Life of Jesus Christ by Anne Catherine Emmerich
Vol 3

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Peter's Distress


Peter, still profoundly impressed by Jesus' words relative to the power of the Keys, drew near to Him on the way to ask for information upon some points not clear to him. He was so full of faith and ardor that he fancied his work was to begin right away, for the conditions, namely, the Passion of Christ and the descent of the Holy Ghost, were as yet unknown to him. He asked therefore whether in this or that case also he could absolve from sin, and made some remarks upon publicans and those guilty of open adul­tery. Jesus set his mind at ease by telling him that he would later on know all things clearly, that they would be very different from what he expected, and that a new Law would be substituted for the old.

As they proceeded on their journey, Jesus began to enlighten His Apostles upon what was in store for them. They should now go to Jerusalem, eat the Paschal lamb with Lazarus, after which they might expect many labors, much weariness and persecu­tion. He mentioned in general terms many circum­stances of His future: namely, His raising of one of their best friends from the dead, which fact was to give rise to such fury among His enemies that He would be obliged to flee; and their going again after another year to the Feast, at which time one of them would betray Him. He told them moreover that He would be maltreated, scourged, mocked, and shame­fully put to death; that He must die for the sins of men, but that on the third day He would rise again. He told them all this in detail and proved it from the Prophets. His manner was very grave, but full of love. Peter was so distressed at the thought of Jesus' being maltreated and put to death that, fol­lowing Him, he spoke to Him in private, disputing with Him and exclaiming against such suffering, such treatment. No, he said, that should not be. He would rather die himself than suffer such a thing to happen! "Far be it from Thee, Lord! This shall not be unto Thee!" he exclaimed. But Jesus turned


Life of Jesus Christ

 to him gravely and said with warmth: "Go behind Me, Satan! Thou art a scandal unto Me. Thou savorest not the things that are of God, but the things that are of men!" and then walked on. Peter, struck with fear, began to turn over in his mind why it was that Jesus a short time before had said not from flesh and blood but by a revelation from God he (Peter) had declared Him to be the Christ; but now He called him Satan and, because he had protested against His sufferings, He reproached him with speaking not according to God, but according to human desires and considerations. Comparing Jesus' words of praise with those of His reproof, Peter became more humble and looked upon Him with greater faith and admiration. He was never­theless very much afflicted, since he became thereby only the more convinced of the reality of the suf­ferings awaiting Jesus.

The Apostles and disciples proceeded in separate bands, each walking with the Lord by turns. He hur­ried on quickly, stopping nowhere, shunning the towns and villages as much as possible until night­fall, when they put up at the inn near the Baths of Bethulia. Here Lazarus and some of the disciples from Jerusalem were awaiting Jesus' coming.

Lazarus had already been informed that Jesus and His disciples would eat the Paschal lamb with him, and he had come hither to meet Jesus in order to warn Him, the Apostles, and disciples in respect to this Paschal solemnity. He told them that an insur­rection threatened during the Feast. Pilate wanted to levy a new tax upon the Temple in order to erect a statue to the Emperor. He desired likewise cer­tain sacrifices in his honor and that certain high titles of reverence should be publicly decreed him. The Jews were on that account ready for revolt, and a large number of Galileans had risen up against Pilate's proceedings. They were headed by a certain Judas, a Gaulonite, who had numerous adherents

Journeying Onward


 and who inveighed hotly against the servitude of his people and the Roman imposts. It would be well, Lazarus said, for Jesus to absent Himself from the Feast, as great disturbances might arise. Jesus, how­ever, replied that His time was not yet come, that nothing would happen to Him. This uprising was but the forerunner of a far greater one that would take place the next year when, as He said, His time would have come. Then would the Son of Man be delivered over into the hands of sinners.

