Life of Jesus Christ by Anne Catherine Emmerich
Vol 2

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Jesus and the Paralytic


That evening Jesus went with the Levites and the children to take a walk outside the city. The little girls followed last, in the charge of the larger ones. Jesus, letting the boys go on ahead, stood still from time to time until these little ones came up, and then instructed them in examples drawn from nature, from all the objects around them, the trees, fruits, flowers, bees, birds, sun, earth, water, flocks, and field labors. In indescribably beautiful words, He next taught the boys about Jacob and the well that he had dug in that locality. He told them that now the living water was about to be poured upon them, and how perfidious a thing it was to fill up, choke up the well, as the enemies of Abraham and Jacob had done. He applied it to those that wanted to sup­press the doctrine and miracles of the Prophets, namely, the Pharisees.

When on the following morning Jesus went to the synagogue, He found there all the Pharisees and Sad­ducees of the place, as also a great concourse of peo­ple. He opened the Scriptures and expounded the Prophets. Some of the Pharisees and Sadducees obsti­nately disputed with Him, but He put them all to shame. A man whose arms and hands were para­lyzed had meantime been slowly making his way to the door of the synagogue. He had been so long try­ing, and had at last succeeded in getting a position by which Jesus must pass on going out. One of the Pharisees eyed the poor creature with displeasure, and ordered him away. As he refused to obey, they tried to push him out. But he supported himself as well as he could against the door and looked piteously at Jesus, who was on a high seat at a considerable distance from the entrance and separated from him by an immense crowd. Jesus turned toward him and said: "What do you desire of Me?" The man answered: "Master, I implore Thee to cure me. Thou canst do it, if Thou wilt!" Jesus replied: "Thy faith hath saved thee. Stretch forth thy hands above the people," and


Life of Jesus Christ

 in that moment the man was healed at a distance. He raised up his hands praising God. Then Jesus said: "Go home, and raise no excitement!" But the man replied: "Master, how can I be silent on so great a benefit?" and he went out and told it to all that he met. And now crowds of sick gathered before the synagogue, and Jesus cured them as He passed out. After that He dined with the Pharisees who, in spite of their inward displeasure, always treated Him cour­teously. This was part of their policy, that they might the more easily entrap Him. He performed more cures that evening.

13. Jesus Goes From Abelmahula To Bezech

Next morning found Jesus still at the school of Abelmahula. He was quite surrounded by the little girls who crowded close upon Him, holding on to His garments and clasping His hand. He was unspeak­ably kind to them, and exhorted them to obedience and the fear of God. The larger ones stood back. The disciples present were somewhat annoyed and uneasy. They were anxious for their Master to take His depar­ture. According to their Jewish notions, such famil­iarity with children was not becoming in a Prophet, and they feared it would injure His reputation.

Jesus did not trouble Himself about their thoughts. After He had instructed all the children, addressed some exhortations to the larger ones, and encour­aged their teachers in their good resolutions, He directed one of the disciples to give the little girls a present, and each in effect received two small coins fastened together. I think they were two drachmas. Then Jesus blessed them all in general and left the place with the disciples, starting eastward toward the Jordan.

During the journey Jesus taught in a field before some huts where a crowd of laborers and shepherds

Jesus Outside Bezech


 had gathered. About four o'clock that afternoon, they reached the neighborhood of Bezech about two hours east of Abelmahula and near the Jordan. It was like two distinct cities, lying as it did on both sides of a stream that flowed into the Jordan. The country around was hilly and rugged, the houses stood some­what scattered. Bezech was less a city than two united villages. The inhabitants lived to themselves with very little intercourse with strangers. They were chiefly engaged in husbandry, and they leveled their rugged and hilly farmlands with great labor. They also manufactured agricultural implements for sale, and wove coarse carpets and canvas for tents.

About an hour and a half from this place, the Jor­dan made a bend toward the west, as if about to flow straight to Mount Olivet. It turned back, however, thus forming a kind of peninsula on its eastern bank, upon which stood a row of houses. In coming from Galilee to Abelmahula, Jesus had to cross a little river. Ennon was on the opposite side of the Jordan, about four hours, perhaps, from Bezech.

Jesus taught in an inn outside the city, the first of those erected for His and the disciples' accommo­dation that He had met on this journey since leav­ing Bethania. It was in the charge of a pious, upright man, who went out to meet the travelers, washed their feet and gave them refreshments, after which Jesus entered the city. The superintendents of the school came out into the street to receive Him, and He visited several houses and cured the sick.

