to good. The daughter did not make her appear­ance until called, and then came forward veiled, her whole deportment breathing humility. She had grown taller. She held herself erect, and presented the appearance of one in perfect health. Jesus visited likewise the pagan Centurion Cornelius, consoled and instructed his family, and then went with him to see Zorobabel, at whose house the conversation turned upon Herod's birthday and John. Both Zorobabel and Cornelius remarked that Herod had invited all the nobility, including themselves, to Machaerus for the celebration of his birthday, and they asked Jesus whether He would permit them to go, Jesus replied that if they dared to stand aloof from the evils that might there take place, it was not forbidden them to go, although it would be better if they could excuse themselves and remain at home. They expressed their

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 indignation at Herod's adulterous life and John's imprisonment, and hoped confidently that Herod would set him at liberty on his birthday.

Jesus next visited His Mother, with whom were then stopping Susanna Alpheus, Mary, the daugh­ter of Cleophas of Nazareth, Susanna of Jerusalem, Dina the Samaritan, and Martha. Jesus told them that He was going away the next morning. Martha was very sad on account of Magdalen's relapse into sin and the state of demoniacal possession in which she then was. She asked Jesus whether she should go to her, but He told her to wait awhile. Magdalen was now often like one beside herself. She yielded to fits of anger and pride, struck all that came in her way, tormented her maids, and was always arrayed in the most wanton attire. I saw her strik­ing the man that lived as master in her house, and I beheld him returning her blows with ill-treatment. At times she fell into frightful sadness, she wept and lamented. She ran about the house seeking for Jesus and crying out: "Where is the Teacher? Where is He? He has abandoned me!" and then fell into convulsions like epileptic fits.

One may imagine the pain of her brother and sis­ter at beholding one of a noble family, one so richly endowed by nature, given up to so frightful a state.

What a touching sight, that of Jesus traversing the streets of Capharnaum, His robe sometimes girded up, sometimes at full length; His motions so well regulated, and yet without stiffness; His step so gentle that He seemed rather to glide than to walk; His whole appearance, though breathing sim­plicity, so full of majesty that His like was never before seen! There was nothing strange in His look, no irresolution in His manner. He never took a false step, never a useless one. He cast no vain glance, made no aimless turn, and yet in all His bearing there was no trace of affectation or design.

Martha and Susanna had visited their inns on

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 the way through Galilee to Samaria, for they exer­cised a kind of general superintendence, the other women seeing to those established in their own respective districts. They went together to the sev­eral inns, taking with them asses laden with all kinds of household necessaries. Once when Mary the Suphanite accompanied them, the report spread among the people that Mary Magdalen now went around with the women who provided for the needs of the Prophet of Nazareth and His party. The Suphanite was in figure very like Magdalen, and neither of them was very well-known on this side of the Jordan. Besides being called Mary and the ill repute her past life had gained for her, the Suphan­ite also had anointed Jesus at a feast given by one of the Pharisees. She was consequently, even at this early date, confounded with Magdalen, a mistake that only increased with time among those not well acquainted with the Community.

The holy women took care that their inns were well supplied with beds, coverlets, linen, woolen clothes, sandals, cups, jugs of balsam, oil, etc. Although Jesus had need of little, yet He was desirous that the disciples should not be a burden to others, and should find their necessary wants sup­plied. In this way He deprived the Pharisees of all reasonable cause of reproach.

16. The Mission of the Apostles and Disciples

At the close of the Sabbath, Jesus spoke again in the synagogue, inveighing in severe terms against the wickedness of the Pharisees in saying that He drove out devils through the power of the devil. He challenged them to say whether His actions and His teachings were not in perfect harmony, whether He did not practice what He preached. But they could allege nothing against Him.

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In Peter's house outside the city gate, Jesus taught on the Beatitude: "Blessed are the poor in spirit," and made the application against the Pharisees. After that He prepared the disciples for their approach­ing mission.

