Life of Jesus Christ by Anne Catherine Emmerich
Vol 3

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"Herod, the Fox"


 instructions that they then enjoyed. "In the time of need," He continued, "ye will act otherwise. Even they whom I carry about with Me like a mantle of love, will cast that mantle off and flee." These words referred to John in the garden of Gethsemane. In a little town near the Jordan, I saw a woman entreat­ing Jesus to cure her daughter, who was covered with ulcers. Jesus told her that He would send one of the disciples to her. But she wanted Him to go Himself, which, however, He did not do. When He was drawing near to Jericho, the woman again approached and begged His aid. She urged that she had now renounced all that He had commanded her. Jesus, however, still repulsed her. Her child was the fruit of sin, and Jesus reproached her with a fault (it appeared to be but a small one) to which she had already clung for several years. He told her that she should not come again to Him until she had freed herself from it. Then I saw the woman hurrying past the Apostles and disciples toward Jericho.

Having almost reached the city, four Pharisees sent by their colleagues of Jerusalem came and warned Him not to enter lest Herod would put Him to death. This they did, however, not because they cared for Him, but because having heard of His numerous miracles, they were afraid of Him. Jesus replied that they should say to Herod, the fox, these words only: "Behold, I cast out devils and do cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I am con­summated." (Luke 13:32). Two of these Pharisees were converted and followed Jesus, but the other two returned in a rage to Jerusalem.

Then came to Jesus two brothers belonging to Jericho. They could not agree on the subject of their patrimony; one wanted to remain, the other desired to go away. One of them proposed that Jesus, so renowned everywhere, should divide the patrimony between them, and they had in consequence come to meet Him. But He refused, saying that it was not


Life of Jesus Christ

 His business. And when even John remarked to Him that it was a good work, and Peter seconded the word, Jesus replied that He was not come to dis­tribute earthly goods, but only heavenly ones. After which He took occasion to deliver a long exhorta­tion before the rapidly increasing crowd. But the disciples as yet did not always understand Him rightly. They had not yet received the Holy Ghost and so they went on expecting an earthly kingdom.

Jesus was again met by crowds of women with their children, for whom they implored a blessing. The disciples, disturbed by the recent menaces of the Pharisees and desirous of shunning such excite­ment, tried to drive the women back, for they were entrusted with the duty of keeping order. But Jesus commanded them to allow the children to come for­ward. They needed His blessing, He said, in order that they too might become His disciples. Then He blessed many of the infants at the breast and the children of ten and eleven years. Some He did not bless, but later on these again presented themselves.

Just outside the city, which was surrounded by gardens, pleasure grounds, and villas, Jesus and His followers encountered a dense crowd composed of people from all parts of the country around. They had assembled with their sick, who were lying on litters under sheds and tents. They had been wait­ing for Jesus, and now they beset Him and His dis­ciples on all sides. Zacheus, one of the chief publicans, who dwelt outside the city, had stationed himself on the road by which Jesus had to pass. As he was short in stature, he climbed a fig tree2 in order to be able to see Jesus better in the crowd. Jesus looked up into the tree and said: "Zacheus, make haste and come down, for this day I must abide in thy house." Zacheus hurried down, bowed humbly to Jesus, and very much touched returned home to make prepa­rations

2. Ficus Sycomorus, Pharaoh's Fig, very common in Palestine.

Jesus Dines with the Apostles


 for receiving his honored Guest. When Jesus said that He must that day enter into Zacheus' house, He meant into his heart, for on that day He went into Jericho itself, and not into the house of Zacheus. On arriving at the city gate, Jesus found none of the people assembled to welcome Him, for through dread of the Pharisees they were remaining quietly in their homes. The crowd, gathered at some dis­tance from the city, were all strangers come to implore Jesus' assistance in their various needs. He cured a blind man and a deaf mute, but some others He sent away. He blessed the children, especially the babes at the breast, and told the Apostles that men must in this way be accustomed to devote their chil­dren from earliest youth to Him, and that all thus blessed would follow Him. Among those sent away was a woman afflicted with a flow of blood. She had come some days before with the firm resolve to implore Jesus for her cure. I heard Jesus saying to the disciples that whoever does not persevere in prayer, is not in earnest and has no faith.

