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

This document is: ACE_3_0451

[click an item below to go to other documents]

Previous document: ACE_3_0431 List of documents Next document: ACE_3_0471
Table of Contents for this Volume
Cover page with links to All Volumes (1 to 4)

Jesus Silences Peter by a Look

451

 an Apostle, and after him, the disciple that had accom­panied him. This took place principally upon a hill which was about two hours from the mount of instruc­tion and the same distance from Cana. People used to ascend it for sake of the view, which around these parts was somewhat limited.

Peter began eagerly to tell of the different kinds of possessed that had fallen in his way, his manner of treating them, and how Satan had retired before him when commanded in the Name of Jesus. In his enthusiasm, he had again forgotten the reproof received on board the ship. Once more, he was all fire and zeal. He said that in the land of the Gerge­seans, he had encountered a couple of possessed whom several others were unable to free from the demon. Here he named the unsuccessful disciples, among whom were the two Gergeseans themselves once possessed. But he, Peter, had easily expelled the devils; they had instantly submitted to him. Jesus silenced him by a look. Then raising His eyes to Heaven, while all looked on in breathless expecta­tion, He said: "I have seen Satan falling from Heaven like lightning." And at the same moment, I saw a lurid light whirling and shooting through the air. Jesus reproved Peter for his too great warmth, as well as all the others that had, either in thought or word, yielded to a spirit of boasting. They should, He said, act and work in His Name and by Him, in humility and faith, never harboring the thought that one could do more than another. He said: "Behold, I have given you power to tread upon serpents and scorpions and upon all the might of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. But yet rejoice not in this, that spirits are subject to you, but rejoice in this, that your names are written in Heaven." Several times He addressed them kindly and lovingly in the words: "Beloved little children," and listened to the account given by many of them. Thomas and Nathanael received a reprimand for some negligence

452

Life of Jesus Christ

 of which they had been guilty, but it was given with great love and sincerity.

While standing on the hill, Jesus appeared to be penetrated with joy, grave and celestial, and He held His hands raised to Heaven. I saw Him surrounded with splendor that fell upon Him like a transpar­ent cloud of light. He was perfectly enraptured and, in a transport of joy, He exclaimed: "I confess to Thee, 0 Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, because Thou hast hidden these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to little ones. Yea, Father, for so it hath seemed good in Thy sight. All things are delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knoweth who the Son is but the Father, and who the Father is but the Son, and to whom the Son will reveal it!" And then turning to the disci­ples, He said: "Blessed are the eyes that see the things which you see! For I say to you that many Prophets and kings have desired to see the things that you see, and have not seen them; and to hear the things that you hear, and have not heard them."

Having arrived at the mount beyond Gabara, Jesus delivered an instruction in detail upon all that the Apostles had related to Him. He imparted to them the knowledge of many things of which they as yet knew not, and showed them wherein they had erred or acted with too little resolution. He enlightened them upon the different kinds of possession and taught them how the demon should be expelled. He spoke of all that was in store for them, of His own mission and its near accomplishment, and told them that He would shortly allow them to return to their homes to rest awhile, after which they were again to labor, to teach, and spread abroad the Kingdom of God. He thanked them for their diligence and obedience, and then returned with them to Capharnaum whither they arrived as night closed in. There were many others on the mountain besides the Apostles and disciples.

On the following Sabbath Jesus taught in the syn­agogue

"He is More Than a Prophet"