Jesus would not longer remain in Capharnaum—the crowd was too great and too excited. Many Gerge­seans also had come hither, and they wanted to follow Jesus. They were poor, were habituated to a wan­dering life, and thought it would be a good thing to be supported by Him. Besides this they were under the impression that Jesus would, like Saul or David, cause Himself to be anointed king and then estab­lish His throne in Jerusalem. But Jesus told them to go back to their homes, to do penance, to keep the Commandments, and to practice the lessons they had heard from Him. His Kingdom, He said, was far different from what they imagined, and no sinner should have part therein.

Jesus afterward left Capharnaum, accompanied by The Twelve and by thirty disciples. They directed their steps northward. Crowds of people were jour­neying along the same way. Jesus frequently paused to instruct sometimes this, sometimes that crowd, who then turned off in the direction of their homes. In this way He arrived at about three in the after­noon at a beautiful mountain, three hours from Capharnaum and not quite so far from the Jordan. Five roads branched out from it, and about as many little towns lay around it. The people who had fol­lowed Jesus thus far now took their leave, while He with His own party, having first taken some refresh­ment at the foot of the mountain, began to ascend the height. There was a teacher's chair upon it, from which He again instructed the Apostles and disciples upon their vocation. He said that now they should show forth what they had learned. They should pro­claim the advent of the Kingdom, that the last chance for doing penance had arrived, that the end of John's

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 life was very near. They should baptize, impose hands, and expel demons. He taught them how they should conduct themselves in discussions, how to recognize true from false friends, and how to confound the lat­ter. He told them that now none should be greater than the others. In the various places to which their mission called them, they should go among the pious, should live poorly and humbly, and be burdensome to none. He told them also how to separate and how again to unite. Two Apostles and some disciples should journey together, while some other disciples should go on ahead to gather together the people and announce the coming of the former. The Apostles, He said, should carry with them little flasks of oil, which He taught them how to consecrate and how to use in effecting cures.¹ Then He gave them all the other instructions recorded in the Gospels on the occasion of their mission. He made allusion to no special dan­ger in store for them, but said only: "Today ye will everywhere be welcomed, but a time will come wherein they will persecute you!"

After that the Apostles knelt down in a circle around Jesus as He prayed and laid His hands upon the head of each; the disciples He only blessed. Then they embraced and separated.

Among the directions given to the Apostles, Jesus had indicated to them the place and time at which they should again join Him, in order to bring Him news and exchange places with the disciples that remained with Him. Six of the Apostles continued with Him: Peter, James the Less, John, Philip. Thomas and Judas, besides twelve of the disciples. Among the latter were the three brothers James, Sadoch, and Heliachim (Mary Heli's son), Manahem, Nathanael (also called Little Cleophas), and several others. The other six Apostles had with them eighteen disciples, among whom were Joses Barsabas, Judas Barsabas,

1. Mark 6:7-13; Matt. 10:1 et seq.; Luke 9:1-6.

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 Saturnin and Nathanael Chased. Nathanael, the bridegroom of Cana, did not travel around. He attended to other affairs for the Community, and like Lazarus rendered service in his own immediate cir­cle. All shed tears on separating. The Apostles who were going forth on their mission descended the moun­tain by the eastern route leading to the Jordan, where I saw a place situated, Lecum by name, about a quar­ter of an hour from the river. When Jesus came down the mountain, He was again surrounded by a crowd returning home from Capharnaum.

From the foot of the mountain Jesus started with the disciples southward from Saphet, which was sit­uated on another high mountain, to a place called Hucuca. Before reaching this place, He was met by many people who received Him and the disciples with expressions of great joy.