As the Sabbath now began, Jesus went with His Apostles and disciples to the synagogue of the city and afterward to the inn. He and the Apostles dined in the open refectory, the disciples in the archway. The meal consisted of little rolls, honey, and fruit. They ate standing, Jesus meantime teaching and relating parables. Every three of the Apostles drank from one cup, but Jesus had one to Himself. The woman that had already been twice repulsed came again to Jesus imploring help for her daughter, but with no better success than before, because she was not sincere. She had been questioning among the Pharisees of Jericho about what was said of Jesus in Jerusalem.

Zacheus also here presented himself to Jesus. The new disciples had already taken it ill outside the city that Jesus had accosted the ill-famed publican and even wanted to abide with him, for Zacheus in


Life of Jesus Christ

 particular was a subject of scandal to them. Some were related to him, and they were ashamed of his remaining a publican so long and up to the present unconverted. Zacheus drew near the hall in which the disciples were dining, but no one wanted to have anything to do with him, no one invited him to eat. Then Jesus stepped out into the hall, beckoned Zacheus in, and offered him food and drink.

On the following day, when Jesus went again to the synagogue and told the Pharisees to give place to Him as He intended to read and explain the Sab­bath Lesson, they raised a great contention, but they did not prevail. He inveighed against avarice, and cured an invalid who had been carried on a litter to the door of the synagogue. The Sabbath over, Jesus went with His Apostles to Zacheus' dwelling outside of Jericho. None of the disciples accompanied Him. The woman so desirous of help for her daughter again followed Jesus on the road out to Zacheus'. He laid His hand on her to free her from her own bad disposition, and told her to return home, for her child was cured. During the meal, which consisted of honey, fruit, and a lamb, Zacheus served at table, but whenever Jesus spoke, he listened devoutly. Jesus related the parable of the fig tree in the vineyard which for three years bore no fruit, and for which the vinedresser implored one more year of indul­gence. When uttering this parable, Jesus addressed the Apostles as the vineyard; of Himself He spoke as the owner; and of Zacheus as the fig tree. It was now three years since the relatives of the last-named had abandoned their dishonorable calling and fol­lowed Jesus, while he all this time had still carried on the same business, on which account he was looked upon with special contempt by the disciples. But Jesus had cast upon him a look of mercy when He called him down from the tree. Jesus spoke also of the sterile trees that produce many leaves, but no fruit. The leaves, He said, are exterior works. They

The Enraged Pharisees


 make a great rustling, but soon pass away leaving no seed of good. But the fruits are that interior, effi­cacious reality in faith and action, with their capa­bility of reproduction, and the prolongation of the tree's life stored away in the kernel. It seems to me that Jesus, in calling Zacheus down from the tree, did the same as to engage him to renounce the noise and bustle of the crowd, for Zacheus was like the ripe fruit which now detached itself from the tree that for three years had stood unfruitful in the vine­yard. Jesus spoke, likewise, of the faithful servants who watched for the coming of their lord, and who suffered no noise that could prevent them from hear­ing his knock.

It appeared as if Jesus was now in Jericho for the last time, and as if He wished to pour out upon it the fullness of His love. He sent the Apostles and disciples two by two out into the districts around into which He Himself would go no more. In Jeri­cho itself, He went from house to house, taught in the synagogue and on the streets, and everywhere to a great concourse of people. Sinners and publi­cans encompassed Him on all sides, and on the roads by which He had to pass lay the sick, sighing and imploring help. He taught and cured without intermission, and was so earnest, so gentle, and so tranquil. The disciples, on the contrary, were anx­ious and dissatisfied on account of Jesus' so uncon­cernedly exposing Himself to the snares that the enraged Pharisees, of whom almost a hundred were gathered here from different parts of the country, sought to prepare for Him. They sent messengers to Jerusalem to consult as to how they could take Him into custody. The Apostles too were in a certain dread, as if they thought that Jesus laid Himself open to danger and treated with the people rather rashly. Once I saw Jesus surrounded by a great crowd seek­ing His help, and among them were some sick that had caused themselves to be carried to Him. The


