Life of Jesus Christ by Anne Catherine Emmerich
Vol 3

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Welcome Home Feast


 the disciples. He enumerated all the duties of a good shepherd and applied them to Himself, since He was about to give His life for His sheep. He thereby indi­cated to the disciples how they should treat with such people whom they found in out-of-the-way dis­tricts deprived of spiritual assistance, and should sow good seed among them. These journeys of Jesus through solitary places, and His teaching full of peace and love, were deeply touching and impressive.

They returned by a route somewhat more to the northeast and put up at the little city of Lecum, one half-hour from the Jordan, whither the six Apostles had gone on their first mission. Jesus Himself had not yet been there. The inhabitants that had gone to Jerusalem for the Pasch had returned, and there were likewise Scribes and Pharisees in the city. When the disciples visited their acquaintances, the latter related to them the circumstance of the massacre of the Galileans in the Temple, but they made no men­tion of it to Jesus.

Lecum was a small, well-to-do place, about one half-hour from the Jordan and a couple of hours from the point at which it emptied into the lake. The inhabitants were Jews. Only on the outskirts of the place dwelt a few poor pagans in huts. They had, from time to time, remained behind from the caravans. The raising of cotton formed the chief industry here. They prepared the raw material, and spun and wove covers and various kinds of fabrics. Even the children were thus employed.

The welcome home feast for those that had re­turned from Jerusalem was being celebrated in Lecum, as it had just been in Capharnaum. The streets were adorned with flowers and garlands of green. Those that had come home visited the houses of their friends, and the schools went out to meet them.

Jesus went into some of the houses to visit the old people, and He cured some sick. On the market square of the place in front of the synagogue, He


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 delivered a long discourse first to the children, whom He caressed and blessed, then to the youths and maidens who, on account of the general festival, were present with their teachers. After they had gone home, He taught successively several groups of men and women, making use of all kinds of similitudes. His subject was marriage, which He treated in very beautiful and deeply significant terms. He began by saying that in human nature much evil is mixed with good, but that by prayer and renunciation the two must be separated and the evil subdued. He who follows his unbridled passions works mischief. Our works follow us and they will at some future day rise up against their author. Our body is an image of the Creator, but Satan aims at destroying that image in us. All that is superfluous brings with it sin and sickness, becomes deformity and abomi­nation. Jesus exhorted His hearers to chastity, mod­eration, and prayer. Continence, prayer, and discipline have produced holy men and Prophets. Jesus illustrated all this by similitudes referring to the sowing of the grain, to the clearing out of stones and weeds from the field, to its lying fallow, and to the blessing of God upon land justly acquired. In speaking of the married state, He borrowed His simil­itudes from the planting of the vine and the prun­ing of the branches. He spoke of noble offspring, of pious families, of improved vineyards, and of races exalted and ennobled. He spoke of the Patriarch Abraham, of his holiness, and the alliance concluded with God in circumcision, and said that his des­cendants had fallen into disorders by their indul­gence of unrestrained passion and their repeated marriages with the heathens. Jesus spoke also of the lord of the vineyard who had sent his son, and He recounted all that had happened to him.

The people were very much moved; many wept and felt impelled to amend their lives. Jesus gave that instruction principally because they had never



 been taught anything about such mysteries, and also because they lived in a very dissolute way.

Jesus taught also of the essential action of good will in prayer and renunciation, and of man's own cooperation. He said that what they deprived them­selves of in food and drink and superfluous com­forts, they should place with confidence in the hands of God, imploring Him to allow it to benefit the poor shepherds in the wilderness and others in need. The Father in Heaven would then like a true father of a family hear their prayer, if they like faithful ser­vants shared the abundance He had given them with the poor whom they knew or whom they lovingly sought out. This was real cooperation, and God works with His true servants strong in faith. Here Jesus brought forward the example of a tree (the palm), which by love and desire as it were, but without contact, imparts fertility to its mate.

