Life of Jesus Christ by Anne Catherine Emmerich
Vol 3

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Journey toward Egypt


 the shed lay a long, broad, four-cornered log, around which Jesus and the others threw themselves in a reclining posture as at table, and before each was placed a portion of the fruit just gathered. They had brought with them also little jugs containing some kind of beverage. Off in the distance lay a city and behind it rose a mountain chain. I think this region was in the land of the Amorrhites. From this place the road again took a downward direction. I saw Jesus and His companions journeying the whole day and, in the evening, arriving at a little scattered vil­lage. On the roadside stood an inn. The travelers entered and were soon surrounded by a crowd of inquisitive people. They had not heard much of Jesus, but they were for the most part good and simple hearted. Jesus related to them the parable of the good shepherd, and then travelled on a short dis­tance to another inn, at which He and His followers ate and slept. The Lord told the latter that He intended to go alone with the three youths through Chaldea and the land of Ur, Abraham's birthplace, and thence through Arabia to Egypt. The disciples should scatter here throughout the district and instruct the inhabitants; as for Himself, He added, He would teach wherever He went. In fine He again told them that, at the end of three months, they would meet at the Well of Jacob near Sichar. I saw Simeon, Cleophas, and Saturnin among the disciples.

At dawn of day Jesus bade farewell to the Apos­tles and disciples, to each of whom He extended His hand. They were very much troubled at His taking with Him only the three youths. These youths were from sixteen to eighteen years old and very differ­ent from the Jews. They were more slender and active, and wore long garments. They were like chil­dren to Jesus, whom they waited on most affec­tionately. Whenever they came to water, they washed His feet. They ran off on the road here and there, and came back with little rods, flowers, fruits, and


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 berries. Jesus instructed them most lovingly and explained to them in parables all that had happened up to that time. The parents of these youths belonged to the family of Mensor. They had come to Palestine with the caravan of the Three Kings and, at the departure of the same for home, had remained behind among the shepherds in the Valley of the Shepherds. They became Jews, married the daugh­ters of the shepherds, and came into possession of meadow lands between Samaria and Jericho. The youngest of the youths was named Eremenzear and later on was called Hermas. He was the boy whom Jesus, at the prayer of his mother, had cured in the region of Sichar, after His interview with the Samar­itan at Jacob's Well. The next one was Sela, or Silas; and the eldest, Eliud, received in Baptism the name of Siricius. They were called, also, the secret disci­ples, and at a later period they were associated with Thomas, John, and Paul. Eremenzear wrote an account of this journey.

On this journey, Jesus wore a brownish tunic, knit­ted or woven, that fell around Him in folds long and full; over that He had a long garment of fine white wool with wide sleeves. It was fastened at the waist by a broad girdle of the same material as the scarf that He wound around His head when sleeping. Jesus was taller than the Apostles. Walking or standing, His fair, grave face rose above them. His step was firm, His bearing erect. He was neither thin nor stout, but nobly formed with an appearance of per­fect health. His shoulders were broad, and His chest well developed. Exercise and travelling had strength­ened His muscles, although they presented no sign of hard labor.

The road taken by Jesus and the youths after parting from the Apostles was a constantly ascend­ing one in a direction toward the East, over a white, sandy soil and through cedars and date trees. Oppo­site arose the mountains of Galaad. Jesus wanted

The Journey


 to spend the coming Sabbath in the last Jewish city met in this direction. I think it was called Cedar. Jesus and the youths ate on the way the fruits of the trees and berries. The youths carried pouches filled with little rolls, jugs containing some kind of drink, and staves. The Lord sometimes broke off a staff for Himself from a tree in passing, and again cast it aside. His feet, otherwise bare, were protected by sandals. In the evening they went to some soli­tary house occupied by rude, simple people, and there slept for the night. Jesus nowhere made Himself known, although He everywhere taught in beauti­ful parables of all kinds, but principally in those relating to the good shepherd. The people questioned Him about Jesus of Nazareth, but He did not tell that it was Himself. He in turn put questions to them concerning their work, their business affairs, so that they concluded He was a travelling shep­herd looking around after good pasture lands, as was often the case in Jewish countries. I did not see Him effect any cure nor work any miracle in these parts. Next morning He journeyed on. He may now have still been some miles from Cedar, which was built on rising ground, the mountain chain behind it. Abraham's fatherland was in this direction, but far off toward the northeast; the land of the Three Kings was toward the southeast.