Life of Jesus Christ

 disciples meanwhile kept at a distance. The palsied woman with the issue of blood whom He had already sent away more than once had caused herself to be carried to the bath of purification, or expiation, with which was connected the forgiveness of sin. She crept afterward to Jesus and touched the hem of His robe. He instantly stood still, looked after her, and healed her. The woman arose, thanked her Benefactor, and returned cured to her home in the city. Jesus then taught upon persevering and repeated prayer. He said that one should never desist from his entreaties. I was thinking meantime of the great charity of the good people who had brought the woman so long a distance, carrying her here and there after the Lord, and begging the disciples to inform them whither He was going next, that they might procure for her a good place. Owing to the nature of her sickness, which was regarded as unclean, she could not rest anywhere and everywhere. She had to solicit her cure for eight days long.

Before Jesus' departure from Jericho, messengers from Bethania brought to the disciples the news of how earnestly Martha and Magdalen were longing for His coming, as Lazarus was very sick. Jesus, however, did not go to Bethania, but to a little vil­lage north of Jericho. Here too, a crowd had assem­bled, and numbers of sick, blind, and crippled were awaiting His arrival. Two blind men, each with two guides, were sitting by the roadside, and when Jesus passed by they cried out after Him, begging to be cured. The people tried to silence them with threats, but they followed Jesus, crying after Him: "Ah, Thou Son of David! Have mercy on us!" Then Jesus turned, commanded them to be led to Him, and touched their eyes. They saw and followed Him. A great tumult arose on account of the cure of these blind men, as well as of those to whom Jesus had restored sight on His entrance into Jericho. The Pharisees insti­tuted an inquiry into the case, and interrogated the

Ten Lepers


 father of one of the cured as well as himself. The disciples meantime were very desirous that Jesus should go to Lazarus', in Bethania, for there they would be in greater peace and less molested. They were in truth a little discontented, but Jesus went on curing numbers. Words cannot express how gen­tle and forbearing He was under such imputations, attacks, and persecutions, and how sweetly and gravely He smiled when the disciples wanted to divert Him from His purpose. He next went in the direc­tion of Samaria. Not far from one of the little vil­lages along the highroad, about a hundred paces to one side, there stood a tent in which ten lepers were lying in beds. As Jesus was passing, the lepers came out and cried to Him for help. Jesus stood still, but the disciples went on. The lepers, entirely enveloped in their mantles, approached—some quickly, others slowly, as their strength permitted—and stood in a circle around Jesus. He touched each one separately, directed them to present themselves to the priests, and went on His way. One of the lepers, a Samari­tan and the most active of the ten, went along the same road with two of the disciples, but the others took different routes. These were not cured all at once; although able to walk, they were not made perfectly clean till about an hour afterward.

Soon after this last encounter, a father from a shepherd village a quarter of an hour to the right of the road came to meet Jesus and begged Him to go back with him to the village, for his little daugh­ter was lying dead. Jesus went with him at once, and on the way was overtaken by the cured Samar­itan who, touched by his perfect cure, had hurried back to thank his Benefactor. He cast himself at the feet of Jesus, who said: "Were not ten made clean? And where are the nine? Is not one found among them to return and give glory to God, but only this stranger? Arise, go thy way! Thy faith hath made thee whole!" This man later on became a disciple.


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 Peter, John, and James the Greater were with Jesus at this time. The little girl, who was about seven years old, was already four days dead. Jesus laid one hand on her head, the other on her breast, and raising His eyes to Heaven prayed, whereupon the child rose up alive. Then Jesus told the Apostles that even so should they do in His name. The child's father had strong faith, and full of confidence he had awaited Jesus' coming. His wife wanted him to send word to Jesus, but he was full of hope and waited until He came. Soon after, he gave up his business to another and, when his wife died after Jesus' death, he became a disciple and acquired a distinguished name. The little girl restored to life likewise became very pious.

