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

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Jesus Goes to Hadad-Rimmon

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 authority, began to find fault and say: "There are six days upon which we may labor. Come upon them and be healed, but not upon the Sabbath day!" Jesus responded: "Thou hypocrite! Does not everyone of you loose his ox or his ass from the manger on the Sabbath day, and lead it to water? And shall not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, be loosed from the bond in which for eighteen years Satan has bound her?" The crippled Pharisee and his adherents were confounded, while the people praised God and rejoiced at the miracles.

It was truly affecting to behold the daughters and some lads belonging to her family expressing their joy around the cured woman. Yes, all the inhabi­tants rejoiced, for she was wealthy, beloved and esteemed in the city. It was laughable, though at the same time pitiable, to see the crippled Pharisee, instead of craving relief for himself, raging over the cure of the pious deformed woman. Jesus went on with His instruction upon the Sabbath, and spoke in as severe terms as He had used in the Temple on the occasion of their reproaching Him with the cure of the man at the Pool of Bethsaida. He stayed overnight with the schoolmaster outside of Ataroth, and next day visited the house of the cured woman, who fed numbers of the poor and gave large alms. After that He closed the Sabbath services in the synagogue, and went forward a couple of hours to an inn near Ginnim.

On the following day He and the disciples jour­neyed about eight hours northward through the vale of Esdrelon and across the brook Cison to Hadad-Rimmon, leaving Endor, Jezrael, and Naim on the right. Rimmon lay, at most, one hour east of Mageddo, not far from Jezrael and Naim, about three hours west of Thabor, and to the southwest about the same distance from Nazareth. It was quite an important and populous city, for a highway both military and commercial ran through it from Tiberias to the sea­coast.

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 Jesus put up at an inn outside the city. He taught all along the way and, here and there, cured shepherds and other poor sick. The subject of these instructions was the love of the neighbor. He com­manded His hearers to love the Samaritans and all men. He likewise explained the parable of the com­passionate Samaritan.

In Hadad-Rimmon Jesus taught chiefly upon the resurrection of the dead and judgment. He healed the sick. A great concourse of people carne to His instructions. They had been in Jerusalem, but had reached it only the day after Jesus had left. The Apostles and disciples taught in the surrounding places.

The day after Jesus' departure from Jerusalem, Pilate had forbidden the Galilean zealots to leave the city under pain of death, although they were anxious to do so. Many of them had been arrested as hostages. Shortly after, Pilate set the latter at liberty and gave all of them permission to make their offerings at the Temple and leave the city. He himself toward noon made preparations for his own departure to Caesarea. The Galileans under arrest were no less surprised than delighted at their restoration to freedom. They hurried to the Temple to offer their propitiatory sacrifice, as they had incurred guilt and had not yet offered sacrifice for the same.

It was customary on this day to bring all kinds of gifts to the Temple. Many purchased an animal and brought it to be sacrificed, while others (and these were the most numerous) sold such objects as they could do without and put the proceeds into the box destined for such offerings. The wealthy sup­plied their poorer neighbors with the means to make their offerings. I saw three different boxes for this purpose, and by each of them instructions were being given, while some of the worshippers were busy with their devotions. Others were out in the place of

Massacre of the Galileans

293

slaughter with their animals for sacrifice. The Tem­ple was tolerably crowded, yet not to overflowing. I saw in different places little groups of Israelites bowed down in adoration, or standing upright, or prostrate on the ground, their heads enveloped in prayer mantles.