From Lecum Jesus crossed the Jordan to Beth­saida-Julias, where He taught.

The welcome home feast was being celebrated here likewise. I saw Jesus with the disciples, some of the Scribes and Pharisees, and other distinguished personages of Julias walking about and teaching. Here they told Jesus of the massacre of the Galileans in the Temple. I heard at this time that a hundred persons belonging to Jerusalem and a hundred and fifty of the seditious followers of Judas the Gaulonite had been murdered. These last-named had per­suaded many, perhaps forced them by threats, to go with them and offer sacrifice. The hundred Jerusalemites had united with the rebels, although they knew of their unjust determination not to pay the tax to the Emperor, and they were consequently murdered with them.

The country around Julias was extraordinarily charming, fertile, solitary and verdant, full of graz­ing asses and camels. It was like a zoological gar­den, the abode of all kinds of birds and animals.


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 Serpentine footpaths wound down to the harbor, and springs were abundant. The noonday sun shone full upon it and flashed on the mirror-like surface of the lake. The highroad to Julias ran nearer to the Jor­dan, but the country of which I speak was a soli­tude. Jesus and the disciples recrossed the Jordan and proceeded to Bethsaida and Capharnaum. In the latter place, Jesus taught in the synagogue, for it was the Sabbath. The Scripture assigned for the day were passages from Moses, (Lev. 16-19), treat­ing of the annual sacrifice of expiation, of that offered before the tabernacle, of the prohibition to eat the blood of animals, and of the degrees of kindred in which marriage could not be solemnized. Passages were read from Ezechiel, also, upon the sins of the city of Jerusalem. (Ezech. 22).

Jesus and the disciples were invited by one of the Pharisees to dine not far from the dwelling of Cor­nelius the Centurion. There He found a man afflicted with dropsy, who begged for help. Jesus asked the Pharisees whether it was lawful to heal upon the Sabbath day. They gave Him no answer, so He laid His hand upon the sick man and healed him. As the poor man was retiring with many thanks, Jesus remarked to the Pharisees, as He usually did on such occasions, that not one of them would hesitate to draw out on the Sabbath day his ox or his ass that had fallen into a pit. The Pharisees were scan­dalized, but they could make no reply.

The Pharisees had invited only their own rela­tives and friends, and when Jesus perceived that they had taken the best places at table for them­selves, He said: "When invited to a wedding, sit not down in the first place, lest perhaps one more hon­orable than thou be invited also, and the host con­strain thee to make room for that one, and thus bring thee to shame. But if one takes the last place and the host says, 'Friend, go up higher,' that brings with it honor. Because everyone that exalteth him­self

One Must Renounce All Things


 shall be humbled, and he that humbleth him­self shall be exalted." Then Jesus addressed the host: "Whoever invites to his feast his relatives, friends, and rich neighbors, who will in turn invite him to theirs, has already received his reward. But who­ever invites the poor, the lame, the blind, the infirm, who can make no return to him, he will happily receive his recompense at the Resurrection." To this one of the guests responded: "Yes, blessed indeed will he be that shall sit at the feast in the King­dom of God!" whereupon Jesus turned to him and related the parable of the great feast.

Jesus had, by means of the disciples, caused many of the poor to be assembled at the Pharisee's. Now He asked the host whether the entertainment had been prepared for Him, and on receiving an answer in the affirmative, He ordered what was left after the guests had finished to be distributed to the poor.

After that Jesus went with the disciples through the Centurion Zorobabel's estate into a beautiful, solitary region between Tiberias and Magdalum. As a numerous crowd followed Him, He took the oppor­tunity to speak of renouncing all things to follow Him. Whoever, He said, wanted to follow Him and be His disciple must love Him more than all his nearest relatives, yes, even more than himself, and must carry his cross after Him. He who wanted to build a tower must first calculate the cost, other­wise he might never finish it, might make himself ridiculous. He who goes to war ought, first of all, to compare the number of his forces with those of his enemy, and if he finds it insufficient, he ought rather to sue for peace. One must renounce all things, in order to become His disciple.