Jesus next visited the shepherd huts that lay scat­tered far around, and cured many of the sick in them. He went from hut to hut all along the moun­tainous country in the direction of Hebron. I saw Him alone with Peter in one of these abodes, in which a marriage was being celebrated. The bridal couple returned from the nuptial ceremony, which was performed in the school, escorted by their friends and walking under a kind of canopy. A band of lit­tle girls adorned with wreaths of colored wool led the way playing on lutes, and gaily dressed boys with similar instruments brought up the rear of the procession. A priest from Jericho was present. When the party entered the house, they were both sur­prised and delighted to see Jesus, who bade them not to interrupt the wedding festivities lest some might be vexed at it. The guests then drank out of little glasses. The bride retired with the women, and the children played and danced before her. Then I saw the bridegroom and the bride go to Jesus in a room set apart, where He again joined their hands with His own right and blessed their clasped hands, and gave them an instruction upon the indissolu­bility of marriage and the merit of continency. After

Jesus with the Shepherds


 that He reclined at table with Peter and the priest, while the bridegroom waited upon them. The priest, however, was angry that the most honorable places had been given to the stranger guests, Jesus and His Apostles, and so he soon withdrew from the entertainment. I saw too that he hunted up some of the Pharisees, who later on unexpectedly attacked the Lord and called Him to account. In the heat of their discussion, one of them pulled His mantle from His shoulder, but Jesus remained calm. As they could neither harm Him nor gain a victory over Him, they withdrew.

Jesus, with more than ordinary love and kindness, tarried awhile in this shepherd dwelling. The bride's parents and some others of the old shepherds who presented themselves before Him, belonged to those that had visited Him at the Crib on the night of His birth. They began at once, in touching terms, to tell all about that night and to honor Jesus, and the younger ones related what they had heard about it from their deceased parents. They brought to Jesus some aged sick who, on account of the feebleness of old age, could no longer walk, also some sick children, and Jesus cured them all. He told the young married couple to go, after His death, to His Apostles, to be baptized and instructed, and to become His followers. During the whole journey, I never saw Jesus so bright and cheerful as He was among these simple people. I saw that all who had honored Him in His childhood received the grace to become Christians.

From this place, Jesus took a more southerly direc­tion into the mountainous district toward Juttah. The wedding guests formed His escort. He had with Him now six Apostles, including Andrew. On the way He cured a number of sick children who were very much swollen and unable to walk. The people of this region were not very good. When Jesus reached a little village among the mountains, He went straight to the synagogue to teach. The priests forbade it,


Life of Jesus Christ

 and went to call assistance, but they were obliged to resign the teacher's chair to Jesus, to whom the people listened with joy. The disciples were eager for Jesus now to turn His steps to Nazareth, His native city, since He was always making allusion to His approaching end. But He was desirous that the good among the people here should profit by the time remaining to Him, and so He did not go to Nazareth. He taught upon the words: "No man can serve two masters." He said also that He was come to bring the sword upon earth, that is to say, the separation from all that is bad. It was thus He explained this word to the disciples.

2. Jesus on the Way to Bethania. The Raising of Lazarus

As Jesus was tarrying in a little place near Samaria where too the Blessed Virgin and Mary Cleophas were come to spend the Sabbath, they received the news of Lazarus' death. After this event, which happened in Bethania, his sisters left that place and went to their country house near Ginaea, with the intention of there meeting Jesus and the Blessed Virgin. The remains of Lazarus were embalmed and swathed in linen bands, according to the Jewish custom, and then laid in a coffin of woven rods with a convex cover. All the Apostles were again united around Jesus. They went in several bands to Ginaea, where Jesus taught in the synagogue and, after the closing exercises of the Sabbath, went out to Lazarus' country house. There they found the Blessed Virgin, who had gone on before. Magdalen came to meet Jesus and to tell Him of her brother's death, adding the words: "Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died!" Jesus replied that his time was not yet come and that it was well that he had died. Still He told the two sisters to allow all the effects of their brother to remain at Betha­nia,