Judas the Gaulonite was standing near one of the alms boxes surrounded by his followers, the Galileans whom Pilate had imprisoned and afterward released. Some of them were mere dupes, others crafty tools of the Herodians. Many of them were from Gaulon, but a still greater number were from Thirza, its environs, and other places infested by Herodians. Now when these people had made the offerings of money and were lost in their devotions, turning nei­ther to the right nor to the left, I saw about ten men stealing upon them from all sides. As they approached, they drew forth from under their man­tles three-edged swords about an ell in length, with which they stabbed the nearest of the adorers. Then arose a frightful cry. The defenseless people fled con­fusedly in all directions, pursued by those that I had seen kneeling and enveloped in their mantles. They were Romans in disguise, and they struck down and stabbed all whom they met. Many of them pressed forward to the alms boxes, and tore out the bags of money; still they did not take all, a good part remained therein. The tumult was so great that a considerable amount of money was thrown about the Temple. The Romans then hurried to the place of slaughter, and stabbed the Galileans there. I saw these Roman soldiers issuing from all corners of the edifice, even jumping in and out of the windows. As when the cry of murder was raised, all that were in the Temple ran in confusion to make their escape, many harmless people belonging to Jerusalem were killed in the tumult, as well as some of the poor people that sold eatables in the forecourt and the recesses of the walls. I saw some Galileans in a dark

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 passage trying to save themselves. They had over­powered some of the Roman soldiers and wrested from them their arms. And now came Judas the Gaulonite into the same passage from the opposite entrance. He too was attempting to make his escape. The other Galileans took him for a Roman and pierced him with their weapons, in spite of his cries that he was Judas, for the confusion was so great, owing to the similarity of clothing between the mur­derers and their victims, that they indiscriminately attacked everyone they met. The massacre lasted about an hour. The inhabitants, armed with weapons, now began to crowd to the Temple, whereupon the Roman soldiers hurriedly withdrew and shut them­selves up in the fortress of Antonia. Pilate had already gone away, the garrison had taken posses­sion of all points in the city capable of being defended, and all avenues of communication were seized and cut off.

I looked down the dizzy height on one side of the Temple into the narrow streets below, and there I beheld frantic women and children running from house to house. They had just received the news of the murder of husbands and fathers, for many of the poor people that dwelt in the neighborhood of the Temple, hucksters and day laborers, had been slain in the melee. The confusion in the Temple was frightful, and the people rushed out by every loop­hole. Elders and superintendents, armed men and Pharisees—all came pouring out. Around were corpses, blood, and scattered coins, while the wounded and dying lay on the ground groaning and welter­ing in their blood. Soon appeared upon the scene the relatives of those belonging to Jerusalem that had been accidentally murdered, and lamentations, cries of indignation, rage, and anguish arose on all sides. The Pharisees and High Priests were terri­fied, for the Temple had been frightfully profaned. The priests dared not enter for fear of defilement

Ascent of Mount Thabor

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 from contamination with the dead. The Feast was consequently interrupted.

I saw the corpses of the massacred Jerusalemites enveloped in winding-sheets, laid on biers, and borne away by their weeping relatives; those of the oth­ers were removed by inferior slaves. Everything else—cattle, eatables, movables of all kinds—had to be left lying in the Temple, because all was now unclean. Everyone retired, excepting the guards and the workmen. The victims counted more in number than those of the overthrow of the building at the construction of the aqueduct. With the exception of the innocent people of Jerusalem, the massacred were, for the most part, adherents of Judas the Gaulonite, who had declaimed so zealously against the imperial tax and the contribution for the aque­duct levied, contrary to the privileges of the Tem­ple, upon the money offered in sacrifice. It was these people who had so boldly inveighed against Pilate's proposals, and who had also slain some Roman sol­diers in the fray that had then taken place. Pilate, in attacking them unarmed, avenged the death of his soldiers, as well as wreaked his vengeance upon Herod for the latter's malicious overthrow of the tower. There were among the victims many from Tiberias, Gaulon, Upper Galilee, and Caesarea-Philippi.