At a fountain a blind man and several cripples were awaiting Jesus' coming, and they now implored Him for help. The blind man's eyes were infected with disease. Jesus ordered him to wash his face at the fountain. When he had done so, He anointed his eyes with oil, broke off a little twig from a bush nearby, held it before his eyes, and asked whether he saw it or not. The man answered: "Yes, I see a very tall tree." Jesus anointed his eyes once more and repeated His question, whereupon the man cast himself on his knees before Him, crying out joyfully: "Lord, I see mountains, trees, people! I see every­thing!" There was great jubilation among the peo­ple as they escorted the man back into the city. Jesus went on curing the lame and the palsied who were standing around on crutches made of light but very firm wood. Each had three feet, so that it could stand alone; and when the two were crossed together, the sick could rest the breast against them.

When the blind man and his escorts went shout­ing with joy into the city, many of the inhabitants, the Elders of the synagogue, and the school teachers

Hucuca

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 with their scholars came flocking out to meet Jesus. They were full of joy. Jesus returned with them, went into the school and gave them some instructions in parables on the Eight Beatitudes. He exhorted all to penance, for the Kingdom was near. He explained the parables at great length. The disciples were present. Before beginning, Jesus had recommended to them strict attention, in order that they might repeat what they heard when they scattered around among the houses and villages in the environs. It was thus that they acquired in Jesus' public discourses what they, in their turn, had to teach in the country around; for the Apostles along with several of the disciples scat­tered as usual among the environs to cure and to teach. They met again in the evening at the place indicated by Jesus and to which He Himself had gone. Here they stopped with the Elder of the synagogue, who placed before them fish, honey, little rolls and fruit, of which they ate.

Hucuca was situated about five hours to the north­west of Capharnaum, five hours southwest of the mountain upon which Jesus had given the Apostles their mission, and about three hours south of Saphet. There were none but Jews in the place, and they were tolerably good people, for most of them had received John's baptism. They manufactured stuffs of fine texture, narrow scarves of wool, tassels and fringes of silk; they knit sandals also, under which they placed two supports like heels. These sandals were flexible in the middle, and very comfortable, for they allowed the dust to fall through holes made for that purpose.

The Apostles and several of the disciples with them scattered, two by two, throughout the city and its environs. Hucuca must have once been a strong fortress, for it was surrounded by moats now dry, and its approach was over a bridge. One could look through the gate far into the city and see its beau­tiful synagogue. Hucuca was surrounded by verdant

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 walks planted with trees so thick and high that, even at a short distance, its houses could not be seen. Its synagogue was extraordinarily beautiful. It was surrounded by a colonnade into which the main building could be opened for the accommoda­tion of a more considerable crowd; opposite the entrance the wall was solid and formed a semicir­cle. It stood upon an open square at the end of the street upon which was the entrance. The whole city was well built and very clean. The people gathered into the synagogue. Jesus went first into two sepa­rate halls, in one healing many sick men, in the other women sick of all kinds of maladies. Many sick children were brought to Him, some young enough to be carried in the arms, and He healed them. The healthy children, He blessed.

In the synagogue Jesus taught of prayer and of the Messiah. He said that the Messiah had already come upon earth, that they (His hearers) were liv­ing in His time, that they were listening to His teachings. He spoke of the adoration of God in spirit and in truth, and I felt that it meant the adoration of the Father in the Holy Ghost and in Jesus Christ, for Jesus is the Truth. He is the true, the living, the incarnate God, the Son conceived of the Holy Spirit. At these words, the Doctors of the synagogue humbly begged Him to say who He really was, whence He came, whether they whom they looked upon as His parents were not His parents, His relatives not His relatives, whether He was really the Messiah, the Son of God. It would be well, they said, for the Doc­tors of the Law to know positively what to think. Being placed over others, they before all others ought to know Him. But Jesus answered them evasively, If He said, "I am He!" they would not believe Him, but would say that He was the Son of those people of whom they had spoken. They should not inquire into His origin, but should hear His doctrine and observe His actions. Whoever does the will of the

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 Father is the Son of the Father, for the Son is in the Father and Father is in the Son, and whoever fulfills the will of the Son fulfills the will of the Father. Jesus spoke so beautifully on this subject and on that of prayer that many cried out, "Lord, Thou art the Christ! Thou art the Truth!" and falling down they wished to adore Him. But He repeated to them: "Adore the Father in spirit and in truth!" and He left the city with His disciples and the Elder of the synagogue, at whose house they passed the night. In this suburb there was a school very well attended, but no synagogue. The Feast of Lights was still being celebrated.