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7. Jesus Teaching on the Mountain Near Gabara

Jesus journeyed on, teaching through the country of Genesareth, and dispatched a large number of the elder disciples to invite the people to an instruction to be given on the mountain beyond Gabara. It was to begin on the following Wednesday and last sev­eral days. I heard the day indicated differently, but I knew that the coming Wednesday was meant.

A great many of the disciples rowed across the lake to the country of the Gergeseans, to Dal­manutha, and into the Decapolis. They were com­missioned to invite all, for Jesus would not be with them much longer, and they were to bring back as many with them as they could. About forty disciples went on this mission. Jesus kept with Him the Apos­tles, as well as the disciples that had last returned, all of whom He continued to instruct. He went with them to Tarichaea at the southern extremity of the lake. The journey to Tarichaea could not be made along the lakeshore, for at two hours' distance from that place rose steep cliffs that extended off to the lake. Jesus went around Tarichaea to the west, and crossed over a bridge to a place that seemed to be one of the environs of the city. The bridge spanned the stone dam which extended from Tarichaea to the spot at which the Jordan flowed out of the lake. Near the bridge ran two rows of houses. Before reach­ing them, Jesus had to pass the abode of the lep­ers, where He had wrought some cures the preceding year. Being informed of His approach, these cured came out to thank Him, while others, who had come hither since His last visit, now cried to Him for help and He healed them. When arrived at the houses mentioned above, many sick were presented to Him. They had been rowed across the lake from Dal­manutha. Jesus helped them. That dam, along with most of the houses, was overturned by the earth­quake

Crowds Assemble at Gabara


 at Jesus' death. They were abandoned and never rebuilt, since the lake-shore was much changed by the catastrophe. Tiberias was in reality only half a city, being quite unfinished on one side.

From all quarters poured immense crowds to the mountain of Gabara, and ships full of passengers came over the lake. They brought with them tents and provisions, also sick borne in basket-litters on the backs of asses. The disciples arranged the mul­titude, and lent assistance everywhere.

As Jesus, with the Apostles, was proceeding to Gabara, He was met by some of the Pharisees, who interrogated Him as to the meaning of that great movement of the people, those multitudes hasten­ing to the mountain. The whole country, they said, was in a state of agitation! Jesus answered by telling them that they too might, if they chose, come to hear His discourse next morning, that He had invited the multitude because He would not be among them much longer.

The holy women went to the inn at the foot of the mountain in order to provide for the wants of the disciples.

It was toward ten o'clock next day when Jesus appeared upon the mountain. The disciples had put the people in order and indicated to them how they should in certain numbers exchange places from time to time, in order to hear Jesus' discourse, for the multitude was far greater than could be accommo­dated within hearing distance of the teacher's chair. The people were under tents, those from the same district camping together. Each district had its own camp, the entrance to which was adorned with an arch formed of the fruits peculiar to that district and surmounted by a crown made of the most mag­nificent specimens. Some had grapevines and corn; others, cotton plants, sugar cane, aromatic herbs, and all kinds of fruits and berries. Every district had its own distinctive sign, adorned with flowers


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 and beautifully arranged. The whole produced a very pleasing effect. Numbers of birds, among them pigeons and quails, had taken up their quarters in the camp and were busy picking up the scattered crumbs. They had grown so familiar, so tame, that the people fed them from their hands. A great many Pharisees, Sadducees, and Herodians, Scribes and magistrates of different places were present and had taken possession of the places around Jesus' chair. They had provided themselves with comfortable seats, a kind of stool, or chair, which they had ordered to be brought for their own use.