5. The Transfiguration on Mount Thabor.

From the inn near Hadad-Rimmon, Jesus went with some of the disciples eastward to Kisloth Tha­bor which lay at the foot of Thabor toward the south, about three hours from Rimmon. On the way thither He was joined, from time to time, by the disciples that were returning from their mission. At Kisloth another great multitude of travelers who had come from Jerusalem again gathered around Him. He

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 taught, and then healed the sick. In the afternoon He sent the disciples right and left around the moun­tain, to teach and to cure. Taking with Him Peter, John, and James the Greater, He proceeded up the mountain by a footpath. They spent nearly two hours in ascent, for Jesus paused frequently at the dif­ferent caves and places made memorable by the sojourn of the Prophets. There He explained to them manifold mysteries and united with them in prayer. They had no provisions, for Jesus had forbidden them to bring any, saying that they should be satiated to overflowing. The view from the summit of the moun­tain extended far and wide. On it was a large open place surrounded by a wall and shade trees. The ground was covered with aromatic herbs and sweet scented flowers. Hidden in a rock was a reservoir, which upon the turning of a spigot poured forth water sparkling and very cold. The Apostles washed Jesus' feet and then their own, and refreshed them­selves. Then Jesus withdrew with them into a deep grotto behind a rock which formed, as it were, a door to the cave. It was like the grotto on the Mount of Olives, to which Jesus so often retired to pray, and from it a descent led down into a vault.

Jesus here continued His instructions. He spoke of kneeling to pray, and told them that they should hence­forth pray earnestly with hands raised on high. He taught them also the Our Father, interspersing the several petitions with verses from the Psalms; and these they recited half-kneeling, half-sitting around Him in a semicircle. Jesus knelt opposite to them, leaning on a projecting rock, and from time to time interrupted the prayer with instructions wonderfully profound and sweet upon the mysteries of Creation and Redemption. His words were extraordinarily lov­ing, like those of one inspired, and the disciples were wholly inebriated by them. In the beginning of His instruction, He had said that He would show them who He was, they should behold Him glorified, that

The Transfiguration

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 they might not waver in faith when His enemies would mock and maltreat Him, when they should behold Him in death shorn of all glory.

The sun had set and it was dark, but the Apos­tles had not remarked the fact, so entrancing were Jesus' words and bearing. He became brighter and brighter, and apparitions of angelic spirits hovered around Him. Peter saw them, for he interrupted Jesus with the question: "Master, what does this mean?" Jesus answered: "They serve Me!" Peter, quite out of himself, stretched forth his hands, exclaiming: "Master, are we not here? We will serve Thee in all things!" Jesus began again His instructions, and along with the angelic apparitions flowed alternate streams of delicious perfumes, of celestial delights and contentment over the Apostles. Jesus meantime continued to shine with ever-increasing splendor, until He became as if transparent. The circle around them was so lighted up in the darkness of night that each little plant could be distinguished on the green sod as if in clear daylight. The three Apostles were so penetrated, so ravished that, when the light reached a certain degree, they covered their heads, prostrated on the ground, and there remained lying.

It was about twelve o'clock at night when I beheld this glory at its height. I saw a shining pathway reaching from Heaven to earth, and on it angelic spir­its of different choirs, all in constant movement. Some were small, but of perfect form; others were merely faces peeping forth from the glancing light; some were in priestly garb, while others looked like warriors. Each had some special characteristic different from that of the others, and from each radiated some spe­cial refreshment, strength, delight, and light. They were in constant action, constant movement.

The Apostles lay, ravished in ecstasy rather than in sleep, prostrate on their faces. Then I saw three shining figures approaching Jesus in the light. Their coming appeared perfectly natural. It was like that

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 of one who steps from the darkness of night into a place brilliantly illuminated. Two of them appeared in a more definite form, a form more like the cor­poreal. They addressed Jesus and conversed with Him. They were Moses and Elias. The third appari­tion spoke no word. It was more ethereal, more spir­itual. That was Malachias.