Next day Jesus taught again in Hucuca on the parable of the sower and the different ways in which the seed is received. Then He spoke of the Good Shepherd come to seek the lost sheep, and who would be happy to carry back even one on His shoulder. He said thus would the Good Shepherd do until His enemies put Him to death; and thus also should His servants and His servants' servant do until the end of time. If at the end wily one sheep was saved, yet would His love rest satisfied. Jesus spoke most ten­derly on this point.

17. Jesus In Bethanath, Galgal, Elcese, And Saphet

The Apostles and several of the disciples went on ahead, while Jesus with some of the others returned by the way He had come; that is, He went back to Bethanath, one hour and a half to the south of Saphet.

When within about half an hour of Bethanath, He was met by a blind man, who was led by two lovely boys in short, yellow tunics and large chip hats that shaded them from the sun. They were the children of Levites. The man was old and of honor­able standing; he had long hoped for Jesus' coming. Accompanied by the boys, who had seen Jesus

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 approaching, he hurried forward to meet Him, crying out from a distance: "Jesus, Thou Son of David, help me! Have mercy on me!" When he came up with Him, he cast himself at His feet and said: "Lord, Thou wilt certainly give me light again! I have awaited Thee for so long, and for so long I have felt interiorly that Thou wouldst come and cure me!" Jesus replied: "As thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee according to thy faith," and taking him to a fountain in the grove, He commanded him to wash his eyes. The man's eyes, as well as his whole fore­head, were ulcerated and covered with a crust. When he had washed, the scales fell from his eyes. Then Jesus anointed them with oil, as also his forehead and temples. Sight immediately returned, and the man gave thanks. Jesus blessed him and the two boys, and predicted that they should at some future day announce the word of God.

They now drew near the city, outside which the Apostles and other disciples again joined Jesus. Many of the citizens had here gathered, and when they saw the blind man coming back with his sight restored, their joy was quite extraordinary. The man's name was Ktesiphon. But he was not that blind Ktesiphon who likewise was cured, and who afterward became a disciple and went with Lazarus to Gaul.

Jesus, accompanied by the Levites and all the peo­ple, went to the synagogue in which He delivered an instruction. The Feast of the Dedication, or the Feast of Lights as it was sometimes called, was still being celebrated, so that it was a kind of holiday. Jesus again explained the parables of the sower and of the Good Shepherd. The people were good and quite joy­ous over Jesus' coming among them. He stopped in the Levites' house near the school. There were no Pharisees in Bethanath. The Levites lived together as in a monastery and sent people out to other places.

Bethanath was once a fortified city and full of pagans, for the tribe of Nephtali, instead of extermi­nating

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 them, had long held them tributary. But at this time there were no pagans in the city. They had been expelled when the Temple was re-established, when Esdras and Nehemias had obliged the Jews to send away their heathen wives. The terrible threats that God made to His people by the Prophets if they persevered in such alliances and refused to drive the pagans from the country, thereby expos­ing themselves to ever-present temptation to con­tract marriages with heathens, were fully realized; for around Thabor and in the chain between Endor and Scythopolis, where the peaks are so irregularly piled one on another, and where I saw so much gold hidden in the earth, the heathens had never been driven out, and the country had therefore become a wilderness.

From Bethanath Jesus went with the Apostles and disciples northward around Saphet to Galgal, a large, beautiful place through which ran a great highway. He went with His followers to the syna­gogue. There were some Pharisees in this city. Jesus preached vehemently against them, explained all the passages of the Prophet Malachias that spoke of the Messiah, the Precursor John, and of the new, clean Sacrifice. He ended by announcing that the time for the fulfillment of these Prophecies had arrived.