Some of the disciples had returned to their homes, while others had scattered around the country teach­ing. Zacheus of Jericho accompanied them awhile, after which he returned home, gave up his business, sold all that he had, bestowed the proceeds upon the poor, and went with his wife (with whom he henceforth lived in continency) to another place. The Lord told the disciples that nine weeks would pass before they should join Him again.

The excitement in Jerusalem on account of Lazarus was very great. Jesus absented Himself during it, that people might lose sight of Him, while the con­viction


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 of the truth of this miracle disposed many to conversion. When Jesus returned He was very thin. There is no written account of this journey, since no Apostle accompanied the Lord on it; per­haps too the Apostles did not even know of all the places in which He had been. As well as I remem­ber, I then saw this road for the first time.

Jesus journeyed on with His three young com­panions to the southeast, taking byways most fre­quently, and spending the night, like the preceding one among the shepherds, in a solitary house. The people of these parts were good and artless. They gazed at Jesus in wonder, and loved Him at once. He related to them many of the parables He was accustomed to use in Judea, and to them they lis­tened with delight. But He neither healed nor blessed. When they asked Him about Jesus of Nazareth, He answered by telling them about those that had quitted all to follow Him, and then passed to parables that explained what He had said. The people thought He was a shepherd looking around for herds or meadows.

4. Jesus in Cedar

Jesus and the youths reached Cedar before the Sabbath. They had not travelled by the highroad, but by roundabout ways. As it was too late to enter the city, they passed the night at a large public inn at which other wayfarers had sought shelter. There were open sheds with sleeping accommodations in the enclosure, and the whole was surrounded by a courtyard. A man, the one that superintended the establishment, unlocked the inn, after which he returned to the city. Next morning, he came out again to the inn, and then received a small sum for his services. The travelers went their several ways, but the superintendent took Jesus and His com­panions back with him to his own house in the city.

Jesus in Cedar


 Cedar was situated at the foot of a mountain, in a valley through which flowed a river. It consisted of an old and a new city separated by the little river which flowed from the east and off toward Pales­tine. The shore was very steep, and the river was spanned by two arches very solidly built. On this side the place was poor and insignificant, and inhab­ited principally by Jewish shepherds who likewise engaged in the manufacture of light huts, shepherd and stable utensils. On the opposite side, Cedar pre­sented a more opulent appearance. There were no Jews there, but only heathens. The Jewish costume was somewhat modified here, for some of the peo­ple wore a pointed cap. In the city this side of the river, there was a synagogue, and upon a square surrounded by grass plots and walks of clean white sand, played a fountain. This was the most beauti­ful spot in the city.

The Lord and the boys went with their host to the synagogue, and quietly celebrated the Sabbath. At the end of the prayers, Jesus asked whether He might venture to relate something to them, and when the good people showed their willingness to listen, He recounted the parable of the Prodigal Son. They listened attentively, admired Him greatly, but knew not who He was. He called Himself a shepherd seek­ing the lost lambs in order to lead them into good pasture. They regarded Him as a Prophet and, dur­ing the rest of the day, conducted Him to their houses where too He taught. The next day He gave an instruction at the fountain. The men and women sat at His feet, and He pressed the children to His breast. He told them about Zacheus climbing up the fig tree, of his leaving all and following Him; of him who in the Temple had said: "I thank God that I am not like the publican"; and lastly, of that other who, striking his breast, said: "Lord, be merciful to me, a poor sinner!" The inhabitants of Cedar became very fond of Jesus and thought no harm of Him.