Jesus sent His Apostles and disciples on ahead. They were divided into separate bands and were to journey by different routes. Simon and Thaddeus, Nathanael Chased and Judas Barsabas, He kept with Himself. Some were to go down along the Jordan, while others proceeded westward from Garizim through Ephraim, visiting on their way to the Feast some places at which they had not yet been. Lazarus journeyed with the disciples. Jesus commanded them not to go into the Samaritan cities, and gave them several directions as to their conduct. He Himself went as far as Ginnim, to the estate of Lazarus, where He passed the night.

On the following day He went through Lebona, Korea, and the desert to Bethania.


1. Jesus in Bethania and Jerusalem

About three hours from Bethania, but still in the desert, stood a solitary shepherd hut whose occu­pants depended for the most part on the charity of Lazarus. To this abode, Magdalen with a single com­panion, Mary Salome, a relative of Joseph, had come to meet Jesus. She had prepared for Him some refresh­ments. On His approach, she hurried out and embraced His feet. Jesus rested here only a short time and then set out for Lazarus' inn, one hour from Bethania. The two women returned home by another way. Jesus found some of the disciples whom He had sent on their mission already returned and at the inn; others came later, and in Bethania all met again. Jesus did not go through Bethania, but entered Lazarus' dwelling from the rear. On His arrival, all hurried out into the court to meet Him. Lazarus washed His feet, and then they passed up through the gardens. The women saluted Jesus with their veils lowered. A very touching incident attended Jesus' arrival. The four lambs destined for the Paschal solem­nity were brought in at the same moment that Jesus entered. They had been separated from the flock, and turned into a little grassy park. The Blessed Virgin, who also was here, and Magdalen had twined little wreaths which were to be hung around their necks. Jesus' coming was just before the commencement of the Sabbath, and He celebrated it with the family in a hall. He was very grave. He read the lesson for


The Herodians Instigate


 the Sabbath, and gave an instruction upon it. Dur­ing the evening meal, He spoke of the Paschal lamb and of His future Passion.

The insurrection broke out in Jerusalem shortly before the Sabbath began, but yet without violence, Pilate, surrounded by a bodyguard, occupied an ele­vated position on a wall of the fortress Antonia, and all the people were gathered in the marketplace below. The fortress Antonia was built on a project­ing rock at the northwest corner of the Temple. If on leaving Pilate's palace, one turned to the left and went through the arch past the place of flagellation, the fortress would lie on his left. Pilate's new laws, by which a tax was laid upon the Temple, were read to the people. First, the tax was to be used for mak­ing an aqueduct to conduct water to the grand mar­ketplace and to the Temple; and secondly, there was question of certain honors, titles, and sacrifices to be offered to the Emperor. Immediately a great tumult arose. Loud cries and mutterings proceeded from the crowd, especially from the quarter occu­pied by the Galileans. Still the commotion did not reach violence. Pilate addressed some warning words to the people, and gave them time to reflect; where­upon, indignant and murmuring, they dispersed. The Herodians were in secret the prime movers and insti­gators of the people, yet no one could convict them of such dealings. They kept Judas Gaulonite under their thumb, and he had a whole sect of Galileans as his followers, to whom he constantly inveighed against paying tribute to the Emperor, and stirred up their thirst for liberty under the pretext of zeal for religion. The Herodians were exactly like the Freemasons and other secret societies of our own day. They stirred up the unthinking multitude, who knew not whither their zeal was carrying them until they paid the penalty with their blood.

On the Sabbath Jesus taught in Lazarus', and then all went to walk in the gardens. Jesus talked


Life of Jesus Christ

 of His Passion and said in plain terms that He was the Christ. His words increased His hearers' rever­ence and admiration for Him, while Magdalen's love and contrition reached their height. She followed Jesus everywhere, sat at His feet, stood and waited for Him everywhere. She thought of Him alone, saw Him alone, knew only her Redeemer and her own sins. Jesus frequently addressed to her words of con­solation. She was very greatly changed. Her counte­nance and bearing were still noble and distinguished, though her beauty was destroyed by her penance and tears. She sat almost always alone in her nar­row penance chamber, and at times performed the lowest services for the poor and sick.