453

 of Capharnaum upon Samuel's resignation of the judicial office. His words were grave and forcible. The Pharisees felt themselves attacked on all sides, but as they could detect nothing false in Jesus' doc­trine of which to accuse Him, they reproached Him with the trifling imperfections they had discovered in the actions of His disciples. They said that His disciples did not observe the fast rigorously, that they even stripped the ears of corn on the Sabbath, and gathered fruit by the roadside and ate it, that they were rough and unclean in their clothing, that they entered the synagogues in garments covered with the dust of travel and without being decently let down, and that they were not particular about wash­ing before meals. Thereupon Jesus delivered a dis­course full of severe censure against the Pharisees, in which He depicted their conduct and actions, called them a race of vipers, who imposed upon others bur­dens that they would by no means take upon them­selves. He alluded to their Sabbath promenades, their oppression of the poor, their dishonesty with regard to the tithes, their hypocrisy. They blamed, He went on to say, the mote in their neighbor's eye, while unmindful of the beam in their own, and He ended by declaring that He would continue His journeys, His teaching, and His healing, until the time for His departure from this earth. While Jesus was deliver­ing this severe lecture a young man from among the Pharisees, rising suddenly and approaching nearer to Him, lifted his hands to Heaven and cried out in a loud voice: "Surely, this is the Son of God, the Holy One of Israel! He is more than a Prophet!" and thus he continued to sound Jesus' praises in an inspired strain. This incident created great excitement throughout the synagogue. Two old Pharisees grasped the young man by the arm and dragged him out, he proclaiming all the while the praise of Jesus, who meantime went on with His discourse. When outside the synagogue, the young man loudly and vehemently

454

Life of Jesus Christ

 declared to those that he found there that he had separated from the Pharisees. When Jesus left the synagogue, he cast himself at His feet and earnestly implored to be admitted among His disciples. Jesus assented on condition that he would leave father and mother, give all that he had to the poor, take up his cross, and follow Him. Then some of the disciples, among whom was Mnason, took the young man off with them.

That evening Jesus closed the Sabbath exercises in the synagogue. He had repaired thither with the Apostles and disciples some time before the usual hour, that all might hear what He had to say to His followers and thereby understand that He had no need to teach in secret. In this instruction, He warned them against the Pharisees and false Prophets, com­manded them to be vigilant, explained the parable of the good and watchful servants and contrasted it with that of the slothful. As Peter during the dis­course asked whether His words were meant for all His hearers or only for the disciples, Jesus now addressed Himself to him. He spoke to him as if he were the master of the house, the overseer of the servants. He extolled the good householder, and at the same time condemned severely the negligent one that fulfilled not his duty.

Jesus continued to teach until the Pharisees came to close the Sabbath, and when He wanted to give place to them, they very courteously addressed Him with, "Rabbi, do Thou explain the Lesson," and laid the roll of Scriptures before Him. Thereupon Jesus taught, in a manner most impressive, upon Samuel's abdication of the judicial office. He quoted the words used by him on that occasion: "I am old and gray headed"; (1 Kgs. 12:2) and explained them in such a way that the Pharisees could plainly see that He was applying them to Himself. He said something to this effect: "Ye have had Me a long time among you, and ye are tired of Me! Ye are constantly renew­ing

Jesus Teaches of the Messiah

455

 your accusations, but I am always the same."

Samuel's questions to the people, "Have I com­mitted this or that injustice against you? Have I taken any man's oxen or ass? Have I oppressed any­one?" Jesus cited as those of God and the Sent of God, and the explanation that He gave of them pointed most clearly to those Doctors and Pharisees who could not venture to put similar questions to the people. The clamoring of the Israelites after a king by whom, like the heathen nations, they wanted to be ruled, and their rejection of Judges, signified, Jesus said, their perverse expectation of a worldly kingdom, of a king and a Messiah surrounded by magnificence, with whom they could pass their lives in splendor and enjoyment; a Messiah who, instead of expiating their sins and disorders by His own labors, sufferings, penance, and satisfaction, would envelop them together with their filth and vices in his own rich mantle of royalty, and even reward them for their crimes.