Jesus collected His disciples close around Him, to the displeasure of the Pharisees who were unwill­ing to see them preferred to themselves. Jesus began by prayer and calling the people to order. He bade them be attentive, because He was going to teach them what they would not learn from others, but what was at the same time necessary for their sal­vation. What they could not then comprehend, would be repeated and explained to them later by His dis­ciples whom He would send to them, for He Him­self would not be among them much longer. Then loudly and openly He warned the disciples gathered around Him against the Pharisees and false prophets, and instructed the multitude upon prayer and love of the neighbor. The disciples led up the different groups in turn. The Pharisees and others versed in the Law frequently interrupted Jesus with all kinds of contradictory remarks, but He paid no attention to them. He went on with His instruction, speaking very severely against them and warning the people against them until they were greatly incensed. He performed no cures today, but ordered that the weary sick on their beds should be brought up in their turn and placed under awnings near Him, that they too might hear His teaching. He sent word to them to be patient until the close of His instruction. He taught till evening without intermission, the people

Jesus Teaching the Multitude


 taking refreshment by turns. I did not see Jesus eat­ing. He taught the great multitude so unremittingly that toward evening His voice became quite shrill and weak. At last, He went down to the inn on the plain. It had once formed part of Magdalen's prop­erty in Magdalum, and at its sale had been reserved for the use of the Community.

Lazarus and Martha, Dina and the Suphanite, Maroni of Naim, Jesus' Mother, and the other Galilean women were come hither with quantities of provisions, materials for clothes, and also ready­made clothing. They had prepared a frugal meal for Jesus and the disciples, and all the rest was dis­tributed to the poor.

Next day Jesus continued His teaching on the mountain. He again spoke of prayer, of the love of the neighbor, of vigilance in good, of confidence in the goodness of God, and admonished the people not to allow themselves to be confounded by oppressors and calumniators.

The Pharisees today were even more disquieted. They had gathered in still larger numbers than yes­terday, to dispute with Jesus. They called Him an agitator of the people, a mischief-maker. They said that He enticed the people from their labor that they might follow Him around the country. They had their Sabbath, their festivals, and their own teaching; there was no need of His innovations. They repeated for the thousandth time the old reproaches against Him­self and His disciples, and ended by threatening Him with Herod. They would, they said, complain to him of Jesus' actions and teaching; he already had an eye upon Him, and would soon make short work of His doings. Jesus replied with severity. He said that He would, undisturbed on Herod's account, teach and heal until His mission was fulfilled. The Phar­isees were so bold and violent that the people pressed forward. The confusion became great as they were pushing and treading on one another's toes, so that


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 the Pharisees withdrew at last in great disgust.

Jesus nevertheless went on teaching in a very touching and impressive manner. As a great many of those that were on their return journey from Jerusalem, as well as others, had exhausted their pro­visions, Jesus directed the senior disciples to distribute among them bread, honey, and fish, numer­ous baskets of which had been brought up from the inn. The holy women had seen to its preparation. Garments, pieces of linen, covers, sandals, and lit­tle tunics for the children also were distributed to the needy. The holy women had brought all these things in abundance. They distributed them to the women, and the disciples, to the men.

Meanwhile Jesus continued to instruct the disci­ples alone, speaking upon the character of the Phar­isees and telling them how they should, in the future, comport themselves toward them. After that He descended with them to the inn, where a meal was awaiting them.

During it Lazarus spoke of the massacre of the Galileans in the Temple, of which there was much question among the disciples and the people at large. He told also of the women from Hebron, relatives of the Baptist, and of some from Jerusalem who had gone to Machaerus in search of John's head, as the sewers were being cleared out and the fortress enlarged. Lazarus himself had taken steps in the matter.

Early on the morning of the third day, Lazarus and the holy women returned home, while Jesus and the Apostles went to visit the sick whose huts and tents had been arranged, some in the neighborhood of the inn, and others in the public encampment at the foot of the mount of instruction. They cured all that were there, and did not leave the spot until all were again on their feet. The disciples busied them­selves distributing among them what remained of the provisions, clothes, and unmade materials. The

Jesus Explains the Law


 cured and their friends filled the air with Psalms of thanksgiving. At last all took their departure, in order to reach their homes before the Sabbath.