That evening there was a grand entertainment. All the friends from Jerusalem, as well as the holy women from the same place, were present at it. I saw too Heli of Hebron, the widower of one of Eliz­abeth's sisters, who at the Last Supper filled the office to Jesus of steward and master of the house. He had with him his son, the Levite, who now held possession of John's paternal house, and his five daughters, who were Essenians and unmarried.

Lazarus and his family were the familiar and deeply sympathetic friends of Jesus and His disci­ples. With their property and goods, they became the powerful helpers and supporters of the Community.

Toward ten o'clock next morning, Jesus went with the Apostles and about thirty disciples across the Mount of Olives and through Ophel to the Temple. All wore the ordinary brown woolen tunic common among the Galileans, added to which Jesus had a broad cincture upon which was an inscription in let­ters. He attracted no attention, since bands of Galileans similarly clad were to be met in all quar­ters. The Feast was approaching. Large encampments of huts and tents were ranged around the city, and crowds of people were circulating everywhere. Jesus taught in the Temple for a whole hour in presence

Jesus' Friends


 of His disciples and a large number of people. There were several teacher's chairs, from all of which instructions were given. All were so busy with prepa­rations for the Feast, and so taken up with the revolt against Pilate, that no priest of the first grade noticed Jesus, but some malicious, insignificant Pharisees approached Him and asked how He dared show Him­self there, and how long this thing was to last, adding that they would soon put a stop to His proceedings. Jesus gave them an answer that put them to shame, and continued His discourse undisturbed, after which He returned to Bethania, and retired in the evening to the Mount of Olives.

On this day a great multitude was again assem­bled on the marketplace before the fortress Antonia, to speak to Pilate. But he already knew all that they had to say, for he had among them his own spies and soldiers in disguise. The Herodians had roused up Judas the Gaulonite and his Galilean followers, who went fearlessly to Pilate and told him that he should refrain from his design of touching the money belonging to the Temple treasury. As many of them made use of very unbridled language, Pilate ordered his guard to attack them unexpectedly, and about fifty of them were taken prisoner. But at once the rest of the mob rushed to the rescue, freed the pris­oners, and then dispersed. About five inoffensive Jews and some Roman soldiers were killed during the affray. This affair served only to increase the gen­eral discontent. Herod was in Jerusalem at this time.

On the morning of the following day, Jesus again went to the Temple with all His disciples. His pres­ence had now become known, and waiting for Him in the Temple court through which He had to pass were people with their sick. Already on His way thither, a man suffering from dropsy had been brought to Him in a litter as He ascended the mount. Jesus healed him, and at the Temple some others sick and gouty. In consequence of these cures, He


Life of Jesus Christ

 was followed by a numerous crowd. As He drew near the Temple, where they were still busy here and there clearing out and putting in order the places destined for the immolation of the lambs next day, Jesus passed the man whom He had cured at the Pool of Bethsaida, and who was here employed as a day laborer. Jesus turned to him and said: "Behold! Thou hast been cured. Sin no more, that something worse may not befall thee!" This man, who was well-known, had been plied with questions as to who had cured him on the Sabbath day. But he did not know Jesus, whom he here saw again for the first time. Now, however, he made it his busi­ness to inform the Pharisees as they passed that this Jesus who on the preceding day had wrought so many cures, was the very one that had cured him at the Pool of Bethsaida. Since the cure of this man had caused great excitement and the Phar­isees had been very much tried by what they termed a violation of the Sabbath, they now found in it a new cause of complaint against Jesus. They gath­ered around His chair and again brought forward the old story of His Sabbath-breaking. There was, however, no special disturbance on that day, although they were very greatly enraged.