That Samuel did not cease to pray for the nation and that by his prayer he caused thunder and light­ning in the sky above them, Jesus explained as an effect of God's compassion for the good; and He assured them that the Sent of God, whom instead of receiving they would reject, would likewise implore His Father's mercy for them until the end. The rain and thunder granted to prayer, Jesus explained as the signs and wonders that were to attend upon the Sent of God to rouse and convert the good. They and their king, as Samuel had said, would find favor with God if they walked before Him who would not reject them. Then Jesus declared to them that the righteous would receive justice and the grace of knowledge, but against the wicked, Samuel would rise up in judgment. Jesus afterward referred to David and his anointing as king in opposition to Saul, to the separation of the good from the bad, and to the destruction of Saul and his family.

456

Life of Jesus Christ

The Pharisees took care not to contradict Jesus in the synagogue, that they might not (as was always the case on such occasions) be put to shame before the people. They had, however, resolved beforehand to attack Him at the entertainment to which they had invited Him along with the Apostles and a part of the disciples. It was given in an open hall of the house belonging to the Ruler of the synagogue, and there were at least twenty Pharisees present. Before taking their places at table, one of them put a large wash basin before Jesus, asking whether He did not want to wash, and he went on talking of the holy old customs and commandments of the Israelites, and called upon Jesus and His followers to observe them. But Jesus repulsed him. He told him that He saw through his trick, and wanted no water from him. When at table, they began to dispute with Him upon the discourse He had delivered that day. But He convicted and confounded them in such a man­ner that many of them became perfectly furious, and several others were so frightened and touched that during the disputation, which they carried on walk­ing up and down, twelve of them withdrew from their obstinate colleagues. Thus was the number of Jesus' enemies decreased.

One of the young men of Nazareth who had so often, but vainly, petitioned to be received among the disciples, here presented himself again before Jesus with the question: "Master, what must I do to pos­sess eternal life?" Thereupon followed the scene recorded in the Gospel, (Luke 10:25-37), and Jesus recounted the story of the compassionate Samaritan. Meanwhile the Pharisees reproached Jesus for not receiving the young man among His disciples. It was, they said, because the youth was well educated, and Jesus knew that He could not silence him so easily as He could the others. They again accused the dis­ciples of irregular conduct, of uncleanliness, of strip­ping the wheat ears on the Sabbath, of gathering

Eleutheropolis

457

 fruit on the wayside, of eating out of time, of ill breed­ing, and of many other similar things. They reproached Peter in particular with being a wran­gler and quarreler like his father. Jesus defended the disciples. They might indeed be joyful, He said, as long as the Bridegroom was with them. After these words He withdrew, passing through the beautiful cemetery near the synagogue that lay in the direc­tion of Jairus' house, and thence by the land route to Bethsaida. He prayed alone until after midnight, when He retired to His Mother's. The Pharisees had hired the rabble to throw stones after the disciples, but God protected them. They knew not where Jesus had gone.

The Jews that had emigrated from Cyprus to Pales­tine lived at first in caves, but by degrees their set­tlement became a city, which received the name of Eleutheropolis. It was situated west of Hebron and not far from the well of Samson. More than once the Jews sought to destroy the little colony, but after every attack of the kind, the inhabitants again returned. The caves lay under the city, so that in times of persecution, the inhabitants could take refuge in them. In the first attack, which was made at the time of the stoning of St. Stephen, when the colony between Ophel and Bethania was destroyed, Mercuria lost her life. The people of this colony often went to the Cenacle and to the church at the Pool of Bethsaida, to carry thither their offerings and contributions, and at the destruction of Ophel they fled to Eleutheropolis. Joses Barsabas, son of Mary Cleophas and her second husband Sabas, became the first Bishop of that city, and there during a per­secution he was crucified on a tree.