I heard Moses and Elias greet Jesus, and I heard Him speaking to them of His Passion and of Redemp­tion. Their being together appeared perfectly sim­ple and natural. Moses and Elias did not look aged nor decrepit as when they left the earth. They were, on the contrary, in the bloom of youth. Moses—taller, graver, and more majestic than Elias—had on his forehead something like two projecting bumps. He was clothed in a long garment. He looked like a res­olute man, like one that could govern with strict­ness, though at the same time he bore the impress of purity, rectitude, and simplicity. He told Jesus how rejoiced he was to see Him who had led him­self and his people out of Egypt, and who was now once more about to redeem them. He referred to the numerous types of the Saviour in his own time, and uttered deeply significant words upon the Paschal lamb and the Lamb of God. Elias was quite the oppo­site of Moses. He appeared to be more refined, more lovable, of a sweeter disposition. But both Elias and Moses were very dissimilar from the apparition of Malachias, for in the former one could trace some­thing human, something earthly in form and counte­nance; yes, there was even a family likeness between them. Malachias, however, looked quite different. There was in his appearance something supernat­ural. He looked like an angel, like the personifica­tion of strength and repose. He was more tranquil, more spiritual than the others.

Jesus spoke with them of all the sufferings He had endured up to the present, and of all that still awaited Him. He related the history of His Passion

The Transfiguration

299

 in detail, point for point. Elias and Moses frequently expressed their emotion and joy. Their words were full of sympathy and consolation, of reverence for the Saviour, and of the uninterrupted praises of God. They constantly referred to the types of the mys­teries of which Jesus was speaking, and praised God for having from all eternity dealt in mercy toward His people. But Malachias kept silence.

The disciples raised their heads, gazed long upon the glory of Jesus, and beheld Moses, Elias, and Malachias. When in describing His Passion Jesus came to His exaltation on the Cross, He extended His arms at the words: "So shall the Son of Man be lifted up!" His face was turned toward the south, He was entirely penetrated with light, and His robe flashed with a bluish white gleam. He, the Prophets, and the three Apostles—all were raised above the earth.

And now the Prophets separated from Jesus, Elias and Moses vanishing toward the east, Malachias westward into the darkness. Then Peter, ravished with joy, exclaimed: "Master, it is good for us to be here! Let us make here three tabernacles: one for Thee, one for Moses, and one for Elias!" Peter meant that they had need of no other Heaven, for where they were was so sweet and blessed. By the taber­nacles, he meant places of rest and honor, the dwellings of the saints. He said this in the delirium of his joy, in his state of ecstasy, without knowing what he was saying.

When they had returned to their usual waking state, a cloud of white light descended upon them, like the morning dew floating over the meadows. I saw the heavens open above Jesus and the vision of the Most Holy Trinity, God the Father seated on a throne. He looked like an aged priest, and at His feet were crowds of angels and celestial figures. A stream of light descended upon Jesus, and the Apos­tles heard above them, like a sweet, gentle sighing,

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 a voice pronouncing the words: "This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. Hear ye Him!" Fear and trembling fell upon them. Overcome by the sense of their own human weakness and the glory they beheld, they cast themselves face downward on the earth. They trembled in the presence of Jesus, in whose favor they had just heard the testimony of His Heavenly Father.

Jesus went to them, touched them, and said: "Arise, and fear not!" They arose, and beheld Jesus alone. It was now approaching three in the morning. The gray dawn was glimmering in the heavens and the damp vapors were hanging over the country around the foot of the mountain. The Apostles were silent and intimidated. Jesus told them that He had allowed them to behold the Transfiguration of the Son of Man in order to strengthen their faith, that they might not waver when they saw Him delivered for the sins of the world into the hands of evildoers, that they might not be scandalized when they wit­nessed His humiliation, and that they might at that time strengthen their weaker brethren. He again alluded to the faith of Peter who, enlightened by God, had been the first of His followers to penetrate the mystery of His Divinity, and He spoke of the rock upon which He was going to build His Church. Then they united again in prayer, and by the morn­ing light descended the northwestern side of the mountain.