From Galgal Jesus went eastward to Elcese, which lay to the north of Saphet, and where the Prophet Nahum was born. Here He taught for a short time and visited the leper hospital, where He cured about eight of the inmates and commanded them to show themselves to the priests in Saphet. He also taught the shepherds. I saw in the fields around Elcese grass of extraordinary height, and in it numbers of camels grazing. Jesus went likewise to a mountain containing many caves, in which dwelt heathens, whom He instructed. The whole day was spent in walking, instructing and curing, for everywhere on the roads the sick and suffering were brought to

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 Jesus.

Toward evening He arrived at Bethan, which lay to the west under the heights of Saphet and about one hour from Bethanath. It was a little place, a colony from Bethanath, and was situated so near to the steep, western heights of Saphet that from them they could look down upon the little town. Jesus and the disciples put up here with some relatives, for the daughter of Elizabeth's sister was married at Bethan. She had five children, of whom the youngest girl was about twelve years old. The sons were already from eighteen to twenty. This family, with some others dis­posed like themselves, lived apart in a row of houses built near the walls of the city. Some were built in the rocks, some in the walls themselves. All belonged to the married Essenians, and the husband of Eliz­abeth's niece was the Superior. The family owned here some property inherited from their forefathers. They were very pious people. They spoke to Jesus of John and asked Him with anxiety whether or not he would soon be set at liberty. Jesus replied in words that made them very grave and sad, though without dis­turbing their peace of mind.

John had visited them when he came first from the source of the Jordan in the wilderness, and they had been among the first to go to his baptism. They spoke to Jesus of their sons, whom they intended soon to send to the fishery at Capharnaum. Jesus replied that those fishermen, that is Peter and his companions, had begun another kind of fishing, and that their young sons also would follow Him in their own good time. They did indeed join The Seventy-Two. Jesus taught and cured here. I heard Him say­ing that the other disciples were then on the confines of Sidon and Tyre, and that He Himself would go back to Judea. I saw that Thomas showed great plea­sure at the prospect of this journey, because he antic­ipated opposition on the part of the Pharisees and hoped to be able to dispute with them. He expressed

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 his sentiments to the other disciples, but they did not appear to share his satisfaction. Jesus reproved his exaggerated zeal, and told him that a time would come when his own faith would waver. But Thomas could in nowise understand His words.

While Jesus was teaching on the Beatitudes in the school at Beten, the Pharisees of Saphet came down to invite Him to their city for the Sabbath. He explained before them the parable of the seed falling on different kinds of ground, but they would not understand the allusion contained in the rocky soil. They disputed the point with Him, but He soon reduced them to silence. When they invited Him for the Sabbath, He replied that He would go with them for the sake of the lost sheep, but that both they and the Sadducees (some of whom were at Saphet) would be scandalized on His account. They replied: "Rabbi, leave that to us." Jesus responded that He knew them well, and that their unrighteousness filled the land. He went up to Saphet, followed by many from Bethan. Saphet on this side was built on so steep a part of the mountain that frequently the roof of one house was on a level with the ground floor of another. The road lay far below the houses, to which one had to mount by steps hewn in the rock. It took half an hour to climb up to the syna­gogue, where the mountain assumed the form of a great plateau whose northeastern declivity was not so steep. Outside the city Jesus was received with solemn ceremony by many good people. They sur­rounded Him waving green branches and singing canticles. Then they washed His feet, as well as those of the disciples, and offered them the custom­ary refreshments. Thus attended, Jesus reached the synagogue, where a great crowd was assembled. The Feast of the Dedication closed today, and they were celebrating that of the new moon as well as the Sab­bath; besides all this, the desire to see Jesus and His disciples added to the numbers present.