458

Life of Jesus Christ

25. Jesus Instructs the New Disciples Upon Prayer and the Eight Beatitudes

Early the next day Jesus left Mary's house with the latest received and not yet well-instructed dis­ciples, and crossing the road between Capharnaum and Bethsaida, went to that mount of instruction from which He had once dispatched the Apostles on their respective missions.1 It was about three hours from Capharnaum. On the way, He encountered Mna­son and some other disciples along with the con­verted Pharisee from Thanach near Naim. The last-named had been very much touched by the cure of a Pharisee at Thanach, and still more deeply impressed by Jesus' last discourse on the mountain beyond Gabara. On the Mount of the Apostolic Mis­sion, there was a well-arranged and shaded place for holding instructions. At the foot of the mountain was a long hut in which ten poor paralytics belong­ing to the surrounding country lay, their limbs fear­fully contorted. They were cared for by the shepherds of the district. Jesus cured and instructed them.

Here in the solitude of the mountain, the disci­ples entreated Jesus to teach them again how to pray. He did so, repeating to them the Our Father, dwelling at length on each separate petition, and explaining it with the same examples that He had used on a former occasion: that, for instance, of the man seeking bread and persistently knocking at his friend's door until he got what he wanted; that of the child asking an egg of its father, who would surely not give it a scorpion; and, in fine, all the other illustrations He had already brought forward to show the effects of persevering prayer and the paternal relations that existed between God and man. He taught all His disciples in the same way, going over and over the same instruction with touching patience and unwearying pains, that they might be

1. See "The Mission of the Apostles and Disciples," p. 95.

Jesus Consoles His Mother

459

 able in turn to repeat everywhere on their missions exactly the same things. He conducted these instruc­tions to the disciples just as one would do among children, questioning them separately upon the explanations He had given, setting them right, and again explaining what they had not understood. Finally, He went over the whole prayer and gave the interpretation of the word Amen, as He had for­merly done in Cyprus, saying that this word con­tains everything in itself, that it is the beginning and the end of prayer. Some other people and a cou­ple of Pharisees from Bethsaida-Julias arrived while Jesus was speaking, and they too heard a part of His instruction. One of the latter invited Him to dine at his house in Bethsaida-Julias, which invi­tation Jesus accepted.

When He and the disciples started for Bethsaida, they directed their steps to the south of the Jordan bridge. On their way they came, this side of Beth­saida, to an inn where His Mother, the widow of Naim, Lea, and two other women were waiting to take leave of Him, because He was now going to teach on the other side of the Jordan. Mary was very much afflicted. She had a private interview with Jesus, in which she shed abundant tears and begged Him not to go to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Dedication of the Temple. She spoke so suppli­catingly and in so loving a manner that I felt she must surely divine the holy destiny of her Son. Jesus supported her on His breast and consoled her gen­tly and lovingly. He told her that He must fulfill the mission for which His Father had sent Him and for which also she had become His Mother, and that she must continue strong and courageous, in order to strengthen and edify the others. Then He saluted the other women, gave them His blessing, and they returned to Capharnaum, while He and the disci­ples went on to Bethsaida-Julias where He was received by the Pharisees. Besides those belonging

460

Life of Jesus Christ

 to the city, there were present some others from Paneas, for it was a kind of feast day commemora­tive of the burning of a bad book written by the Sadducees. The Pharisees brought forward their old complaints against Jesus. When about to take His place at table, one of them pulled Him by the arm, saying that he was astonished that a man who could teach so well as He, should be so little mindful of holy observances as to eat without washing. Jesus responded that the Pharisees purified the outside of the cup and platter, but that within they were full of wickedness. To this the Pharisee replied by asking how He knew the state of his interior. Jesus answered that God, who formed the exterior, made also the interior, and that His eye could scan it clearly. The disciples drew Jesus to one side and begged Him not to speak with too much warmth, for they might possibly be put out, but He reproved them for their cowardice.

That evening Jesus taught in the synagogue, but did not work any cures, for the Pharisees had intim­idated the people. They were very proud, and had here a kind of high school.