Jesus next went to Garisima, about one hour to the north of Sephoris, on a height at the end of the valley. He sent some of the disciples on ahead to prepare the inn while He Himself, on account of some sick whom He wished to visit, took a circuitous route thereto. I saw Him and His party tarrying awhile in the little place Capharoth near Jetebatha. The road from Capharnaum to Jerusalem ran through it. Saul wandered about this part of the country shortly before his visit to the witch of Endor and his disastrous battle. It was about five hours from Capharoth to Garisima, which lay in the midst of vineyards. It enjoyed the morning and some of the noonday sun, but on the west and north it had nothing but shade.

The disciples that had been sent on in advance came a part of the way to meet Jesus, who had an inn just outside the place. They washed one another's feet and, after partaking of the customary refresh­ments, Jesus proceeded to the synagogue, where He taught from Leviticus and the prophet Ezechiel. He had to endure no contradiction this time, for His hearers were astonished at His knowledge of the Law and His wonderful explanations. The instruc­tion over, He took a repast with His own followers at the inn. Some of His relatives from the region of Sephoris were in Garisima, and they ate with them. Jesus spoke on this occasion of His approaching end.

Almost a hundred disciples, along with the Apos­tles, gathered around Jesus in Garisima for the Sab­bath. The two sons of Cyrinus of Cyprus, who had been baptized at Dabereth, were also here with other Jews from the same place. A great multitude of these latter were here encamped. They were returning to Cyprus from the Paschal festival at Jerusalem and they listened with admiration to Jesus' teaching on


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 the Sabbath. Jesus' presence was ardently longed for in Cyprus, where there were numbers of Jews, all in a state of spiritual abandonment.

Jesus instructed the disciples in Garisima also, assembling them for this purpose on a hill. Many of them had until now served merely as messengers between the disciples dispersed in various quarters and the friends of Jesus. There were others who had for the most part been detained at home, and who in consequence had missed much of Jesus' teaching, had heard nothing of the way in which they were to conduct themselves on their missions, nor of the application and interpretation of parables. Jesus then, continuing His instruction, explained all things to these disciples in a simple and easy style, and ran quickly through all that He had taught up to the present. After that He went with them from four to six hours northwest from Garisima to the moun­tains of a very retired region, and there they passed the night. Herds of asses and camels, and flocks of sheep were grazing off in the valleys on the west side of the lofty mountain range that ran through the heart of the country. The valleys here run in a zigzag direction, like the plant known as the com­mon club moss, or wolf's claw. There were a great many palm trees in this wilderness, also a kind of tree whose interlaced branches fell to the earth, and under which one could creep as into a hut. The shep­herds of the region used to take shelter under them. Jesus and the disciples spent most of the night in prayer and instruction. Jesus repeated many of the directions He had given when first sending them out upon their earlier missions. I was especially struck on hearing that they were to possess no pri­vate purse. That was to be confided to their Supe­rior, one of whom was appointed for every ten. Jesus indicated to them the signs by which they might recognize the places in which they could effect some good, told them to shake the dust from their shoes

Jesus Sends the Apostles and Disciples


 before those that were ill-disposed, and instructed them as to how they should justify themselves when placed under arrest. They were not to be disturbed as to what they should answer, for words would then be put into their mouth, nor were they to be afraid, since their lives would not be in any danger.

I saw here and there around this region men with long staves and iron hoes. They were guarding the herds against the attacks of wild animals that came up from the seacoast.

Very early the next morning, Jesus sent the dis­ciples and Apostles out on a mission. Upon the lat­ter, as well as upon the eldest disciples, He imposed hands, but the rest He merely blessed. By this cer­emony He filled them with new strength and energy. It was not, however, priestly ordination, but only an imparting of grace and vigor to the soul. He addressed to them likewise many words on the value of obe­dience to Superiors.