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Saphet could boast of many Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes, and simple Levites. There was a kind of reli­gious school here, in which youths were educated in all the Jewish liberal arts and in theology. Thomas, a couple of years before, had been a student at this school. He went now to visit one of the head teach­ers, a Pharisee, who expressed his wonder at seeing him in such company. But Thomas silenced him by his zealous defense of Jesus' actions and teachings. Some Pharisees and Sadducees from Jerusalem had managed to insinuate themselves into this school, and their arbitrary dealings rendered them insupportable to even the Pharisees and teachers of the place. Among them were some of those who had sent for Jesus. They addressed Him in a very insinuating speech in which, alluding to His fame and His miracles, they suggested that He should raise no excitement or com­motion in their city. They had been very much scan­dalized at the solemn reception tendered Him by the people. As the Sabbath had not yet begun, Jesus replied to them in the outer porch before all the peo­ple. He spoke in very strong language of the distur­bance and scandal which, owing to their efforts, had been spread throughout the country. He, however, men­tioned nothing in particular, though He challenged them to upbraid Him with anything wherein He had violated the Law, He who had been sent by His Father for its perfect accomplishment.

While thus disputing with them, the lepers whom He had healed the day before at Elcese presented themselves to fulfill His order to go to the priests for inspection. Jesus exclaimed: "Behold how I fulfill the Law! I ordered these men to appear before you, although they had no obligation to do so, since they were made clean instantaneously by the command of God, and not by the skill of man." This encounter greatly vexed the Pharisees, who went nevertheless to examine into the cure. It was usual in such cases merely to inspect the breast. If that was clean, the

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 whole person was judged to be the same. The Phar­isees, astounded and vexed, were forced to declare these men freed from the ban of leprosy.

Besides the passages of Scripture appointed for this particular Sabbath, Jesus taught from Genesis, from the First Book of Kings, and likewise upon the Ten Commandments. He dwelt upon several points deduced from His texts, which both Pharisees and Sadducees felt in their hearts were thrusts at them­selves. He spoke of the fulfillment of the Promises and announced the chastisement of God upon all that would not profit by His exhortations to penance. He alluded to the destruction of the Temple and the ruin of many cities. He spoke of the true Law, which they did not comprehend, and of their own law of yesterday, as He denominated it, which He ab­solutely condemned. I understood that He meant by this latter something like the Jewish books of the present day, the Talmud, I think, because here at Saphet they were especially esteemed and studied.

The exercises of the synagogue over, Jesus and the disciples went to the house of one of the Phar­isees to the place, who kept a public inn for teach­ers and rabbis. The other Pharisees also took part in the repast. During the meal, Jesus read the Phar­isees a severe lecture, because they reproached the disciples for not washing their hands before coming to table and for neglecting other observances cus­tomary before eating. He likewise checked them for their ridiculous fastidiousness respecting the serv­ing up of the food, for they were accustomed to rep­rehend the servers for the slightest stain upon the dishes or their contents.

Next morning numbers of very sick persons, some of them aged, were brought and ranged in the court­yard before the house in which Jesus was stopping. It had cost their friends no little trouble to bring them from the pathless, mountainous city. Jesus began to cure them one after another. Some were

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 deaf; others blind, palsied, lame; in a word, there were sick of all kinds among them. Jesus made use of prayer, the imposition of hands, consecrated oil, and in general of more ceremonies than usual. He spoke with the disciples, taught them to make use of this manner of curing, and exhorted the sick according to their various needs.