From Bethsaida-Julias, Jesus took a northeasterly direction toward the mountain upon which the multiplication of the loaves had taken place. It was about an hour and a half from Bethsaida. There He found assembled all the Apostles and disciples with many people from Capharnaum, Caesarea-Philippi, and other places. He taught upon the Eighth Beati­tude, "Blessed are ye when men hate and persecute you for the Son of Man's sake," also upon the pas­sage "Woe to the rich, to them that are filled with the goods of this world, for in them they already have their reward; but as for you, rejoice that it is still in store for you." He spoke likewise of the salt of the earth, of the city on the mountain, of the light on the candlestick, of the fulfilling of the Law, of the hiding of good works, of prayer made in the privacy of one's

Jesus Teaching

461

 chamber, and of fasting. Of the last-mentioned, Jesus said that it should be practiced joyously with anoint­ing of the head, and not be turned into a sanctimo­nious parade of piety. He went on to the laying up of treasure in Heaven, freedom from worldly solici­tude, the impossibility of a man's serving two mas­ters, the narrow gate, the broad road, the bad tree with its bad fruit, the wise man that built on a solid foundation, and the fool that built upon sand. This discourse lasted over three hours. During it the audi­ence went down once to the foot of the mountain to get something to eat. Jesus continued His instruction to the Apostles and disciples, exhorting them upon all those points on which He had spoken when send­ing them out upon former missions. He animated them to believe, to have confidence, and to persevere. On the next day, the number of His hearers having increased to several thousands, Jesus taught again on the mountain. On account of the caravans that traversed these parts, there were people present from all sections of the country, also many sick and pos­sessed. The Pharisees in attendance had not come to dispute, although they received some rather severe thrusts during the discourse. Jesus' miracles were too manifest and the people too enthusiastic over Him, to allow them a word. The people had food with them, and they seated themselves on the ground to partake of it. Among the cured was a blind man from Jeri­cho, who had also been lame. One of the disciples had cured him of lameness, but had not restored his sight. He was a cousin of Manahem. The latter led him to Jesus, who restored his sight.

The new disciples, whom during these last days He had with admirable patience taught like chil­dren by question and answer, Jesus now sent out two and two with the words: "I send ye like sheep among wolves." One of Joseph of Arimathea's nephews arrived here from Jerusalem with the news that Lazarus was sick.

462

Life of Jesus Christ

Jesus kept with Himself only the Apostles Peter, James, John, Matthew, and some of the disciples, with whom He went to Matthew's custom office and thence by sea to Dalmanutha. I saw Him afterward in the city of Edrai where He taught on the Sab­bath, then in the Levitical city of Bosra, and finally in Nobah.

In Nobah, outside the pagan quarter of the city, dwelt a colony of sincere Rechabites. On their return from the Babylonian Captivity they found their city in the possession of the pagans, but they retook it and again re-established themselves in it. They cher­ished an extraordinary hatred against the Pharisees and Sadducees, whom they shunned as much as pos­sible. They were engaged in cattle raising, and led a very strict life. They drank no wine, excepting on certain feast days, and tenaciously held to the let­ter of the Scripture. Jesus admonished them on this point, and gave them an instruction on the spirit of the letter. They were very humble, and took in good part all that He said. Many were baptized, among them some pagans, and a great number of possessed were delivered from the Evil One. There was a whole hospital full of these poor creatures at Nobah. Peter, James, and John cured and taught also. Jesus met no opposition in this place, and He effected a won­derful amount of good. He put up at the inn near the synagogue. Nobah was a free city which, although belonging to the Decapolis, ruled itself.