There were now thirty disciples with Jesus. Those from Jerusalem and its environs had arrived with Lazarus, and several of John's disciples had come. Some of the latter were just from Machaerus with a message to Jesus from their master, a pressing request to reveal Himself more clearly and to say only that He was the Messiah. Among these messen­gers of John was the son of the widower Cleophas. I think he was Cleophas of Emmaus, a relative of


Life of Jesus Christ

 Cleophas, the husband of Mary's eldest sister. Another of these disciples was Judas Barsabas, related to Zachary of Hebron. His parents, though living now in Cana, had once dwelt in Nazareth. Among these dis­ciples of John, I still recall others. The sons of Mary Heli, the eldest sister of the Blessed Virgin, were John's disciples. They were born so long after their sister Mary Cleophas that they were scarcely older than her sons. They clung to the Baptist until he was beheaded, and then joined the disciples of Jesus.

The married couple who directed the inn at Bezech were good, devout people. They observed continence by virtue of a vow, although they were not Esseni­ans. They were distant relatives of the Holy Family. During His stay here, Jesus had several private inter­views with these good people.

All the friends and disciples ate and slept with Jesus in the newly erected inn. They found ready for them, thanks to the forethought of Lazarus and the holy women, table furniture, covers, carpets, beds, screens, and even sandals and other articles of cloth­ing. Martha had near the desert of Jericho a house full of women whom she kept busy preparing all these things. She had gathered together many poor widows and penniless girls, who were striving to lead a good life. There they lived and worked together. All was carried on quietly and unknown to the pub­lic. It was no little thing to provide for so many inns and so many people and to superintend them con­stantly—above all, to send messengers around to them, or give them personal attention.

Next morning Jesus delivered a long and magnif­icent discourse on a hill in the middle of the city, where the inhabitants had erected for Him a teacher's chair. The crowd was great, and among them were about ten Pharisees, who had come from the places around with the intention of catching Jesus in His words. His teaching here was mild and full of love, for the people, who were well disposed, had profited

Jesus at Bezech


 by John's visit and instructions, and especially by the baptism which many of them had received. Jesus exhorted them to remain contented with their hum­ble condition, to be industrious, and to show mercy to their neighbor. He spoke of the reign of grace, of the Kingdom, of the Messiah, and more significantly than ever of Himself. He alluded to John and his testimony, to his imprisonment and the persecution directed against him. He spoke likewise of the royal adulterer for the denunciation of whom John had been cast into prison, though in Jerusalem certain men guilty of the same crime, but who had carried on their evil doings less openly than Herod, had been condemned and executed. Jesus spoke significantly and to the point. He gave particular admonitions to each condition, age, and sex. A Pharisee having asked whether He was going to take John's place, or whether He was the one of whom John had spoken, Jesus answered indirectly and reproached the ques­tioner with his evil intention to entrap Him.

After that Jesus gave a very touching instruction to the boys and girls. He counseled the boys to bear with one another. If one should strike a companion or throw him down, the ill-treated party should bear it patiently and think not of retaliating. He should turn away in silence, forgiving his enemy, and his love should become twice as great as it was before, yes, for they should show affection even to enemies. They should not covet the goods of others. If a boy wanted the pen, the writing materials, the plaything, the fruit belonging to his neighbor, the latter should relinquish not only the object coveted, but give him still more if allowed to do so. They should fully sat­isfy their neighbor's cupidity if permitted to give the things away, for only the patient, the loving, and the generous should have a seat in His Kingdom. This seat Jesus described to them in childlike terms as a beautiful throne.

He spoke of earthly goods which a man must give


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 up in order to attain those of Heaven. Among other admonitions to the girls, He warned them not to seek to excel others, not to envy others for their fine clothes, but to be gentle and obedient, to love their parents and fear God.

At the close of the public instruction, Jesus turned to His disciples, consoled them with more than ordi­nary tenderness, and exhorted them to bear all things with Him and not to be preoccupied with the cares of this world. He promised that they should be richly rewarded by their Father in Heaven and, with Him­self, should possess the Kingdom. He spoke to them of the persecutions that He and they would have to suffer, and said plainly: "If the Pharisees, the Sad­ducees, or the Herodians should love or praise ye, it would be a sign that ye had wandered from My teach­ings and were no longer My disciples." He mentioned those sects with significant nicknames. Then He praised the people of the place, particularly for their charitable compassion, for they often took poor orphans from the school at Abelmahula into their service. He congratulated them on the new synagogue they had built by contribution, in which some of the devout souls of Capharnaum also had joined. Then He cured many of their sick, took a repast with all the disciples at the inn, and in the evening when the Sabbath began, went to the synagogue.