The Pharisees and Sadducees from Jerusalem were very much scandalized at all that they saw. They wanted to send away some of the newly arrived sick, and they began to quarrel. They would by no means tolerate such disturbance on the Sabbath, and so great a tumult arose that Jesus, turning to them, inquired what they wanted. And now they began a dispute with Him on the subject of His teaching, especially of His constant reference to the Father and the Son. "But," they said, "we know well whose Son Thou art!" Jesus replied that whoever does the will of the Father is the son of the Father. But that he who does not keep the Commandments has no right to raise his voice in judgment upon others; he should rather rejoice at not being cast out of the house as an intruder. But they continued to allege all sorts of objections against His cures, to accuse Him of not having washed before the meal of the preceding evening, and to repudiate His charge against them of not keeping the Law. They went so far that Jesus, to their exceedingly great terror, began to write on the wall of the house, and in letters that they alone could decipher, their secret sins and trans­gressions. Then He asked them whether they wanted the writing to remain upon the wall and become publicly known, or whether, effacing it, they would permit Him to continue His work in peace. The Phar­isees were thoroughly frightened. They rubbed out the writing and slunk away, leaving Jesus to con­tinue His cures. These Pharisees had been guilty of embezzlement of the public funds. Legacies and dona­tions intended for the foundation of homes for wid­ows

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 and orphans, they had used for the erection of all kinds of magnificent buildings. Saphet was rich in such establishments, and yet there were to be found in it numbers of poor, miserable creatures.

That evening Jesus closed the instructions in the synagogue, and passed the night in the same house. There was a fountain near the synagogue. The moun­tain of Saphet was beautiful and green, covered with numerous trees and gardens. The roads were bor­dered by sweet-scented myrtles. High up on the plateau were large, four-cornered houses and solid foundations around which could be erected tent habi­tations. This city was largely engaged in the man­ufacture of vestments for the priests, and it was full of students and learned men.

18. Jesus in Cariathaim and Abram

Jesus went with the disciples around the envi­rons of Saphet and cured many sick who had been brought out of the houses and laid on the road by which He was to pass. Early in the morning He sent one of the nephews of Joseph of Arimathea, along with Seraphia's son, to the neighboring town of Cariathaim, about three hours from Saphet, with a commission to prepare the inn. He and the disciples left Saphet sometime after. The disciples scattered here and there on the road, while Jesus also went along teaching and healing. He went first westward between Bethan and Elcese, after which the road turned toward the south. Somewhat beyond Elcese—near which was a beautiful mountain—lay a little, oval lake as large as that near the Baths of Bethu­lia. It was the source of a stream that flowed down into the valley which, southeast of Cariathaim, declined into that of Capharnaum. This valley was narrow in some parts, wide in others, and extended seven hours before reaching Capharnaum.

On the way to Cariathaim, Jesus was met by some

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 demoniacs who entreated Him to help them. They told Him that the disciples had not been able to relieve them, and that they thought He could do better than they. Jesus replied that if the disciples had not relieved them, it was not the fault of the disciples but their own want of faith, and He commanded them to go to Cariathaim and remain fasting until He should deliver them. He let them wait awhile and do penance. Half an hour from Cariathaim, Jesus was received by the Levites of the place, the school teachers accom­panied by their children, and many of the good inhab­itants who had come out to meet Him. The two disciples who had gone on ahead to prepare the inn were also there. They received Jesus near a bathing garden, which was supplied with water conducted through a canal from that little stream of which I have spoken. The garden was full of beautiful trees, flowers, and covered walks, and enclosed by a ram­part and an astonishingly dense hedge. They washed the feet of Jesus and His disciples and entertained them with the usual refreshments.

Jesus here instructed the children for a little while and gave them His blessing. It may have been nearly five o'clock when they started for the city, which lay upon a hill overlooking the valley. The whole way to the synagogue Jesus healed many sick of all kinds whom He met in the streets. In the synagogue He again taught on the Beatitudes, also of the punish­ment of those Levites that had dared to lay their hands upon the Ark of the Covenant. And yet greater chastisements, He said, would fall upon those that would lay hands on the Son of Man, of whom the Ark was only a symbol.

While in Cariathaim, Jesus put up at a hired inn which had been furnished with necessaries out of the common stock of the Community by the two disciples sent on ahead. The food was prepared at a house in the city, where also cooking for the sick was done. The Levites ate with Jesus and the disciples.

Life of Jesus Christ by Anne Catherine Emmerich
1774-1824
Vol 3

This document is: ACE_3_0091

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