While going down, Jesus talked of what had taken place, and impressed upon the disciples that they should tell no one of the vision they had seen, until the Son of Man should have risen from the dead. This command struck them. They became more timid in Jesus' presence, more reverential, and since the words: "Hear ye Him!" they thought with sorrow and anguish upon their past doubts and want of faith. But as daylight advanced and they continued their descent, the wonderful impression they had received

The Possessed Boy

301

 began to wear off, and they imparted to one another their surprise at the expression: "Until the Son of Man is risen from the dead." "What does that mean?" they asked one another, though they did not ven­ture to question Jesus upon it.

They had not yet reached the foot of the moun­tain when Jesus was met by people coming to seek Him with their sick. He healed and consoled. But the people were struck with awe at the sight of Him, for there was something unusual, something super­natural and glorious in His appearance. A little lower down the mount He found assembled a crowd of peo­ple, the disciples whom He had sent out into the environs the day before, and several Doctors of the Law. These people were returning home from the Feast. They had met the disciples at their en­campment and accompanied them thither, to wait for Jesus. Jesus saw that they and the disciples were having some kind of dispute. When they perceived Jesus, they ran forward to meet and salute Him, but they were amazed at His extraordinary appearance, for the rays of His glorification were still around Him. The disciples guessed from the manner of the three Apostles, who followed Jesus more gravely, more timidly than usual, that something wonderful must have happened to Him. When now Jesus inquired into the subject of dispute, a man from Amthar—a city on the Galilean mountain chain, the scene of the history of Lazarus and the rich glutton—stepped forth from the crowd, threw himself on his knees before Jesus, and implored Him to help his only son. The boy was a lunatic and possessed of a dumb devil, who hurled him sometimes into fire, sometimes into water, and laid hold of him so roughly that he cried out with pain. The father had taken him to the dis­ciples when they were in Amthar, but they had not been able to help him, and this was now the subject of dispute between them and the Doctors of the Law. Jesus addressed them: "0 unbelieving and perverse

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 generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you?" and He commanded the father to bring the boy to Him. The father now led the boy up by the hand. During the journey he had been obliged to carry him like a sheep flung round his neck. The child may have been between nine and ten years old. As soon as he saw Jesus, he began to tear himself frightfully, and the demon cast him to the earth, where he writhed in fearful contortions, foam pouring from his mouth. Jesus ordered him to be quiet, and he lay still. Then He asked the father how long the boy had suffered in this way. He answered: "From early childhood. Ah, if Thou canst, help us! Have mercy on us!" Jesus responded: "If Thou canst believe, for all things are possible to him that believes!" And the father, weeping, exclaimed: "Lord, I do believe! Help Thou my unbelief!"

At these words uttered in a loud voice, the peo­ple, who had remained timidly standing at a dis­tance, approached. Jesus raised His hand in a threatening manner toward the boy and said: "Thou dumb and impure spirit, I command thee to go out of him and never again to return into him!" The spirit cried out frightfully through the boy's mouth, convulsed him violently, and went out, leaving him pale and motionless like one dead. They tried in vain to restore consciousness, and many from among the crowd called out: "He is dead! He is really dead!" But Jesus took him by the hand, raised him up well and joyous, and restored him to his father with some words of admonition. The latter thanked Jesus with tears and canticles of praise, and all the lookers-on blessed the majesty of God. This scene took place about a quarter of an hour eastward of that little place near Thabor where Jesus, the year before, had healed the leprous property holder, the one that had sent his little servant boy after Him.

Jesus then proceeded on His way with the disci­ples. They passed near Cana, crossed the valley of

Jesus Teaches

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 the Baths of Bethulia, and reached the little town of Dothain, three hours from Capharnaum. They took mostly the byways, in order to escape the multi­tudes returning in troops from Jerusalem. Jesus and His disciples went in bands. Jesus walked some­times alone, sometimes with this or that band. The Apostles who had been witnesses of His Transfigu­ration approached their Master on the way, and ques­tioned Him upon the words: "Until the Son of Man is risen from the dead," which were still for them a subject of reflection and discussion. They argued: "The Scribes indeed say that Elias must come again before the Resurrection." Jesus responded: "Elias indeed shall come and restore all things. But I say to you that Elias is already come, and they knew him not but have done unto him whatsoever they had a mind, as it was written of him. So also the Son of Man shall suffer from them." Jesus said sev­eral other things, and the Apostles understood that He was speaking of John the Baptist.