Jesus taught in the synagogue from Isaias 51:12, "I,I myself will comfort you." He spoke against human respect, telling them that they should not fear the Pharisees and other oppressors, but remember that God had created them and preserved them till the present. He explained the words: "I have put My words in thy mouth," to mean that God had sent the Messiah, that this Messiah was God's Word in the mouth of His people, that this Messiah gave utter­ance to God's Word, and that they themselves were God's people. Jesus applied all this so clearly to Him­self that the Pharisees whispered among themselves

Teaching in the Synagogue


 that He was palming Himself off for the Messiah. Then He said that Jerusalem should awaken from her intoxication, for the hour of wrath had passed and that of grace had dawned. The unfruitful syna­gogue had given birth to not one that could lead and raise up the poor people, but now should sinners, hypocrites, and oppressors be chastised and oppressed in their turn. Jerusalem should arise, Sion should awaken! Jesus applied all in a spiritual sense to the pious and holy, to the penitent, to those that through the Jordan—that is, through Baptism—should go into the Promised Land of Canaan, into the Kingdom of His Father. The uncircumcised, the impure, the licen­tious, the sinful should no longer corrupt the peo­ple. He taught of Redemption and of the Name of God, which should now be announced among them. Then from Deuteronomy 16, 17, and 18, He spoke of judges and public officers, of prevarication and bribery, and inveighed vehemently against the Phar­isees. After that He cured many sick outside the syn­agogue.

The next day Jesus again taught in the syna­gogue, taking His texts from Isaias 51 and 52, and from Deuteronomy 16-21. He spoke of John and the Messiah. He gave signs by which the latter might be recognized, and they were different from those by which He usually designated Him. He said plainly that He Himself was the Messiah, for many of His hearers were already, through the teaching of John, well prepared for the announcement. Jesus based this part of His discourse upon Isaias 52:13-15. He said: "The Messiah will gather ye together. He will be full of wisdom, He will be exalted and glorified. Many of ye have shuddered at the thought of Jerusalem's being laid waste and desolate under the rule of the Gentiles, and in like manner will your Redeemer be persecuted and despised by men. He will be a man without repute among other men. And yet He will baptize, will purify the Gentiles. He will


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 teach kings, who will be silent before Him, and they to whom He has not been announced will both hear of Him and see Him." Then Jesus recounted all that He had done, all the miracles He had wrought since His baptism, the persecution He had undergone at Jerusalem and Nazareth, the contempt He had endured, the spying and scornful laughter of the Pharisees. He alluded to the miracle at Cana, to the healing of the blind, the dumb, the deaf, the lame, and to the raising from the dead of the daughter of Jairus of Phasael. Pointing in the direction of Phasael, He said: "It is not very far from here. Go and ask whether I say the truth!" Then He contin­ued: "Ye have seen and known John. He proclaimed himself the precursor of the Messiah, the preparer of His ways! Was John an effeminate man, one given to the softness and delicacy of high life? Was he not rather reared in the wilderness? Did he dwell in palaces? Did he eat of costly dishes? Did he wear fine clothing? Did he make use of flattering words? But he called himself the precursor—then did not the servant wear the livery of his Lord? Would a king, a rich, a glorious, a powerful king such as ye expect your Messiah to be, have such a precursor? And yet ye have the Redeemer in your midst, and ye will not recognize Him. He is not such as your pride would have Him, He is not such as ye are yourselves, therefore ye will not acknowledge Him!"

Jesus then turned to Deuteronomy 18:18-19: "I will raise them up a prophet out of the midst of their brethren ... " "And he that will not hear his words, which he shall speak in my name, I will be the revenger," and He delivered a powerful discourse upon these texts. No one dared oppose a word to His teach­ing. He said: "John lived solitary in the desert. He mingled not with men, and ye blamed the life he led. I go from place to place, I teach, I heal, and that too ye blame! What kind of a Messiah do ye want? Each one would like to have a Messiah according to his

Jesus Cures the Sick


 own ideas! Ye resemble children running in the streets. Each makes for himself the instrument he likes best. One brings forth low, bass notes from the horn he has twisted out of bark, and another screeches high on his flute of reeds." Then Jesus named all kinds of playthings used by children, saying that His hearers were like the owners of those toys. Each wanted to sing upon his own note, each was pleased with his own toy alone.

Toward evening, when Jesus left the synagogue, He found a great crowd of sick waiting for Him out­side. Some were lying on litters over which awnings had been stretched. Jesus, followed by His disciples, went from one to the other, curing them. Here and there appeared some poor possessed, raging and cry­ing after Him. He delivered them as He passed, and commanded them to be silent. There were paralyt­ics, consumptives, the deaf, the dumb, and the drop­sical with tumors or scrofulous swellings on their neck. Jesus healed all, one after the other, by the imposition of hands, though His manner and touch were different in different cases. Some were entirely cured at once, a little weakness alone remaining; others were greatly relieved, the perfect cure fol­lowing quickly according to the nature of the mal­ady and the dispositions of the invalid. The cured moved away chanting a Psalm of David. But there were so many sick that Jesus could not go around among them all. The disciples lent their aid in rais­ing, supporting, and disembarrassing them of their wrappings and covers. At last Jesus laid His hands on the head of Andrew, of John, and of Judas Barsabas, took their hands into His own, and com­manded them to go and, in His name, do to some of the sick as He had done. They instantly obeyed and cured many.