 for that He Himself would go there shortly. The holy women, therefore, set out for Bethania, while Jesus and the Apostles returned to Ginaea, from which they went to the inn one hour distant from Bethania. Here another messenger came to Him bear­ing the earnest request of the sisters that He should repair to Bethania, but He still delayed to go. He rebuked the disciples for their murmuring and impa­tience at His delaying so long to go to Bethania. He was always like one who could not give an account of His views and actions to them, because they did not understand Him. In His instructions to them He was always more desirous of discovering to them their own thoughts and, on account of their earthly mindedness, of arousing in them distrust of self than of informing them of the reasons of things that they could not comprehend. He still taught upon the labor­ers in the vineyard, and when the mother of James and John heard Him speak of the near fulfillment of His mission, she thought it only proper that His own relatives should have honorable posts in His Kingdom. She consequently approached Him with a petition to that effect, but He sternly rebuked her.

At last Jesus turned His steps to Bethania, con­tinuing all along the way His instructions to the Apostles. Lazarus' estate stood partly within the walls surrounding the environs of the city, and partly—that is, a portion of the garden and court­yard—outside those walls, which were now going to ruin.

Lazarus was eight days dead. They had kept him four days in the hope that Jesus would come and raise him to life. His sisters, as I have said, went to the country house near Ginaea, to meet Jesus; but when they found that He was still resolved not to go back with them, they had returned to Betha­nia and buried their brother. Their friends, men and women from the city and from Jerusalem, were now gathered around them, lamenting the dead as was


Life of Jesus Christ

 the custom. It seems to me that it was toward evening when Mary Zebedeus went in to Martha, who was sitting among the women, and said to her softly that the Lord was coming. Martha arose and went out with her into the garden back of the house. There in an arbor was Magdalen sitting alone. Martha told her that Jesus was near, for through love for Mag­dalen, she wanted her to be the first to meet the Lord. But I did not see Magdalen go to Jesus, for when He was alone with the Apostles and disciples He did not allow women easy access to Him. It was already growing dusk when Magdalen went back to the women and took Martha's place, who then went out to meet Jesus. He was standing with the Apos­tles and some others on the confines of their gar­den before an open arbor. Martha spoke to Jesus and then turned back to Magdalen, who also by this time had come up. She threw herself at Jesus' feet, saying: "If Thou hadst been here, he would not have died!" All present were in tears. Jesus too mourned and wept, and delivered a discourse of great length upon death. Many of the audience, which was con­stantly increasing outside the bower, whispered to one another and murmured their dissatisfaction at Jesus' not having kept Lazarus alive.

It seems to me that it was very early in the morn­ing when Jesus went with the Apostles to the tomb. Mary, Lazarus' sisters, and others, in all about seven women, were likewise there, as also a crowd of peo­ple which was constantly on the increase. Indeed the throng presented somewhat the appearance of a tumult, as upon the day of Christ's Crucifixion. They proceeded along a road upon either side of which was a thick, green hedge, then passed through a gate, after which about a quarter of an hour's dis­tance brought them to the walled-in cemetery of Bethania. From the gate of the cemetery, a road led right and left around a hill through which ran a vault. The latter was divided by railings into com­partments,

"Lazarus, Come Forth!"


 and the opening at the end was closed by a grate. One could, from the entrance, see through the whole length of the vault and the green branches of the trees waving outside the opposite end. Light was admitted from openings above.