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 They begged Him to stay with them till the next Sabbath and then teach again in their school, and when they asked Him about Jesus of Nazareth, He related to them many things of Him and His doc­trine.

On leaving this place, Jesus and His travelling companions proceeded eastward from Cedar into a country of beautiful meadowlands and palm trees, and thence to Edon. On the way, He visited a house that stood off by itself, and in which both the father and mother of the family had long been bedridden with incurable maladies. Several children were going and coming around the house. All were good. Here also they asked Him about Jesus of Nazareth, of whom they had heard divers reports. Jesus answered them in a beautiful parable of a king and his son, in which he spoke of the One of whom they inquired. He told them that He would be persecuted, and that He would return to His Father's Kingdom, which He would share with all those that had followed Him. As Jesus spoke I had a vision of His Passion, His Ascension, His throne surrounded by all the angels and set next His Father's, meaning His dominion over the world; and, lastly, I saw the reward por­tioned out to His followers. I saw likewise the vision of His Kingdom and the whole parable that He was relating to the people, and I saw too that He impressed upon their hearts a lasting picture of it. When He asked them whether they believed all He had told them and whether they would follow the good King, and they had protested their belief and their willingness, He promised the two old people that God would reward them by curing them and allowing them to follow Him to Edon. And all on a sudden, they were restored to health and, to the astonishment of the beholders, were indeed able to follow Jesus to Edon. The man's name was Ben­jamin, and he was a direct descendant from Ruth. I think that Titus was either a son or a relative of

A Wedding Feast


 this couple so suddenly cured. He was at that time between fourteen to sixteen years old. He went to Cedar and to every other place in this region in which Jesus taught, in order to hear Him and to lis­ten to others talking about Him. Marcus, whose birth­place was nearer Judea, was acquainted with this family, and so too was Silas.

Jesus and the three youths, on leaving that house, went on to Edon through lovely fields and meadows shaded by palm trees. Jesus carried a shepherd's crook in His right hand. In the public feast house, on a large, open square to the left of the entrance to the city, a marriage was being celebrated. The house contained a large hall, at the end of which was the kitchen. All around it were sleeping apart­ments, in each of which there were three beds that could be separated from one another by an orna­mented screen. Although it was clear daylight, a lamp was burning in the hall. The guests, male and female, as also the bride and bridegroom, adorned with flowery wreaths, were all assembled in the same apartment. Boys were singing and playing upon flutes and other instruments. These pious people were awaiting Jesus, whom they looked upon as a Prophet. They had heard of His teaching and parables in Cedar and the surrounding district, and had in con­sequence invited Him to their wedding. They received Him joyfully and reverently, washed His feet and those of His young companions, and dried them with their own garments. They took from Jesus His staff, placed it in a corner, and prepared for Him a table. On it were some little rolls, a honeycomb almost a foot in length, and some red berries from the top of which they detached before eating a little circle of black leaves tipped with white. There were, too, lit­tle earthen jugs and cups on the table and some small dishes. The last mentioned looked like glazed earthenware, out of which with little spoons they put something into their drink. The guests reclined


Life of Jesus Christ

 at table upon small leaning benches, and to Jesus was given the seat between the bridegroom and the bride. The women sat at the lower end. Jesus blessed the food and drink, of which all then partook.