Jesus taught two hours in the Temple before a large audience. His subject was the Paschal sacri­fice. He said that His Heavenly Father desired no bloody sacrifices from them, but rather a penitent heart, and that the Paschal lamb was merely sym­bolical of an infinitely higher Sacrifice which would soon be fulfilled. Many of His malicious enemies among the Pharisees came forward, railing at Him and disputing against Him. Among other things they asked in scornful words whether the Prophet would do them the honor to eat the Paschal lamb with them. Jesus answered: "The Son of Man is Himself a Sacrifice for your sins!"

That youth who had said that he would first bury

"Let the Dead Bury the Dead"


 his father, and to whom Jesus had responded: "Let the dead bury the dead!" was also in Jerusalem. He had repeated those words of Jesus to the Pharisees. They now reproached Him with them, and asked Him what He meant by them. How could one dead man bury another? Jesus answered by saying that whoever does not follow His teaching, does not do penance, and does not believe in His mission, has no life in him and is consequently dead; that who­ever values goods and riches more than his salva­tion, whoever follows not His teachings and believes not in Him, has in himself not life, but death. Such were the dispositions of this young man. He had wished to come to terms with his aged father con­cerning his inheritance and put the latter upon a pension; he had clung to the dead inheritance, and consequently he could have no share in the King­dom of Jesus and eternal life. It was for this rea­son that Jesus had told him to let the dead bury the dead while he himself turned to life. Jesus con­tinued to teach in this strain, and reproached them severely for their covetousness. But when He warned His disciples against the leaven of the Pharisees and related the parable of the rich man and poor Lazarus, the Pharisees became so exasperated that they raised a great tumult. Jesus was forced to dis­appear in the crowd and make His escape, other­wise they would have taken Him prisoner.

The four little lambs destined for the four sets who were to eat the Passover at Lazarus', and which were daily washed at a fountain and adorned with fresh flowers, were taken on the evening of this day to the Temple at Jerusalem. Each had, fastened to the little wreath around its neck, a ticket with the name and sign of the master of the family to which it belonged. After being washed once more, they were turned into a beautiful grassy enclosure on the Tem­ple mount. All the household of Lazarus performed today their purifications. Lazarus himself brought


Life of Jesus Christ

 the water to be used in preparing the unleavened bread, and he also went with a servant into the dif­ferent rooms. The servant carried a light and Lazarus cleaned out the corners a little. It was a ceremonial performance, after which the servant men and maids swept and cleaned thoroughly. They washed and scoured likewise the vessels and other things that were to be used in preparing the unleavened bread. All this was symbolical of the cleaning out of the old leaven. Simon the Pharisee, of Bethania, had already visited Jesus. Not long ago he appeared to be approaching the state of leprosy, but now he looked more healthy. He was a timorous follower of Jesus. The man healed at the Pool of Bethsaida hurried to Bethania and wherever Jesus permitted Himself to be seen. He told all the Pharisees he met that it was by Jesus he had been cured, consequently they determined to take Jesus into custody and make away with Him.

I saw Jesus several times walking with the dis­ciples and other friends on the Mount of Olives, while Mary, Magdalen, and other women promenaded at some distance. I saw the disciples snapping off ears from the ripe cornfields, and here and there eating fruits and berries. Jesus gave the disciples minute instructions on prayer, warned them against hypocrisy in it, and repeated to them many things that He had before said. He likewise admonished them ever to walk by uninterrupted prayer in the presence of God, His own and their Father.

2. The Passover in Lazarus' House

The Paschal lamb at this Passover was not slain in the Temple at so early an hour as at the time of Christ's Crucifixion, when the slaughtering began at half-past twelve o'clock, the same hour at which Jesus Himself was slain upon the Cross. That day was a Friday and, on account of the approaching