Lazarus' tomb was the first on the right of the entrance to the vault, down into which some steps led. It was a four-cornered, oblong cave, about three feet in depth, and covered with a flat stone. In it lay the corpse in a lightly woven coffin, and around it in the tomb there was room for one to walk. Jesus with some of the Apostles went down into the vault, while the holy women, Magdalen, and Martha remained standing in the doorway. But the crowd pressed around so that many people climbed up on the roof of the vault and the cemetery walls in order to see. Jesus commanded the Apostles to raise the stone from the grave. They did so, rested it against the wall, and then removed a light cover or door that closed the tomb below that stone. It was at this point of the proceedings that Martha said: "Lord, by this time he stinketh, for he is now of four days." After that they took the lightly woven cover from the coffin, and disclosed the corpse lying in its wind­ing sheet. At that instant Jesus raised His eyes to Heaven, prayed aloud, and called out in a strong voice: "Lazarus, come forth!" At this cry, the corpse arose to a sitting posture. The crowd now pressed with so much violence that Jesus ordered them to be driven outside the walls of the cemetery. The Apostles, who were standing in the tomb by the cof­fin, removed the handkerchief from Lazarus' face, unbound his hands and feet, and drew off the wind­ing sheet. Lazarus, as if waking from lethargy, rose from the coffin and stepped out of the grave, tot­tering and looking like a phantom. The Apostles threw a mantle around him. Like one walking in sleep, he approached the door, passed the Lord and went out to where his sisters and the other women


Life of Jesus Christ

 had stepped back in fright as before a ghost. With­out daring to touch him, they fell prostrate on the ground. At the same instant, Jesus stepped after him out of the vault and seized him by both hands, His whole manner full of loving earnestness.

And now all moved on toward Lazarus' house. The throng was great. But a certain fear prevailed among the people; consequently the procession formed by Lazarus and his friends was not impeded in its move­ments by the crowd that followed. Lazarus moved along more like one floating than walking, and he still had all the appearance of a corpse. Jesus walked by his side, and the rest of the party followed sob­bing and weeping around them in silent, frightened amazement. They reached the old gate, and went along the road bordered by verdant hedges to the avenue of trees from which they had started. The Lord entered it with Lazarus and His followers, while the crowd thronged outside, clamoring and shouting.

At this moment Lazarus threw himself prostrate on the earth before Jesus, like one about to be received into a Religious Order. Jesus spoke some words, and then they went on to the house, about a hundred paces distant.

Jesus, the Apostles, and Lazarus were alone in the dining hall. The Apostles formed a circle around Jesus and Lazarus, who was kneeling before the Lord. Jesus laid His right hand on his head and breathed upon him seven times. The Lord's breath was luminous. I saw a dark vapor withdrawing as it were from Lazarus, and the devil under the form of a black winged figure, impotent and wrathful, clearing the circle backward and mounting on high. By this ceremony, Jesus consecrated Lazarus to His service, purified him from all connection with the world and sin, and strengthened him with the gifts of the Holy Ghost. He made him a long address in which He told him that He had raised him to life that he might serve Him, and that he would have



 to endure great persecution on the part of the Jews.

Up to this time, Lazarus was in his grave clothes, but now he retired to lay them aside and put on his own garments. It was at this moment that his sis­ters and friends embraced him for the first time, for before this there was something so corpselike about him that it inspired terror. I saw meanwhile that Lazarus' soul, during the time of its separation from his body, was in a place peaceful and painless, lighted by only a glimmering twilight, and that while there he related to the just, Joseph, Joachim, Anne, Zachary, John, etc., how things were going with the Redeemer on earth.

By the Saviour's breathing upon him, Lazarus received the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost and was perfectly freed from connection with earthly things. He received those gifts before the Apostles, for he had by his death become acquainted with great mys­teries, had gazed upon another world. He had actu­ally been dead, and he was now born again. He could therefore receive those gifts. Lazarus comprises in himself a deep significance and a profound mystery.

And now a meal was ready, and all reclined at table upon which were many dishes and little jugs. A man served. After the meal the women entered, but remained at the lower end of the hall, to hear the teachings of Jesus. Lazarus was sitting next Him. There was a frightful noise around the house, for many had come out from Jerusalem, even the guards, and were now besetting the house. But Jesus sent the Apostles out, to drive off both people and guards. Jesus continued His instruction till after lamplight, and told the disciples that He was going next morn­ing with two Apostles to Jerusalem. When they placed before Him the danger attending such a step, He replied that He would not be recognized, that He would not go openly. I saw them afterward taking a little sleep, leaning around against the wall.