During the meal, Jesus taught. He told the guests about that Man in Judea who, at the marriage of Cana in Galilee, had changed water into wine. When the couple whom the guests had known so long as sick, but who had been restored to health, made their appearance, the amazement was great. They related all that the Lord had told them of the King and His Kingdom, declared their belief in it, and said that they were as certain of having a share in that same Kingdom as they were now conscious of the fact of having been cured. Jesus repeated to them the parable and told them in plain words that there was still a wall between them and the domin­ions of that King, but that they could force their way through it if they would overcome themselves. It was morning before the party retired to bed. The Lord and the young boys slept back of the dining hall. Before He lay down, however, He went aside and, kneeling, prayed with uplifted hands to His Heavenly Father. I saw streams of light issuing from His mouth, and another stream of light, or an angelic form, descending toward Him. This often happened even in full daylight when at any time Jesus retired to a solitary place to pray. I knew this about Him even in my childhood, and when I saw Him pray­ing thus alone, I tried to imitate Him. I saw the Blessed Virgin, up to the conception of the Saviour, generally standing in prayer, her hands crossed on her breast, and her eyes lowered; but after the most holy Incarnation, she generally knelt, her face raised to Heaven, and her hands uplifted.

Next morning, on account of the great concourse of people, Jesus taught in the open air. He settled many matrimonial affairs, for the people of this place had lost the true conception of the Law on

Jesus Goes to Sichar-Cedar


 that head. They wanted to espouse two blood rela­tives in succession, and they questioned Jesus on the matter. He explained to them that it was not allowed by the Mosaic Law, and they promised to refrain from such unions. It was told Jesus also that in one of the neighboring places, a certain man was on the point of marrying for the sixth time, his five deceased wives being sisters of the present affi­anced. Jesus said that He would visit that place. He returned to Cedar for the Sabbath, and taught the whole day in the school. He gave decisions upon many questions and doubts concerning the Law and marriage and reconciled some married couples that were at variance.

5. Jesus Goes to Sichar-Cedar and Teaches Upon the Mystery of Marriage

From Cedar, Jesus, with a numerous escort, wended His way northward, the country everywhere presenting a more level aspect. I saw them reach a shepherd village outside of which were open sheds, long rows of trees with interlacing branches, and huts formed of green boughs and leaves. Under one of the sheds, all partook of figs, grapes, and dates. They were still there, the night being mild and lovely, when the stars shone out in the sky and the dew­drops glittered brightly below.

When the rest of the party dispersed to their homes, Jesus with the three youths went around the district teaching, and arrived toward evening of the following day at the little city of Sichar-Cedar, built on the declivity of a mountain range. Some people came out to meet Him. They conducted Him to the public house of the city, which was something like that of Cana in Galilee, and there He found a crowd assembled. Some young married people had lost their parents by a sudden death, and they were now enter­taining at this house all those who had followed the


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 remains to the grave. In front of the house was a courtyard enclosed by a railing, and in it an arbor of skillfully woven foliage. In each of the four corners stood a stone cistern full of water out of which grew creeping plants. They were trained up on palings and then allowed to run on arches to the center of the yard, where a carved column of mar­ble supported the verdant roof thus formed. The plants, like reeds or sedges, retained their freshness a long time. This decoration, as well as all the gar­lands that adorned the house, was of extraordinary beauty. In a hall just off the courtyard, Jesus' feet and those of His companions were washed, and the customary refreshments presented. Then they went to another apartment, in which a meal was in readi­ness. Jesus insisted upon serving at table. He handed to all the guests bread, fruit, and large pieces of honeycomb, and poured from jugs into the drinking cup of each three kinds of beverage: one was a green juice; another, some kind of yellow drink; and the third, a perfectly white fluid. Jesus taught all the time. Sichar-Cedar was the place of which Jesus had been told at the wedding feast that so many were living there in unlawful marriage relations.

Only the husband of the mourning married cou­ple was present at the funereal feast. He was named Eliud. He had been at the marriage feast at Edon, and on his return home found that both his parents-­in-law had departed this life. They had died sud­denly, overcome by grief at the discovery that their daughter, Eliud's wife, was an adulteress. Eliud him­self had no intimation of the fact, nor consequently of the cause of the sudden death of his parents-in-law. When the meal spoken of above was over, Jesus allowed Himself to be conducted by Eliud to his home. The youths did not go with Him. Jesus spoke to the wife in private. She was in great sorrow. She sank at His feet in tears, and confessed her sin. When Jesus left her, Eliud conducted Him to His sleeping