The Paschal Supper


 Sabbath, they began earlier. Today, however, they began about three in the afternoon. The trumpets were sounded, all was in readiness, and the people entered the Temple in separate groups. The rapid­ity and order with which everything was done were certainly admirable. Though the crowd was great, yet no one obstructed his neighbor's way. Everyone had room to come, to slaughter, and to withdraw. The four lambs for Lazarus' household were slaugh­tered by the four who were to preside at the tables: namely, Lazarus, Heli of Hebron, Judas Barsabas, and Heliacim, the latter a son of Mary Heli and brother of Mary Cleophas. The lambs were fastened to a wooden spit that had a crosspiece, which gave them the appearance of being crucified. They were roasted upright in a bake oven. The entrails, the heart, and the liver were either replaced in the lamb or fastened to the forepart of the head. Bethphage and Bethania were reckoned as part of Jerusalem, consequently the Pasch could be eaten in either place.

In the evening, when the 15th of Nisan began, the Paschal lamb was eaten. All were girded, new sandals on their feet, and each held a staff in his hand. They began by chanting the Psalms: "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel" and "Blessed be the Lord," while with raised hands they approached the table, two by two, and took their place opposite one another. At the table at which Jesus sat with the Apostles, Heli of Hebron presided; Lazarus was at that of his own family and friends; the disciples were at a third, presided over by Heliacim; and Judas Barsabas did the honors at the fourth. Thirty-six disciples here ate the Pasch.

After the prayer, a cup of wine was presented to the master at each table. He blessed it, sipped, and passed it round, after which he washed his hands. On the table were the Paschal lamb, a dish of unleav­ened bread, a bowl of brown sauce, another of broth, a third filled with little branches of bitter herbs, and


Life of Jesus Christ

 a fourth in which the green herbs were arranged close together in an upright position, thus giving them the appearance of actual growth. The master of each table then carved the Paschal lamb and served it round among the guests, who consumed it very rapidly. They cut off pieces from the closely packed herbs, steeped them in the broth, and ate them. The master then broke one of the unleavened loaves and laid a little piece of it under the tablecloth. All was done very quickly and accompanied by prayers and passages from the Scriptures. The guests stood leaning against the seats. The cup went round once more, the mas­ter again washed his hands, and laid a little bunch of bitter herbs on a morsel of bread, which he steeped and ate, all the guests following his example.

The Paschal lamb had to be entirely consumed. The bones were scraped clean with ivory knives, then washed and burned. After some more chant­ing, the guests reclined at table in due form, to eat and drink. All kinds of elegantly prepared dishes now made their appearance, and mirth and joy pre­vailed. At Lazarus' house all had beautiful plates from which they ate. At Jesus' last Paschal feast, however, the plates consisted of disks of bread upon which were impressed various figures. They lay in the hollow places scooped out around the table.

The women likewise stood during the Paschal meal, and they too were clothed as for a journey. They sang Psalms, but observed no other ceremonies. They did not carve their lamb themselves, but portions were sent to them from another table. In the side halls of the supper room, a great number of poor ate their Paschal lamb. Lazarus defrayed all the expenses of their meal, and gave them presents besides.

During the supper Jesus taught and explained. He delivered an exceedingly beautiful instruction on the vine, on its cultivation, on the extermination of the bad, the planting of better shoots, and the prun­ing

The Feast Begins


 of the same after every new growth. He then turned to the Apostles and disciples and told them that they were the shoots of which He spoke, that the Son of Man was the true Vine, and that they must remain in Him; that when He would be sub­jected to the wine press they must continue to pub­lish the knowledge of the true Vine, namely, Himself, and plant all the vineyards with the same. The guests did not separate till very late in the night. All were deeply impressed and joyful.

Judas Barsabas was, with the exception of Andrew, the eldest disciple. He was married, and his family lived in the pastoral state in a row of houses between Machmethat and Iscariot. Heliacim also was mar­ried, and lived in the pastoral state on the field of Ginnim. He was much older than Jesus. Jesus sel­dom sent these disciples into this region.

3. The Rich Glutton and Poor Lazarus

The Feast began very early in the Temple, which was opened soon after midnight, the whole place ablaze with lamps. The people came before daybreak with their thank-offerings, consisting of all kinds of birds and animals, which were received and inspected by the priests. Besides these, there were offerings of money, stuffs, corn, oil, etc.