When all the disciples were again reunited around Jesus in the inn at Dothain, they asked Him why it was not in their power to free the lunatic boy from the demon. Jesus answered: "Because of your unbelief. For, amen I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, 'Remove from hence hither,' and it shall remove, and nothing shall be impossible to you. But this kind is not cast out but by prayer and fasting." Then He instructed them upon what was necessary to overcome the demon's resistance. Faith gives to action life and power, while at the same time it derives its own strength from fasting and prayer. He who fasts and prays deprives the demon that he wishes to cast out of his power, which power the exorciser attracts, as it were, into himself.

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6. Jesus in Capharnaum and Its Environs

Jesus went from Dothain by a direct route to Capharnaum, where the feast of the homecoming was solemnly celebrated. Jesus and the disciples were invited to an entertainment in which some Phar­isees also took part. When about to take their places at table, the disciple Manahem from Korea presented himself before Jesus, and with him a young man of good education from Jericho. Jesus had already rejected the latter, but he again requested to be received among the disciples. He had applied to Man­ahem, because he knew him. He had large posses­sions in Samaria, which Jesus had told him some time before to renounce. Having arranged his affairs and divided his property among his relatives, he now returned a second time to Jesus. He had, however, reserved one estate for his own support, about which he was extremely solicitous. It was for this reason that Jesus refused his request, and he went away displeased. The Pharisees were scandalized, for they were in favor of the young man. They reproached Jesus, saying that He was destitute of charity; that He talked of the insupportable burdens imposed by the Pharisees, and yet He Himself laid on others burdens equally insupportable. This young man, they continued, was educated, but Jesus favored only the ignorant. He refused men the necessaries of life, and yet sanctioned the violation of long-established cus­toms. Once again they brought forward their old charges, Sabbath-breaking, the plucking of corn, the neglect of hand-washing, etc., but Jesus confounded them.

While Jesus was staying in Peter's house, some people from Capharnaum said to Peter outside: "Does not your Master pay the tribute, the two didrachmas?" Peter answered: "Yes." And when he went into the house, Jesus said to him: "What is thy opinion, Simon? The kings of the earth, of whom do

Jesus in Capharnaum

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 they receive tribute or custom? Of their own chil­dren, or of strangers?" Peter answered: "Of strangers" and Jesus replied: "Then the children are free! But that we may not scandalize them, go to the sea and cast in a hook; and that fish which shall first come up, take; and when thou hast opened its mouth, thou shalt find a stater. Take that and give it to them for Me and thee!" Peter went in simple faith to his fishery, let down one of the hooks kept there always ready for use, and with it drew up a very large fish. He felt in its mouth, and found an oblong yellowish coin, with which he paid the tribute for Jesus and himself. The fish was so large that it gave the whole company a plentiful dinner.

After that Jesus asked the disciples upon what subject they had been conversing on the way from Dothain to Capharnaum. They were silent, for they had been questioning who would be the greatest among them. Jesus, however, knew their thoughts, and He said: "Let him that will be the first among you, become the last, the servant of all!"

After dinner Jesus, The Twelve, and the disciples went into Capharnaum where a feast was being cel­ebrated in honor of those that had returned from Jerusalem. The streets and houses were adorned with flowers and garlands. Children and old men, women and scholars, went forth to meet the returned travelers, who marched in crowds through the streets like a procession, and visited the houses of their friends and principal personages of the city. The Pharisees and many others from time to time joined Jesus and the disciples and went around with them.

Jesus visited the homes of the poor and many of His friends, and they presented to Him the children, whom He blessed and to whom He made little pre­sents. On the marketplace, on one side of which stood the old, on the other the new synagogue built by Cornelius, were houses with porticos in front.