Eliud and His Wife


 chamber. I saw the Lord saying some grave and touch­ing words to him and, when Eliud left Him, He prayed awhile and then went to rest. Early next morning Eliud, with a washbasin and a green branch, went in to Jesus, who was still lying on the bed supported on His arm, He arose; Eliud washed His feet and dried them in his own garments. Then the Lord told him to conduct Him to his chamber, for that He wanted in turn to wash his feet. Eliud would not hear of this. But Jesus told him gravely that if he would not yield, He would instantly leave his house, that it must be, that if he wanted to follow Him he must not refuse to obey. On hearing these words, Eliud led Jesus to his bedchamber and brought Him a basin of water. Jesus grasped him by the hands, gazed lov­ingly into his eyes, said a few words on the subject of foot washing, and then informed him that his wife was an adulteress, but penitent, and that he must pardon her. At this information Eliud fell prostrate on the ground, writhing and weeping in an excess of mental agony. Jesus turned away from him and prayed. After a little while, the first bitter struggle being over, Jesus went to him, raised him from the ground, spoke words of consolation to him, and washed his feet. When Eliud had become calm, Jesus commanded him to call his wife. He did so, and she entered the room closely veiled. Jesus took her hand, laid it in that of Eliud, blessed them both, consoled them, and raised the wife's veil. Then He dismissed them with directions to send their children to Him, whom when they came He blessed and led back to their parents. From this time forward Eliud and his wife remained faithful to each other, and both made a vow of continency. On that same day, Jesus visited many other homes in order to lead their occupants from the error of their ways. I saw Him going from house to house, conversing with the people upon their various affairs and thus winning their confidence.

On the mountain near this place, Sichar-Cedar,


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 there were whole rows of beehives. The declivity of the mountain was terraced, and on the terraces rest­ing against the mountain stood numerous square, flat-roofed beehives about seven feet in height, the upper part ornamented with knobs. They were placed in several rows, one above the other. They were not rounded in the back, but pointed like a roof, and they could be opened from top to bottom on the shelf side. The whole apiary was enclosed by a fine trel­lis of woven reeds. Between these stacks of hives there were steps leading up to the terraces, and to the railings on either side, bushes bearing white blossoms and berries were trained. One could mount from terrace to terrace, upon each of which were similar arrangements for bees.

When Jesus was asked by the people whence He had come He invariably answered in parables, to which they gave simple-hearted credence. Under the bower of the public house He delivered an instruc­tion, in which He related the parable of the king's son who came to discharge all the debts of his sub­jects. His hearers took the parable in its literal sense and rejoiced greatly over what it promised. Jesus then turned to the parable of the debtor who, after having obtained a delay for the payment of his own great debt, insisted upon bringing before the judge the man that owed him a trifle. He told them also that His Father had given Him a vineyard which had to be cultivated and pruned, and that He was looking for laborers to replace the useless, lazy ser­vants whom He was going to chase away, and who were mete images of the branches they had neglected to prune. Then He explained to them the cutting away of the vine stock, spoke of the quantity of use­less wood and foliage, and of the small number of grapes. To this He compared the hurtful elements that had, through sin, entered into man. These, He said, should be cut off and destroyed by the exer­cise of mortification in order that fruit might be pro­duced.

Jesus Teaches on His Vineyard


 This led to some words on marriage and its precepts, as well as upon the modesty and propri­ety to be observed in it, after which He returned to the vine and told the people that they too ought to cultivate it. They replied quite innocently that the country was not adapted to vine culture. But Jesus responded that they ought to plant it on that side of the mountain occupied by the apiary, for that was an excellent exposure for it, and then He related a parable treating of bees. The people expressed their readiness to labor in His vineyard, if He would allow them. But He told them that He had to go and dis­charge the debts, that He had to see that the true vine was put into the wine press, in order to pro­duce a life-giving wine, and to teach others how to cultivate and prepare the same. The simple-hearted people were troubled at the thought of His going away, and implored Him to remain with them. But He consoled them by saying that if they believed Him, He would send them one who would make them laborers in His vineyard. I saw that the inhabitants of this little place were afterward baptized by Thad­deus, and that all emigrated during a persecution.