Peter and John did not remain with Jesus, but went toward the south, Peter to the country of Joppa, and John more to the east, to Judea. Some went to Upper Galilee, others into the Decapolis. Thomas received his mission to the country of the Gerge­seans, whither he went with a troop of disciples, taking a circuitous route to Asach, a city situated on a height between two valleys, about nine hours from Sephoris and one at most to the left from the road. There were a great many Jews in this city, which belonged to the Levites.

Jesus now journeyed in a northwesterly direction. With Him were five Apostles, each of whom had under him ten disciples. I remember having seen on this occasion Judas, James the Less, Thaddeus, Sat­urnin, Nathanael, Barnabas, Azor, Mnason, and the youths from Cyprus. They accomplished on the first day six to eight hours. Several cities lay to the right and left on their road and, from time to time, some of the party would separate from their Master in


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 order to visit them. Jesus passed Tyre on the sea­coast to the left. He had indicated to the Apostles and disciples a certain place where, in about thirty days, they were again to join Him. He spent the night like the preceding, under some trees with His companions.

8. Jesus Journeys Into the Country of Ornithopolis and Thence Takes Ship for Cyprus

I saw Jesus with His followers, disciples and oth­ers, about fifty in all, journeying through a deep, mountainous ravine. It was a very remarkable-look­ing mountain. On two sides of it for about an hour in length were dwellings and sheds of light timber, peering into which the passer-by beheld the occu­pants as if in caves. Sometimes the projecting shed was covered with rushes, moss, or grassy sods. Here and there arose works something like fortifications, to prevent the landslips from the mountain from filling up the road. Here dwelt poor, outcast pagans whose duty it was to keep the road in repair and to free the region from ferocious beasts. They came to Jesus and implored His aid against these ani­mals—long, broad-footed, spotted creatures, like immense lizards. Jesus blessed the country and com­manded the animals to retire into a black swamp that was nearby. Wild orange trees grew by the road­side. It was about four hours' distance to Tyre.

Jesus here separated from His companions and, plunging deeper and deeper into the ravine, taught here and there before the caves of its inhabitants. The road led down along the clear and tolerably rapid stream Leontes which, flowing through its deep bed, emptied into the sea a couple of hours north of Tyre. The river was crossed by a high stone bridge, at the opposite end of which was a large inn, where the disciples again met Jesus.

The Descendants of Judah


From this place He sent several of His compan­ions into the cities of the Land of Cabul, and Judas Iscariot with some disciples to Cana near Sidon. The disciples had resigned to the care of the Apostles, each to the one set over him as his Superior, what­ever money or goods they might happen to have with them. To Judas alone, Jesus gave a sum for himself. Jesus knew his greed for money and would not expose him to the temptation of appropriating that of oth­ers. He had remarked his anxiety on the score of money, although Judas loved to boast of his frugal­ity and strict observance of the law of poverty. On receiving the money, he asked Jesus how much he might daily spend. Jesus answered: "He that is con­scious of being so strictly temperate, needs neither rule nor direction. He bears in himself his law."

About a hundred persons were at the inn awaiting Jesus. They belonged to that same Jewish tribe whom He had already visited and consoled at Ornithopolis and near Sarepta. Some of them had come hither for the purpose of meeting Him, while others belonged to this district, where they owned a synagogue. They received Him and His followers humbly and joyfully, and washed their feet. They were in their holiday gar­ments of very antique style, wore long beards, and had fur maniples hanging from their arms. They had many singular customs, and something peculiar in their manner of life, like the Essenians. The pagans too of this place were very reverential toward Jesus. They likewise held the Jews in esteem, a circumstance more common throughout this district than in Decapo­lis. These Jews were descendants from a natural son the Patriarch Judah had had by a servant. This son, fleeing from the persecution of his brothers Her and Onan, had settled here. His family, having intermar­ried with the pagans of the country, did not go down with the other Israelites into Egypt and at last became quite estranged from the religion and customs of their people.