From Nobah, Jesus journeyed five hours south­westwardly to the exceedingly lovely pastoral vil­lage called the "Field of Jacob's Peace." It received this name from the fact that it was here, when return­ing to Palestine and pursued by Laban, he had encamped for the first time. The mountain range of Galaad (Gen. 31:25) takes its rise here. The shep­herds of this place were the descendants of that Eleazar, Abraham's servant, who had brought Rebecca for his master's son Isaac. Among them also

The Field of Jacob's Place

463

 were some of the posterity of those people whom Melchisedech had freed from the tyranny of Semi­ramis and established in these regions. They had afterward intermarried with the descendants of Eleazar. There were three beautiful wells in this place. They lay at the foot of a lovely hill all around which, as if built in a verdant rampart, were cool shepherd dwellings. At a distance one might have taken them for a mountain terrace. The oldest and most honorable among the herd owners dwelt on the hill, upon which there was likewise a place for instruction. Far around were enclosed pasture grounds for camels, asses, and sheep, each species having its own, and near the fountains were reser­voirs for watering them. The shepherds dwelt in the neighborhood of the fountains, under tents that rested on solid foundations. There were long rows of mulberry trees, but the most beautiful sight of all was a long walk with palings on either side upon which ran a vine, often to the distance of two hun­dred paces, laden with fruit something like gourds. This walk led from the hill to Selcha and formed, as it were, one continuous arbor. Some days before, the inhabitants had celebrated a feast commemora­tive of the deliverance of their forefathers from the slavery of Semiramis. They attended the synagogue at Selcha, and it was from there too that teachers came to instruct them. This little village was held in respect throughout the country around, and was looked upon as a monument to Jacob's memory. Hospi­tality was here exercised freely. For a trifle, the Arab caravans and all other strangers were lodged and cared for by the shepherds.

Toward midday, Jesus with three of the Apostles arrived at one of the fountains, where the eldest of the shepherds washed His feet and offered Him fruit, honey, and bread. Jesus' coming had been expected, consequently many sick had been carried to the large house on the hill. Jesus cured them.

464

Life of Jesus Christ

 Nearly four hundred shepherds, along with women and children, had assembled to greet Him. The women's dresses were shorter than those worn in Palestine generally. Jesus gave them an instruction on the hill, speaking to them with the greatest sim­plicity and confidence. He reminded them of the caravan of the Three Kings which, two and thirty years before, had rested in this place. Then He spoke of the star that was to rise out of Jacob and of which Balaam had prophesied, of the newborn Child of whom the Magi had been in search, of John, his teaching and his testimony, and concluded by say­ing that the promised Messiah, the Consoler, the Saviour, was then in the midst of the Israelites, but that they would not recognize Him. Jesus related to them also the parables of the good shepherd, the seed sown in the earth, and the harvest, for in this region there was a harvest of fruit as well as of wheat, the ears of which were extraordinarily large. He told them also of the shepherds near Bethle­hem, of their finding the Child even before the Kings, and of the announcement made to them of it by the angels. The people fell in love with Jesus, and many of them wanted to leave all and follow Him, just for the pleasure of listening to Him always. But He advised them to remain at home and practice what He had taught them. From Selcha, which was almost an hour north of this place, messengers arrived with an invitation to Jesus to visit their city. He did so with the disciples. He was solemnly received at the city gate by the teachers and children in proces­sion, and He taught in the synagogue, taking for the subject of His discourse the testimony rendered by John. Many of His hearers were baptized and cured. The children received His blessing.

From Selcha Jesus went with His followers for about an hour and a half along the so-called Way of David which, following the windings of the valley, led down to the Jordan. This road was deep, a kind

"David's Way"

465

 of hollow, in which water sometimes flowed. It ran through the solitudes of the mountains, and at sev­eral points along it were to be found places provided with troughs and stores of fodder for the camels, also rings for fastening them. When journeying through this country, Abraham saw a supernatural light on this road and had a vision, and when David, upon the advice of Jonathan, sought safety for his parents in the region of Maspha, (1 Kgs. 22:3), he lay con­cealed here with three hundred men, from which circumstance it received the name of "David's Way." David here received from God a prophetic vision in which he saw the caravan of the Three Kings and heard, as if from the heavens open above him, melo­dious chanting proclaiming the praises of the promised Consoler of Israel. Malachias also, being obliged to flee after a battle, followed a mysterious light that led him to this region where, too, he lay hid for a time; and the Three Holy Kings, giving rein to their camels upon leaving the confines of Selcha and entering this road, descended by it singing sweet hymns of thanksgiving. They then proceeded along the shore until they reached the point opposite Korea, where they crossed the Jordan and arrived at Jerusalem through the desert beyond Anathot. They entered the Holy City by the same gate through which Mary had passed when she went up from Bethlehem for her purification.