Before daybreak Jesus, accompanied by John and


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 Matthew, who had girded up their garments some­what differently from their usual custom, started from Bethania for Jerusalem. They went around the city and, taking byroads, reached the house in which later on the Last Supper was celebrated. There they remained quietly the whole day and the next night, Jesus instructing and confirming His friends of the city. I saw Mary Marcus and Veronica in the house, and fully a dozen men. Nicodemus, to whom the house belonged, but who had gladly resigned it for the use of Jesus' friends, was not there. He had on that very day gone to Bethania to see Lazarus.

I saw also a gathering of Pharisees and High Priests who had come together to discuss Jesus and Lazarus. Among other things I heard them say that they feared Jesus would raise all the dead, and then what confusion would ensue!

At noon on that day, a great tumult arose in Betha­nia. If Jesus had been there, they would have stoned Him. Lazarus was obliged to hide, and the Apostles, to slip away in different directions. All the other friends of Jesus in Bethania were likewise forced to lie in concealment. Minds became calm, however, when people took into consideration that they had no right to take action against Lazarus.

Jesus passed the whole night till early next morn­ing in the house on Mount Sion. Before day He left Jerusalem with Matthew and John and fled across the Jordan, not by the route He had formerly taken on the side of Bethabara, but by another off to the northeast. It may have been toward noon when He reached the opposite shore of the Jordan. That evening the Apostles from Bethania joined Him, and they spent the night under a great tree.

In the morning they started for a little village in the neighborhood, and on their way found a blind man lying on the roadside. He was in charge of two boys, who were not, however, related to him. He was a shepherd from the region of Jericho. He had heard

Into the Land of the Three Kings


 from the Apostles that the Lord was coming that way, and he was now crying out to Him for a cure. Jesus laid His hand on his head, and the man received his sight. Then he cast off his old rags and, in his undergarment, followed Jesus to the village, where in a hall Jesus taught of following Him. He said that they who wanted to do so must, as the blind man did his rags, leave all, to follow Him with full use of their sight. A mantle was given to the man cured of blindness. He wanted to join Jesus at once, but he was put off till he should prove his con­stancy. Jesus taught here until nearly evening. There were about eight Apostles with Him.

After that, as He drew near a little city, Jesus was hungry. I could not help smiling at the thought of His being hungry, for Jesus' hunger was very dif­ferent from that of others. He was hungering after souls. From the last place that He had visited, some people who had not the right dispositions went with Him. On the roadside stood a fig tree that bore no fruit. Jesus went up to the tree and cursed it. It withered on the instant, its leaves turning yellow, and the trunk becoming crooked. Jesus taught in the school upon the sterile fig tree. There were some malevolent Doctors and Pharisees who invited Jesus to take His departure. A little stream spanned by a bridge ran by this place1 into the Jordan. The school was built on an eminence. Jesus and His party spent the night at an inn.

3. Jesus Begins the Journey Into the Land of the Three Holy Kings

Next day when Jesus and His companions left that last place, they took a northeasterly direction through the land of the tribe of Gad. I heard Jesus saying whither He was now about to journey. He

1. Betharan, perhaps.


Life of Jesus Christ

 told the Apostles and disciples that they should sep­arate from Him, designated to them where they should and where they should not teach, and where they should again join Him. He was now, He said, about to make an extraordinary journey. He would spend the next Sabbath in Great Corozain, then go to Bethsaida, and from there to the south into the region of Machaerus and Madian. Thence He would proceed to where Agar had exposed Ismael,1 and Jacob had set up the stone. (Gen. 46:1,4; 26-23, 24). Then He would journey to the east around the Dead Sea and on to the place upon which Melchisedech had offered sacrifice before Abraham. On this site there stands today a chapel, in which Divine Ser­vice is sometimes celebrated. It is built of red stone, and overgrown with moss. Jesus declared His inten­tion of going likewise to Heliopolis in Egypt, where He had once dwelt in childhood. There were some good people there who as children had played with Him, and who had not entirely forgotten Him. They were constantly asking what had become of Him, but they could not believe that He of whom they heard so much was the Child of their remembrance. He will return from the other side through Hebron and the valley of Josaphat, pass the place at which He had been baptized by John, and through the desert in which He had been tempted. He announced that His absence would be for about three months, and that His followers would be sure to find Him at the end of that time at Jacob's Well near Sichar, though they might meet Him before that, when He would be returning through Judea. He gave them minute instructions in a long discourse, above all as to how they should during His absence conduct themselves in their missionary duties. I remember these words, that wherever they were not well received, they should shake the dust from their shoes.