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The pagans with whom these descendants of Judah had intermarried had, when Jacob—after Dina's mis­fortune—was living near Samaria on Joseph's inher­itance, already experienced the greatest desire to enter into marriage relations with Jacob's sons, or at least with his servant men and maids. They crossed the mountains humbly to lay before him their desire to marry amongst his followers, and of their own accord offered to receive circumcision. But Jacob would not listen to their demand. When, then, that persecuted son of Judah sought refuge among them with his family, he was very warmly received by the heathens, and his children soon united with them in marriage. How wonderful the dispensation of God! The rude desire of these Gentiles to unite with the holy race upon whom the Promise rested was not wholly frustrated, and later events brought about the ennobling of these people through the banished scion of Judah.

In spite of the great disorders arising from these mixed marriages, there was still one family among them that preserved itself pure; and it was, for the first time, instructed in the Law by Elias, who often sojourned in this region. Solomon had given himself much trouble to unite these people again with the Jews, but without success. Still there were among them about a hundred pious souls of pure descent from Judah. Elias had succeeded in uniting this sep­arated branch again with Israel; and in the time of Joachim and Anne, teachers came from the country of Hebron in order to keep them to the observance of the Law. The descendants of these teachers were still living among them, and it was through them that the Syrophenician and her people entered into relations with the Jews. They lived in sentiments of deep humility, esteeming themselves unworthy to set foot upon the Promised Land. The Cypriote Cyri­nus had, when in Dabereth, spoken of them to Jesus, and the latter took occasion from this fact to dis­course

The Lost Sheep of Israel


 long and familiarly with them.

He taught at first in front of the inn, the people standing around under open arbors, or sheds. The inn belonged to the Jews or was hired by them. Afterward He taught in the synagogue, a great many pagans listening to Him from outside. The syna­gogue was lofty and beautiful. The roof was provided with a platform around which one could walk and command a very extended view of the country.

That evening the Jews tendered Jesus at the inn a festive entertainment, at which they took the oppor­tunity to express to Him in a body their sincere gratitude for His not having despised them, for His coming to them, the lost sheep of Israel, and pro­claiming to them salvation. They had kept their genealogical table in good order. They now laid it before Jesus and were deeply moved at finding that they had sprung from the same tribe as Himself. It was a joyful entertainment, and at it all assisted. They spoke much of the Prophets, especially of Elias, whom they named with words of great affection, recounting his Prophecies of the Messiah, also those of Malachias, and saying that the time for their ful­fillment must now be near. Jesus explained every­thing to them, and promised to introduce them into the land of Judea. He did, in fact, later on estab­lish them on its southern frontiers between Hebron and Gaza.

Jesus wore in this place a long, white travelling robe. He and His followers were girded and their garments tucked up, as if for a journey. They had no baggage. They carried what was necessary under the outer robe, wrapped round the body above the girdle. Some of them had staves. I never saw Jesus with any regular covering for His head; sometimes He drew over it the scarf that was usually worn around the neck.

There was in this part of the country an ugly kind of spotted animal with membranous wings, which


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 could fly very rapidly. It was like an enormous bat, and it sucked the blood of men and animals during sleep. These animals came from the swamps up on the seashore, and did much damage. Egypt too was once infested with them. They were not real drag­ons, nor were they so horrible. Dragons were not so numerous, and they lived solitary in the most sav­age wildernesses. Fruits like nuts were gathered in these parts, some like chestnuts, and berries that hung in clusters.

From the inn, Jesus went to a seaport about three hours distant from Tyre. Alongside of the port there stretched far out into the sea, like an island, a tongue of the mountain, and on it was built the pagan city of Ornithopolis. The few, but devout, Jews of the place seemed to live in dependence upon the hea­thens. I saw as many as thirty pagan temples scat­tered here and there. Sometimes it seems to me that the port belonged to Ornithopolis. The Syropheni­cian owned there so many buildings, factories for weaving and dyeing, so many ships, that I think the whole place must have been at one time subject to her deceased husband or his ancestors. She dwelt now in Ornithopolis itself, though in a kind of sub­urb. Back of the city arose a high mountain, and behind that lay Sidon. A little river flowed between Ornithopolis and its port. The shore between Tyre and Sidon was, with the exception of the port, but little accessible, being rough and wild. The seaport to which I have alluded was the largest between Sidon and Tyre, and the number of ships crowding its waters made it almost like a little city itself.