Jesus recalled none of the Prophecies, performed no miracles in this place. In spite of their moral dis­orders, these people were simple and childlike. Mar­ried couples living apart were again united by Jesus, and He explained to the man who, after having mar­ried five sisters was now about to espouse the sixth, that such unions were unlawful.

Jesus gave another instruction upon marriage. He illustrated His subject by deeply significant simili­tudes taken from the cultivation of the vine, the care of the vineyard, and the pruning away of the superfluous branches. I was particularly impressed by His remarkable and clearly convincing words to this effect, that wherever discord reigned in the mar­ried state and wherever marriage failed to produce good, pure fruit, the fault lay principally on the wife's


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 side. It is for her to endure and to suffer, it is for her to form, to preserve, the fruit of marriage. By her spiritual labors and victories over self, she can perfect her own soul and the fruit of her womb, she can eradicate whatever evil there may be in it, since her whole conduct, all her actions, redound to the blessing or the ruination of her offspring. In mar­riage there should be no question of sensual grati­fication, but only of penance and mortification, of constant fear, of constant warfare against sin and sinful desires, and this warfare is best carried on by prayer and self-conquest. Such struggles against self, such victories over self on the mother's part, secure similar victories to her children. All this instruction was given by the Lord in words as won­derful for their significance as for their simplicity. He said many other things, clear and precise, on the same subject. I was so impressed by the truth of what He said and its great necessity that the thought rushed impetuously to my mind: Why is not all this put in writing! Why is there no disciple present who could write it all down, that people far and wide might know it? For in the whole of this vision I was, as it were, present among Jesus' audience, and I fol­lowed Him here and there. As I was so earnestly revolving that thought, my Heavenly Bridegroom turned and addressed me in words to this effect: "I rouse charity, I cultivate the vineyard wherever it will best produce fruit. Were these things written down, they would suffer the fate of so many other writings, they would fall into oblivion, or be misin­terpreted, or utterly condemned. The words that I have just spoken, as well as innumerable others that have never been written, will become more produc­tive in effects than what has been preserved in writ­ing. It is not the written Law that is obeyed; but they that believe, hope, and love, have everything written in their heart." The way in which Jesus taught all this, the constant use of parables by which

Jesus Teaching on Marriage


 He illustrated from the nature of the vine all that He said of marriage and, on the other hand, the bor­rowing from marriage apt illustrations of the culti­vation of the vine—all was inexpressibly beautiful and convincing. The people questioned the Lord most simply, and He gave them answers that showed still more clearly how perfectly His similitudes explained His doctrine.

At noon the nuptial ceremony between a poor young couple took place in front of the synagogue, and at it Jesus assisted. Both were good and inno­cent, consequently the Lord was very kind to them. The bridal procession to the synagogue was headed by little boys of six years with wreaths on their heads and flutes in their hands, white-robed maid­ens carrying little baskets of flowers which they strewed on the ground, and youths playing on harps, triangles, and other musical instruments now little known. The bridegroom was dressed almost like a priest. Both he and the bride were attended by assis­tants who, during the ceremony, laid their hands on their shoulders. The marriage was performed by a Jewish priest, in a hall whose roof had been opened just above the bridal party. It was near the syna­gogue. When the stars began to appear in the sky, the Sabbath exercises were celebrated in the syna­gogue, after which a fast that lasted until the next evening was begun. When that was over, the wed­ding festivities were held in the public house used on such occasions, during which Jesus related many parables, such as that of the Prodigal Son and the mansions in His Father's house. The bridegroom had no house of his own. He was to make his home in that belonging to the mother of his bride, Jesus told him that, until he should receive a mansion in His Father's house, he should take up his abode under a tent in the vineyard which He Himself was going to layout on the mount of the bees. Then He again taught on marriage, upon which He dwelt for a long