1. Bersabee, to the south of Palestine.

An Extraordinary Journey


 Matthew returned home for awhile. He was a mar­ried man. His wife was a very virtuous person and, since Matthew's vocation, they had lived in perfect continency. He was to teach in his own home, and quietly put up with the contempt of his former asso­ciates.

In Great Corozain, Jesus taught on the Sabbath in the synagogue. Peter, Andrew, and Philip were with Him. Toward noon a man from Capharnaum, who had been waiting for Jesus, approached Him, His son, he said, was sick unto death, and He implored the Lord to go with him and cure him. But Jesus commanded him to return home, for his son was already restored to health. There were many others gathered around Jesus, some belonging to the city, and others from a distance. Some were sick and looking for a cure, others were in search of consola­tion. He satisfied some at once, but to others He held out the promise of future assistance.

On the evening of that Sabbath, Jesus took leave of the inhabitants outside the synagogue, and pro­ceeded with several of the Apostles up to where the Jordan empties into the sea, in order to cross to the other side. The ferry was higher up, and that made the journey much longer. Here they crossed on a kind of raft formed of beams laid one over another like a grating. In the center, on a raised platform, was a coop, or little half-tub into which the water could not penetrate, and there the baggage of the passengers was deposited. The raft was propelled by means of long poles. The shore of the Jordan was not very high in this place, and it seems to me there were some little islands lying around in this part of the river. I saw the Lord and the three Apostles travelling by moonlight. Outside of Bethsaida, as was customary at the entrance to the cities of Pales­tine, stood a long shed under which travelers used to ungird their garments and brush off the dust of travel before entering the city; generally some people


Life of Jesus Christ

 were to be found there to wash their feet. This was the case on the arrival of the Lord and the Apostles, after which they repaired to Andrew's, where they partook of a meal of honey, rolls, and grapes. Andrew was married, and his house was by no means a small one. It had a courtyard, was sur­rounded by walls, and was situated at one side of the city. Peter and Philip accompanied the Lord, but Andrew went on ahead. There were in all twelve men present at the meal, and at the end of it, six women came in to hear Jesus' teaching. Next day, as He was leaving Bethsaida with the three Apos­tles, He paused for awhile in a house outside the city in which were all kinds of goods and chattels peculiar to fishing. A great many men were assem­bled there, and Jesus gave them an instruction. Set­ting out at last, He journeyed up the shore of the Jordan, crossed the bridge far above the ferry just mentioned, and proceeded through eastern Galilee to the land of Basan.

I saw in a region beyond the Jordan, a district covered with white sand and tiny white pebbles, sev­eral disciples in an open shepherd shed awaiting the Lord's coming. They had brought with them three youths, tall and slim. While awaiting Jesus, the dis­ciples had gathered yellow and green berries as large as figs, also little yellow apples that grew some on bushes, others on trees, from which they broke them off with chopping sticks. The road by which Jesus and the three Apostles came appeared to be not much frequented, for it was overgrown with long grass, and extended under an avenue of spreading fruit trees whose branches interlaced overhead. The Apostles broke off some of the fruit and put it into their pock­ets, but Jesus took none. He had travelled all night through mountainous districts. The disciples who had been awaiting His coming now went forward to meet Him. They pressed around Him with words of salu­tation, but without offering their hands. In front of

Life of Jesus Christ by Anne Catherine Emmerich
Vol 3

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