From "David's Way," Jesus turned to the little place called Thantia, where He went immediately to the synagogue and taught, His subjects being Balaam, the Star of Jacob, some passages from Micheas, and Bethlehem Ephrata. (Num. 22:2, 25:10;Mich. 5:7,6:9). He next went to visit many sick in their own homes. He healed them along with several others whom the disciples had not been able to cure. There was no organized care of the sick and the poor in Thantia. The disciples had indeed endeavored to establish some­thing of the kind, but it was Jesus Himself who effected

466

Life of Jesus Christ

 the desired change. A great many of the people received Baptism from the disciples.

Both the people and the rabbis of Thantia were pious. They were in the habit of making pilgrimages to the "Way of David," and there, in fasting and prayer, crying to Heaven for the coming of the Mes­siah. They indulged the hope of there having visions and apparitions of the Messiah who, they thought, would even come to them along that way. While Jesus was preaching, they said more than once to one another: "He speaks as if He were the Messiah Himself! But no, that is not possible!" As they were under the impression that the Messiah was to come invisibly like an angel into Israel, they thought that Jesus might possibly be His herald and precursor, Jesus told them that they would perhaps recognize the Messiah when it would be too late. I saw that many from Thantia, both before and after the Cru­cifixion, joined the Community. From Thantia Jesus journeyed four hours eastward to the ruined citadel of Datheman. Near it was the mountain that had been chosen by Jephte's daughter upon which to mourn with her twelve young companions. Upon it were prophets and hermits, something like the Esse­nians. It was on this same mountain that Balaam was tarrying in solitude and meditation when sum­moned by the Moabite king to appear before him. (Num. 22:5). He was of noble origin, his family very wealthy. From early youth, he had been filled with the spirit of prophecy, and he belonged to that na­tion that was ever on the lookout for the promised star, among whom were the ancestors of the Three Holy Kings. Though a reprobate, Balaam was no sor­cerer. He served the true God only, like the enlight­ened of other nations, but in an imperfect manner, mingling many errors with the truth. He was very young when he retired into the solitude of the moun­tains, and upon this one in particular he dwelt a long time. I think he had around him some other

"David's Way"

467

 prophets, or pupils. When he returned from the Moabite king, Balac, he wished to take up his abode upon this mountain, but was prevented by divine interposition. By his scandalous counsel to the Moabites, (Num. 31:16), he fell from grace, and now he wandered in despair around the desert in which at last he miserably perished.

The people of this region believed firmly in the sacred character of "David's Way." They told Jesus that they would not dwell in the country beyond the Jordan where they could not dare make mention of all that had formerly been seen, all that had taken place on the "Way of David."

2. Gen. 31:25, etc.

3. 1 Kings 22:3

4. Num. 22:2, 25:10; Mich. 5:7, 6:9

5. Num. 22:5

6. Num. 31:16

THE RAISING OF LAZARUS. JESUS IN THE LAND OF THE THREE KINDS

1. Jesus in Bethabara and Jericho. Zacheus the Publican

When Jesus and the Apostles approached Bethabara on the Jordan, they found already assem­bled there an innumerable crowd of people. The whole country was full, and they were encamping under sheds and trees. Numbers of mothers with crowds of children of every age, even infants in the arms, were coming in procession. As they proceeded up the broad street to meet Jesus, the disciples who led the way wanted, on account of His great fatigue (for He had already blessed a great many), to repulse the women and children, and that even a little rudely. But Jesus checked them, and bade them bring the crowd to order. On one side of the street stood in five long rows children of all ages, one behind the other, the boys and girls apart, the latter being by far the more numerous. The mothers with infants in their arms were placed behind the fifth row. On the other side of the street stood the rest of the peo­ple, who passed in turn from the last rank to the first. Jesus now went down along the first row of children, laying His hand on their head and bless­ing them. He laid His hand on the head of some, on the breast of others; some He clasped to His breast, and some He held up as models to the others. He instructed them, exhorted them, encouraged them, and blessed them. When He had thus passed down one row of children, He crossed to the opposite side