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 Here the school children and mothers with their lit­tle ones were assembled to salute Jesus. Jesus had been teaching in different places all along the way, and here He blessed and taught the children. He had little tunics distributed among them, the same to the rich as to the poor. They had been prepared by the stewardesses of the Community and brought hither by the holy women of Jerusalem. The chil­dren received also fruit, writing tablets, and other gifts. The disciples having asked again who would be the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven, Jesus called to Him a wealthy lady, the wife of a mer­chant, who was standing with her four-year-old boy at the door of her house close by. She drew her veil and stepped forward with her boy. Jesus took him from her, and she at once went back. Then Jesus embraced the boy, stood him before Him in the midst of the disciples and the crowds of children standing around, and said: "Whoever becomes not like the children, shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven! Whoever receives a child in My name, receives Me, yes, rather receives Him that sent Me. And whoever humbleth himself like this little child, he is the great­est in the Kingdom of Heaven."

John interrupted Jesus when He spoke of receiv­ing in His name. The disciples had checked a cer­tain man who, although not among their number, had nevertheless expelled the devil in Jesus' name. Jesus reproved them for so doing and continued His instruction for awhile longer. Then He blessed the boy, who was very lovely, gave him some fruit and a little tunic, beckoned to the mother, and restored her child to her with some prophetic words con­cerning his future, which were understood only at a later period. The child became a disciple of the Apostles and was named Ignatius. He was afterward a bishop and martyr.

During the whole procession and the teaching of Jesus, a veiled lady had followed in the crowd. She

"Blessed the womb that bore Thee!"

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 seemed to be out of herself with emotion and joy. With clasped hands she frequently uttered the words half aloud, so that the women standing near her were deeply touched and moved to devotion: "Blessed the womb that bore Thee! Blessed the breasts that gave Thee suck! But far more blessed are they that hear the Word of God and keep it!" She spoke these words with abundant tears and a touching move­ment of the hands. They came from her inmost heart at every pause that Jesus made, at every striking expression that fell from His lips, and this with extraordinary emotion, love, and admiration. She took an inexpressibly childlike, absorbing interest in the life, the career, the teachings so full of love of the Redeemer. It was Lea, the wife of a malicious Phar­isee belonging to Caesarea-Philippi, and sister of the deceased husband of Enue, the woman (also of Cae­sarea-Philippi) who had been cured of the issue of blood. She it was who, on a former occasion, had exclaimed at one of Jesus' instructions: "Blessed is the womb," etc., and to whom Jesus had replied: "But still more blessed are they that hear the Word of God and keep it!" Since then she had coupled Jesus' response with her own words of admiration. They were constantly on her lips, and had become for her a prayer of love and devotion. She had come hither to visit the holy women, and had made many rich gifts to the Community.

Jesus continued to instruct at the marketplace until the Sabbath began, when He repaired to the synagogue to teach. The Sabbath Lesson was upon the purification of the leprous, and the famine of Samaria that ceased so suddenly according to the prophetic words of Eliseus.

Jesus, the Apostles, and some of the disciples went next to Bethsaida, whither came also many of the other disciples, some from missions, some from their homes. Most of them came from the opposite side of the lake, from Decapolis and Gerasa. They were very

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 much fatigued, and stood in great need of care and attention. They were affectionately received on the shore by their fellow disciples, who embraced them and served them in every way. They were conducted to Andrew's, their feet washed, baths made ready for them, fresh garments supplied, and a meal prepared.

As Jesus was very busily lending a helping hand in their service, Peter entreated Him to desist. "Lord," said he, "art Thou going to serve! Leave that to us." But Jesus replied that He was sent to serve, and that what was done for these disciples was done for His Father. And again His teaching turned upon humility. He that is the least, he that serves all oth­ers—he shall be the greatest. But whoever does not serve from a motive of charity, whoever lowers him­self to help his neighbor, not in order to comfort a needy brother, but in order to gain distinction at that cost—he is a double-dealer, a server to the eye. He already has his reward, for he serves himself and not his brother. There were on this occasion per­haps seventy disciples present, and there were still some others in and around Jerusalem.