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 time. If married people, He said, would live together modestly and chastely, if they would recognize their state as one of penance, then would they lead their children in the way of salvation, then would their state become not a means of diverting souls from their end, but one that would reap a harvest for those mansions in His Father's house. In this instruc­tion, Jesus called Himself the Spouse of a bride in whom all those that should be gathered, would be born again. He alluded to the marriage feast of Cana, and told of the changing of water into wine. He always spoke of Himself in the third person, as of that Man in Judea whom He knew so well, who would be so bitterly persecuted, and who would finally be put to death.

The people heard all this in simple, childlike faith, and the parables were for them real facts. The bride­groom appeared to be a school teacher, for Jesus told him how he should teach by his own example. Jesus made allusion also to Ishmael, for Cedar and the coun­try around were peopled by his descendants. They were, for the most part, shepherds, and esteemed themselves inferior to the people of Judea, of whom they spoke as of a very great nation, a chosen race. They still clung to the ancient manner of living. The owner of numerous herds lived in a large house sur­rounded by a moat, and in the midst of the pasture grounds by which it was encompassed stood the houses of the under-shepherds. To the well, which belonged to the head proprietor, only his own herds had a right to go, though those of his neighbors enjoyed the same privilege if there existed an agree­ment to that effect. Such patriarchal settlements were scattered thickly here and there, though oth­erwise the place was of little importance.

Moved thereto by Jesus' words, the people deter­mined to build for the newly married pair a light habitation on the bee mount where, later on, the vineyard was to be laid out. Every friend in the place

Jesus Speaks of the Vineyard


 constructed for the tent a light wicker wall which was then covered with skins, and afterward coated with something of a viscid nature. When a piece of the work was finished, it was transported to the site for which it was destined. Each one did what was in his power, some more, some less, and they shared with one another whatever was needed. The Lord told them how all was to be done, and they listened in wonder at His knowing so much about such things. He had taught them at the marriage feast that the old and the poor should take the upper places. Jesus went with the people to the little hill in front of the bee mountain, in order to choose there the best site for the vineyard. The back of the tent was to rest against the rising ground of the vineyard. As the Feast of the New Moon just now began, all returned with Jesus to the public house. He knew that, when He said that they should build a house for the newly married pair, many had thought and said to one another: "Perhaps He has no house of His own, no place of abode. Will He, perhaps, take up His resi­dence with these people?" Therefore it was that Jesus now told them that He was not going to stay among them, that He had no abiding place on this earth, that His Kingdom was yet to come, that He had to plant His Father's vineyard, and water it with His Blood upon Mount Calvary. They could not now com­prehend His words, He said, but they would do so after He had watered the vineyard. Then He would come back to them from a dark country. He would send His messengers to call them, and then they would leave this place and follow Him. But when He should come again for the third time, He would lead into His Father's Kingdom all those who had faith­fully labored in the vineyard. Their sojourning here was not to be long, therefore the house they were building was to be a light one, rather a tent that could be easily removed. Jesus next gave a long instruction upon mutual charity. They should, He


Life of Jesus Christ

 said, cast their anchor in the heart of their neigh­bor, that the storms of the world might not separate and destroy them. He spoke again in parables of the vineyard, saying that He would remain only long enough to layout the vineyard for the newly mar­ried pair and teach them to plant the vines, then He would depart in order to cultivate that belonging to His Father. Jesus taught all these things in language so simple, and yet so nicely adapted to the point in question, that His hearers became more and more convinced of its truth, retaining at the same time their simplicity. He taught them to recognize in all nature, in life itself, a law hidden and holy, though now disfigured by sin. The instruction lasted till late into the night, and when Jesus wanted to take leave of them, the people detained Him. They clasped Him in their arms, exclaiming: "Explain it all to us again, that we may understand it better." But He replied that they should practice what He had preached to them, and He promised to send them one who would make it all clear to them. During this assembly they partook of a slight repast, at which all drank out of the same cup.