468

Mary Salome's Request

469

 of the street and came up among the grown people, exhorting and instructing them, and even placing before them the example of some of the children. Then He went down the next row of children and came up, as before, among the grown people whose front ranks had been replaced by those from behind. And so it went on, until even the infants in the last row had received a loving caress and blessing. All the children blessed by Jesus received an interior grace, and later on became Christians. Jesus must have blessed fully a thousand children on this occa­sion, for the concourse continued during several days. He labored constantly, ever grave, mild, and gentle, with a certain secret sadness in His manner very touching to see. He taught now along the streets, now in some house into which they had pulled Him by His robe. He related many parables, by which He instructed both the wise and the simple, and impressed upon the former the obligation of thank­fully returning to God all that they had received from Him, as He Himself did.

Of the holy women, Veronica, Martha, Magdalen, and Mary Salome were gone on to Jerusalem. I saw Mary Salome with her sons, John and James the Less, coming to Jesus and requesting that they should be allowed to sit, one at His right and the other at His left. Messengers had been sent thither by the Pharisees in Jerusalem, but many of them, being converted, remained; while others, returning in a rage to Jerusalem, repented on the way and later on became Jesus' followers.

Jesus left Bethabara with the Apostles, and on His way He was entreated to visit a house in which lay ten lepers. The Apostles, dreading contact with the leprous, went on ahead in a southerly direction, with the intention of waiting for Jesus under a tree. The lepers, enveloped in their mantles and full of sores, lay in a retired part of the house. Jesus com­manded them to do something, and it seems to me

470

Life of Jesus Christ

 that He touched one of them and then left them. The lepers one after another were taken by two peo­ple to a little pool near the house, and washed in the bathing tubs, after which they were able to pre­sent themselves to the priests as cured.

Jesus next went through another building that had a four-cornered courtyard. On either side of the latter was a covered archway, in one of which lay men, sick and crippled, and in the other, afflicted women. The beds were laid in rows of hollow places, scooped out in the ground to receive them. Another covered way on the same line cut through the mid­dle of the house and led to a space in which the cooking and washing were done. Between this mid­dle walk and those in which the sick lay, were grass plots. Jesus again cured several here. As He pro­ceeded on His way, I saw following Him one of the lately healed lepers proclaiming His praise. Jesus looked around, and the man fell on his face giving thanks. Further on the route, Jesus blessed many children who had been brought by their mothers to meet Him.

The road travelled by Jesus and the Apostles on leaving Bethabara ran on the right past Machaerus and the city of Madian. They again approached the Jordan, made a circuit of Bethabara, and went by roundabout ways through a desert region toward Jericho. As they proceeded on their journey, the dis­ciples who had been sent out on missions returned to Jesus one after another and related to Him all that they had done. He instructed them in parables, but I remember only these words of His discourse: "They who say that they are chaste, but who eat and drink only what pleases their appetite, are like those that try to extinguish a fire with dry wood." Another parable referred to the future of the Twelve Apostles. Jesus said: "Now ye cling to Me, because ye fare well"; but they did not understand that by these words He meant the peace and beautiful

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

This document is: ACE_3_0451

[click an item below to go to other documents]

Previous document: ACE_3_0431 List of documents Next document: ACE_3_0471
Table of Contents for this Volume
Cover page with links to All Volumes (1 to 4)