The property of the Syrophenician, with its numer­ous buildings, courts, and gardens, looked like an immense estate. Its factories and plantations were full of workmen and slaves, whose families had their homes there. But just at present, things had come to a standstill; the former activity was not yet resumed. The lady was about to free herself from

The Home of the Syrophenician


 all such ties, and wished her people to choose a Superior from among themselves.

Ornithopolis was situated about three hours from the little place across the river where Jesus had spent the night, but from the settlement of the poor Jews it was one and a half hours. When Jesus went straight through this place to the port, Ornithopo­lis lay on His left. The Jewish settlement was toward Sarepta, which received the rays of the rising sun, for on that side the mountains rose in a gentle slope. On the north it was perfectly shady. The situation was very fine. Between Ornithopolis, the Jewish set­tlement, and the port, there lay so many solitary buildings, so many other little settlements, that look­ing down upon them from above, one might think that once upon a time they were all united. Jesus had with Him now only James the Less, Barnabas, Mnason, Azor, Cyrinus' two sons, and a Cypriote youth whom those last-named had brought to Jesus. All the other Apostles and disciples were scattered throughout the country on missions. Judas was the last to set out. He went with his little troop to Cana the Greater.

Jesus went with His companions to the home of the Syrophenician who, by her cured relatives, had sent Him an invitation to an entertainment. A num­ber of persons were assembled to meet Him, also the poor and the crippled. Of the latter, Jesus cured many. The dwelling of the Syrophenician with its gardens, courts, and buildings of all kinds was probably as large as Dulmen. Pieces of stuff, yellow, purple, red, and sky blue, were extended on the galleries of many of the buildings. These galleries were broad enough to permit a person's walking on them. The yellow dye was extracted from a plant which was cultivated in the neighborhood. For red and purple, they employed sea snails. I saw great beds in which they were either caught or raised, and there were other places full of slime, like frog's spawn. The cotton


Life of Jesus Christ

 plant also was cultivated here, though not indige­nous to this part of the country. The soil, in gen­eral, was not so fertile as that of Palestine, and around there were a great many ponds and lakes.

Gazing from the shore out upon the sea, one might imagine it to lie higher than the surrounding coun­try, so blue does it rise toward the sky. Here and there on the shore were low trees with large, black trunks and wide spreading branches. Their dense roots extended so far out on the water that one could walk over them to some distance from the land. The black trunks were, for the most part, hollow, and afforded a shelter for all kinds of noxious insects.

Jesus was received with solemnity. As He was reclining at table, the widow's daughter poured a flask of fragrant ointment over His head. The mother presented Him with pieces of stuff, girdles, and three-cornered golden coins; the daughter, pieces of the same precious metal chained together. He did not tarry with them long, but went with His compan­ions to the seaport, where He was solemnly received by the Jewish inhabitants and by the Cypriote Jews who were gathered there on their way back from the Paschal feast. Jesus taught in the synagogue, around which a great many pagans stood listening from without.

It was by starlight that Jesus, accompanied by all the travelers, went down to the harbor and embarked. The night was clear, and the stars looked larger than they do to us. There was quite a little fleet ready to receive the travelers. One large ship of burden took the baggage, the goods and cattle, and numbers of asses. Ten galleys carrying sail were for the accommodation of the Cypriote Paschal guests, Jesus, and His followers. Five of these galleys were fastened with ropes to the front and sides of the burden ship, which they drew forward after them. The remaining five formed an outer circle to these. Each of these vessels had, like Peter's barque on the

Life of Jesus Christ by Anne Catherine Emmerich
Vol 3

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