When morning dawned, Jesus, the disciples, Lazarus with his household, and the women, went to the Temple where Jesus remained standing with His own party among the crowd. Many Psalms were sung, the musicians played, sacrifices were offered, and a benediction given which all received on their knees. The people entered in bands, the gates were closed behind them, and after they had sacrificed, they left before another band entered, that no con­fusion might arise. Numbers, especially strangers, went to the benediction given in the synagogues of the city where there were singing and reading of


Life of Jesus Christ

 the Law. Toward noon, about eleven o'clock, there was a pause in the reception of offerings. Many of the people had already dispersed. Some went to the kitchens in the women's porch where the flesh of the victims was prepared for eating, which took place in the dining halls, in which whole families were assembled. The holy women had returned earlier to Bethania.

Up to the moment at which the offerings ceased to be received, Jesus had remained standing with His party; but when the corridors were again thrown open, He went to the great teacher's chair which stood in the Temple in the court before the sanctu­ary. A numerous crowd assembled around Him, among them many Pharisees, also the man who had been cured at the Pool of Bethsaida. For two whole days he had related what he knew of Jesus, fre­quently making use of the expression that whoever could do such works as He, must be the Son of God. The Pharisees had, it is true, forbidden him to speak, but to no purpose. As on the day before Jesus had taught very boldly in the Temple, the Pharisees feared that He might bring them into still greater disrepute before the people; and as all their col­leagues from the country around, gathered here for the Feast, brought forward complaints and lies against Jesus, they determined to seize the first opportunity to take Him prisoner and pass sentence upon Him. When therefore Jesus began to teach, many of them closed around Him, interrupting His discourse with innumerable objections and re­proaches. They asked Him why He did not eat the Paschal lamb with them in the Temple, and whether He had today offered a thanksgiving sacrifice. Jesus referred them to the masters of the feast who had discharged that duty for Him. Then they repeated the old charges, that His disciples observed not the customary usages, that they ate with unwashed hands and stole corn and fruit along the roadside,

The Rich Glutton


 that He was never seen offering sacrifice, that six days were for labor and the seventh for rest, and yet He had healed that man on the Sabbath, and that He was a Sabbath-breaker. Jesus answered their charges in severe words. Of sacrifice, He said again that the Son of Man was Himself a Sacrifice, and that they dishonored the sacrifice by their cov­etousness and their slanders against their fellow men. God, Jesus went on to say, did not desire burnt offerings, but contrite hearts; their sacrifices would come to an end, but the Sabbath would continue to exist. It would indeed exist, but for man's utility, for man's salvation. The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.

Then the Pharisees questioned Jesus on the sub­ject of the parable of poor Lazarus which He had recently related. They asked in ridicule how He knew that story so well, how He knew what Lazarus, Abraham, and the rich man had said. Had He been with the rich man in Hell? Was He not ashamed of Himself to impose such things upon the people? Jesus again took up this parable and taught upon it, reproaching them with their avarice, their cru­elty to the poor, their self-satisfied observance of empty forms and customs, along with their total want of charity. He applied the history of the rich glutton entirely to themselves. That history is true. The glutton was well-known until his death, which was a frightful one. I saw again that the rich glut­ton and poor Lazarus really existed and that by their death they had become well-known through­out the country. But they did not live in Jerusalem, where later on their dwellings so-called were pointed out to pilgrims. They died in Jesus' early years, and they were much spoken of in pious families at that time. The city in which they dwelt was called Aram, or Amthar, and lay in the mountains west of the Sea of Galilee. I no longer know the whole history in detail, but I still remember this much: The rich