Jesus delivered to the Apostles and disciples a deeply significant and wonderful instruction, in which He said plainly that He was not conceived by man, but by the Holy Ghost. He spoke with great reverence of His Mother, calling her the purest, the holiest of creatures, a vessel of election, after whom for thousands of years the hearts of the devout had sighed and the tongues of Prophets had prayed. He explained the testimony of His Heavenly Father at the time of His baptism, but He made no mention of that upon Thabor. He spoke of the present time as happy and holy, since He had come, and declared that the relationship between God and man was once more restored. He referred in most profound words to the Fall of man, his separation from the Heavenly Father, and to the power of Satan and the evil spirits over him. He said that, by His own birth

Among the Peasants

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 from the purest, the most desired of virgins, the Kingdom and the power of God among men had taken new life, and that by Him and in Him all should again become the children of God. Through Him, both in the order of nature and of grace, was the bond, the bridge between God and man again established, but whoever desired to pass over that bridge must do so with Him and in Him, must leave behind the earthly and the pleasures of this world. He said that the power of the evil spirits over the world and mankind, as well as his share therein, was by Himself brought to naught, and that all the misery arising from that diabolical influence upon nature and mankind could in His name, by interior union with Him through faith and love, be crushed out. Jesus spoke of these things most earnestly and vehemently. The disciples did not comprehend all that He said, and they shuddered when He spoke of His Passion. The three Apostles that had been with Him on Thabor had since then been very grave and meditative.

All this took place during and after the Sabbath. Some of the disciples put up in Capharnaum, some at Peter's outside the city. All expenses were defrayed out of the common stock. It was almost like a Reli­gious Community.

The day after the Sabbath, Jesus went with the disciples northward from Capharnaum toward the mountain from which He had sent them on their first mission. He journeyed about two hours around among the peasants who were cutting corn and among the shepherds, at one time instructing these people, at another the disciples. It was just harvest time.

The corn stood higher than a man. They cut it off at a convenient height, about half an arm long. The ears were longer and thicker than those of our corn and, that the stalks might not sink under their load, the fields were at short intervals provided with

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Life of Jesus Christ

 hedges of stakes. They had a kind of sickle more like a shepherd's crook than ours. With the right hand they cut off a handful of stalks, which they held against their breast with the left, and so directed that they fell into their arms. They afterward bound them into little sheaves. It was laborious work, but they performed it very quickly. All that fell to the ground belonged to the poor gleaners who followed in the wake of the reapers.

During the pauses for rest, Jesus instructed the laborers. He questioned them as to how much they sowed, how much they reaped, to whom the corn belonged, what kind was the soil, how they worked it, etc., and around these questions He wove para­bles relating to sowing, to weeds, to the little grains of wheat, to the judgment, and the consuming of the tares by fire. He taught the disciples also how they should teach, and He gave them another instruction upon teaching. He explained the spiri­tual signification of the harvest, called them His sowers and reapers, and told them that they must collect the seed-corn for the treasure of a coming harvest, since He would not now be with them long. The disciples became very anxious, and asked if He would not remain with them till Pentecost. Jesus said to them: "What will become of you when I am no longer with you?"

To the shepherds also Jesus introduced His dis­course in many ways: "Is this your own flock? Are these sheep of several flocks? How do you guard them? Why do your sheep wander around dispersed?" etc. In this manner He put questions with which He linked His parables of the lost sheep, the good shep­herd, etc.

Jesus then went to a valley that layoff toward the west and in a region more elevated than Caphar­naum. The mountain of Saphet was on the right. Here He journeyed through valleys and solitary places, teaching now the reapers and shepherds, now

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

This document is: ACE_3_0291

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