The young man for whom the Lord had caused the house to be built was named Salathiel, and the bride's name was a word that signified "pretty," or "brunette."1 With the greater part of the inhabitants of the place, they were baptized by Thaddeus. The Evangelist Mark also was in this region for awhile. Thirty-five years after Christ's Ascension, Salathiel with his wife and three grown-up sons removed to Ephesus. I saw him there in company with the gold­smith Demetrius, who had once raised an insurrec­tion against Paul, but who was afterward converted. Demetrius gave him a long account of Paul, and nar­rated the history of his conversion. Paul was not then at Ephesus. Salathiel, his three sons, and

1. "Braunchen," or "Feinchen."

Jesus Teaching on Marriage


 Demetrius went to join him, while the wife of the first-named remained behind at Ephesus in a house to which many from her own country came and resided with her. Almost all the Jews left Ephesus at this time. Salathiel and his three sons, Demetrius, Silas, and a man named Caius were all in the same ship with Paul when he suffered shipwreck near the island of Malta, and they went with him to the island. From his prison in Rome, Paul assigned to each of the three sons of Salathiel the place in which he was to labor.

When Jesus went with the men to the bee mount, in order to show them how to plant the vines, the site for the tent house was already marked off and an espalier erected. The men told Jesus that grapes raised in those parts were always bitter, to which Jesus responded that that was because they belonged to a poor species. They were of a bad stock, they were allowed to run wild without pruning; conse­quently they had the appearance only of grapes, without their sweetness. But, He added, those that He was now about to plant would be sweet. The in­struction turned again upon marriage which, Jesus said, could produce pure, sweet fruit only when it was guarded by self-command, mortification, and moderation united to pain and labor.

From the young plants that He had ordered to be brought to the spot, Jesus chose five, which He laid in the ground that He had Himself previously loos­ened, and He showed the men how to bind them to the espalier in the form of a cross. All that He said while thus engaged of the nature and training of the vine referred to the mystery of marriage and the sanctification of its fruit. When Jesus continued this instruction in the synagogue, He spoke of the obligation of continency in order to conception and, as a proof of the same, brought forward the depth of corruption into which men had fallen in this par­ticular. Man, He said, might in this respect learn a


Life of Jesus Christ

 lesson from the elephant. (There were a few of these animals in that region). At the close of the instruc­tion Jesus repeated that He must now soon leave them, in order to plant and water the vine on Mount Calvary, but He would send some to teach them all things and to lead them into His Father's vineyard. When at the same time He spoke of the Kingdom and the mansions of His Father, the people asked Him why He had brought nothing with Him from that Kingdom and why He went about so poorly clad. Jesus answered that that Kingdom was reserved for such as followed Him, and that no one would receive it without deserving it. He was, He said, a stranger seeking for faithful servants whom He might call into the vineyard. He had therefore built the bridegroom's house so lightly because the earth was not to be a permanent abode for his posterity and they were not to cling to it. Why should a solid habi­tation be constructed for the body, since it is itself only a fragile vessel? It should indeed be cared for and purified as the house of the soul, as a sacred temple, but it should not be polluted, or to the prej­udice of the soul either overburdened or treated too delicately. From such discourse Jesus turned again to the house of His Father, to the Messiah, and all the signs by which He might be recognized. Among the latter He mentioned the fact that He was to be born of an illustrious race, though of simple, pious parents, and added that, according to the signs of the time, He must have already come. They should, Jesus said, attach themselves to Him and observe His teachings.

Jesus next taught on the love of the neighbor and good example. Turning to the bridegroom Salathiel, He told him to allow his house to stand open, to have perfect confidence in what He had said to him, and to live piously; if he did so, God would guard his house for him and nothing would be stolen from him. Salathiel had received for his new house far

Life of Jesus Christ by Anne Catherine Emmerich
Vol 3

This document is: ACE_3_0491

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