Life of Jesus Christ

 man was very wealthy. He lived high, held the first position among his fellows, and was a distinguished Pharisee, very strict in the outward observance of the Law; but he was, on the other hand, extremely severe and merciless toward the poor. I saw him harshly reproving the poor of the place who applied to him, as to their chief magistrate, for help and support. There was a poor, wretched man in the place called Lazarus. He was full of misery and cov­ered with ulcers, but at the same time humble and patient. Hungering for bread, he had himself car­ried to the house of the rich man, in order to plead the cause of the poor so rudely rebuffed. The rich man was reclining at table carousing, but Lazarus was harshly repulsed as one unclean. He lay at the gate begging for only the crumbs that fell from the rich man's table, but no one gave him to eat. The dogs, more merciful, licked his sores, which means that the heathens were more merciful than the Jews. After that Lazarus died a most beautiful and edify­ing death. The rich man also died, but his death was frightful. A voice was afterward heard pro­ceeding from his tomb, and the whole country was full of the report of it.

Jesus having ended the parable by the relation of hidden truths unknown to the rest of men, the Pharisees ridiculed Him, asking whether He had been with Lazarus in Abraham's bosom to hear all that talk. As the rich glutton had been a very strict, pharisaical observer of customs, it was especially irritating to the Pharisees to have this parable applied to themselves, also because it was therein implied that they did not listen to Moses and the Prophets. Jesus said to them in plain words that whoever would not hear Him, heard not the Prophets, for they spoke of Him; whoever would not hear Him, heard not Moses, for he spoke of Him; and even if the dead arose, they would not believe their testimony of Him. But the dead should indeed

"Father, Render Testimony to Thy Son!" 287

 arise and witness to Him (this happened the next year and in that same Temple, at the time of Jesus' death), and yet they, the Pharisees, would not believe. They themselves, He continued, should one day arise, and He would judge them. All that He did, His Father did in Him even to the raising of the dead. Jesus spoke also of John and his testi­mony, of which, however, He had no need, since His own works bore a still more convincing testimony of His mission, and His Father Himself bore wit­ness to it. But they knew not God. They wanted to be saved by the Scriptures, and yet they kept not the Commandments. However, He would not, as He said, bring a charge against them, for Moses, who had written of Him and whom they would not believe, would do that.

Jesus went on teaching many things in the midst of repeated interruptions. At last the Pharisees became so enraged that they set up a shout, pressed against Him, and sent for the guard of the Temple to take Him into custody. At this moment, it sud­denly grew dark and, when the uproar was at its height, Jesus looked up to Heaven and said: "Father, render testimony to Thy Son!" Instantly a dark cloud covered the heavens, a loud noise like a thunder­clap resounded, and I heard a piercing voice pro­claiming through the edifice: "This is My beloved Son in whom I take My delight!" Jesus' enemies were utterly dumbfounded, and gazed upward in ter­ror. But the disciples, who were standing in a semi­circle behind Jesus, began to make a move and closed round Him. Thus escorted, He went without further molestation through the now-opening crowd, out by the western side of the Temple, and out of the city by the corner gate near Lazarus' house. They pro­ceeded a little further northward to Rama.

The disciples had not heard the voice, only the thunder, for their hour was not yet come; but sev­eral of the most enraged of the Pharisees heard it.


Life of Jesus Christ

 When it was again clear, they made no comment upon what had just taken place, but hurried out and sent people to seize Jesus. But He was not to be found, and the Pharisees were then incensed against themselves for being so taken by surprise as to allow Him to escape.

In His instructions of these days both in the Tem­ple and at Bethania to the disciples and the crowd there assembled, Jesus alluded several times to the obligation of following Him and of bearing the cross after Him. "He that will save his life, shall lose it; and he that will lose his life for My sake shall find it. For what doth it profit a man if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul? Whoever shall be ashamed of Me before this adulterous and sinful generation, of him shall the Son of Man be ashamed when He shall come in the glory of His Father, to render to everyone according to his works." Jesus added that there were some among His hear­ers who would not see death until they should see the Kingdom of God come in all its power. At these words they mocked Him. I cannot say now what Jesus meant by this. The words of the Gospel always sound to me like the mere headings of the princi­pal doctrines, for Jesus' instructions were much more extended. His discourses that often occupied hours may there be read in a couple of minutes.

Stephen was already in communication with the disciples. On the Feast upon which Jesus healed the man of Bethsaida, he became acquainted with John, and after that he went round a great deal with Lazarus. He was very slender, of an amiable dispo­sition, and a scholar in the Holy Law. He was at this time in Bethania with several other disciples from Jerusalem, and heard Jesus' teachings.

Jesus in Ataroth


4. Jesus in Ataroth and Hadad-Rimmon

From Rama, Jesus went with the disciples to Thanath-Silo near Sichar. As all the Pharisees were away at the Feast in Jerusalem, Jesus was received very joyfully in Thanath. Only the aged and the infirm, the women and little children remained home from the Feast, also the old shepherds with their herds. In Rama and Thanath I saw the people going processionally through the cornfields, cutting off bunches of grain, and carrying them on a pole into their homes and synagogues. Here and there on the fields and likewise in Thanath-Silo, where He stayed overnight, Jesus taught and made allusion to His approaching end. He called all to Himself to seek consolation, and spoke of the sacrifice most pleas­ing to God, namely, a contrite heart.

From Thanath-Silo Jesus went to Ataroth, north of the mountain near Meroz, where the Pharisees once brought Him a dead man to be healed. The place was about four hours north of Thanath-Silo. Jesus arrived at Ataroth toward evening. He taught on a hill outside the city, to which a crowd of the aged and the sick, of women and children, followed Him. All the sick, and others that were afraid before the Pharisees, now made their appearance implor­ing help and consolation. The Pharisees and Sad­ducees of Ataroth were so exasperated against Jesus that once, when they heard that He was in their neighborhood, they caused the gates of the city to be closed. Jesus taught in very severe terms, though at the same time very lovingly, and warned the poor people against the wickedness of the Pharisees. He continued to speak in plain terms of His mission, of His Heavenly Father, of the persecution that would soon overtake Him, of the resurrection of the dead, of the judgment, and of following Him. He cured many sick: lame, blind, dropsical, sick children, and women afflicted with an issue of blood.


Life of Jesus Christ

The disciples had prepared for their Master an inn outside Ataroth near a simple-hearted schoolteacher, an aged man, who dwelt there among the gardens. Jesus and His disciples washed their feet, took some refreshments, and repaired to the synagogue in Ataroth to celebrate the Sabbath. There were assem­bled many who had come hither from the country around, as well as all those that had been cured. An aged Pharisee, a cripple, who had not gone to Jerusalem, presided over the synagogue. He put on great airs, though to the people he was rather an object of ridicule. The Scripture lessons of the day consisted of passages referring to legal impurity con­tracted by childbirth, to leprosy, to Eliseus' multi­plication of the bread of the first fruits and the new corn, and to Naaman's cure.1

Jesus had been teaching a long time when He turned to where the women were standing, and called to Him a poor, crippled widow. Her daughters had conducted her into the synagogue and put her into the place she usually occupied. It never entered her mind to ask for help, although she had been sick eighteen years. She was crippled at the waist. When she walked, the upper part of her person was so bent toward the earth that she could almost have walked on her hands. Jesus addressed her as her daughters were leading her to Him: "Woman, be freed from thy infirmity!" and He laid His hand on her back. She rose up straight as a candle, and began to praise God: "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel!" Then she cast herself at Jesus' feet, and all present praised God.

But the deformed old rogue was angry that such a miracle had taken place in Ataroth during the time of his sway. Not daring to expose himself to what might follow from a direct attack upon Jesus, he turned to the people and, with an air of great

1. Lev. 12-14; 4 Kgs. 4:42-5:19

Life of Jesus Christ by Anne Catherine Emmerich
Vol 3

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