After that, Jesus and the disciples returned to the inn, where they took a repast at which no stranger was present. Jesus blessed the food. A great part of


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 it was left, and this He sent to the poor heathens encamped outside Bezech and to the other poor. The disciples had instructed the pagans belonging to the caravans.

Immense multitudes had assembled in Bezech from both shores of the Jordan. All that had heard John were now eager to hear Jesus. The heathen cara­vans, though on their way to Ennon, had come hither to hear Him. Bezech was about three-quarters of an hour from the Jordan, on a swiftly flowing stream which divided the city into two parts.

14. Jesus Leaves Bezech and Goes to Ennon. Mary of Suphan

Jesus still taught and cured in the country around the inn. The neophytes, the pagan caravan, and many others took their way to the Jordan with the inten­tion of crossing. The ferry was an hour and a half to the south of Bezech, below a city called Zarthan, which was one hour's distance from the first named, and lower down on the Jordan. On the opposite side of the river, between Bezech and Zarthan, was a place called Adam. It was near that city of Zarthan that the Jordan had ceased to flow while the children of Israel were crossing. Solomon once had some vases cast here. That industry was still carried on. West of the bend that the Jordan makes in this neighbor­hood was a mountain extending off to Samaria, and in it was a mine from which was obtained a metal something like that which we call brass. Jesus taught all along the route. When questioned as to whether He intended to teach in Zarthan, He answered: "There are other localities that need it more. John was often there, so ye may ask the people whether he feasted and lived on dainty fare." The Jordan was here crossed by a great ferry, just below which began the detour of the river toward the west. After cross­ing, Jesus and His followers went on for about two

Jesus Goes to Ennon


 hours eastward and along the northern bank of a little stream that flowed into the Jordan somewhere below the ferry. Then they crossed another stream near which lay Socoth to their left, looking as if they had just stepped over it. They rested under tents between Socoth and Ennon, which places may have been about four hours apart. If they had again crossed the river and gone up a little distance, they could have seen Salem, which was hidden from them by the hilly bank. It was opposite Ennon, and some­what below the middle of another bend of the Jor­dan westward.

Crowds innumerable were collected at Ennon. The pagans were encamped between the hill upon which it was built, and the Jordan. There were ten Phar­isees present, some from Ennon, some from other places, among them the son of Simeon of Bethania. Some of them were reasonable enough and animated by upright intentions.

The little city of Ennon lay on the north side of the hill, as if built up entirely of beautiful villas. On this side and beyond the city was the source of the basin destined for Baptism, which was on the east side of the hill. The stream was conducted through the hill in metal pipes, which could be closed and opened when needed. There was a springhouse over the source.

The Pharisees, among them the son of Simon the Leper, came out to this place to meet Jesus and the disciples. They welcomed them cordially and politely, led them into a tent, washed their feet, brushed their garments, and presented them refreshments of honey, bread, and wine. Jesus congratulated them on the good dispositions of many among them though, as He said, it grieved Him that they belonged to that sect. He accompanied them to the city where He soon came to a court in which a crowd of sick of all kinds, some natives of the city, some strangers, were await­ing His arrival. Some were lying under tents, others


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 were in the halls that opened into the court. Many could walk, and Jesus helped them one after another with imposition of hands and words of admonition. The disciples assisted in bringing the sick forward, in raising them and freeing them from their covers, etc. The Pharisees and many others were present. Several women stood at a distance, pale and enveloped in their mantles. They were afflicted with an issue of blood. When Jesus had finished with the rest, He approached them, laid His hands upon them, and cured them. Among the sick were paralytics and drop­sical; consumptives, some with abscesses on their necks and other parts of the body (though not such as to render them unclean); the deaf and the dumb; in a word, sufferers of all kinds.

At the extremity of this court was a large portico opening into the city. I saw in it many spectators, Pharisees and women. To the Pharisees of Ennon, since there were upright souls among them and also because they had received Him frankly and respect­fully, Jesus showed a certain indulgence that He had not exhibited in other places. He wished thereby to make void the reproach that He associated only with publicans, sinners, and vagrants. He wanted to show them that He would pay them due honor if they demeaned themselves properly and with upright intentions. They showed great activity in preserving order among the people on this occasion, and Jesus allowed them to do it.

While Jesus was busy curing the sick, a beautiful woman of middle age and in the garb of a stranger entered the large portico by the gate leading from the city. Her head and hair were wound in a thin veil woven with pearls. She wore a bodice in shape somewhat like a heart, and open at the sides, some­thing like a scapular thrown over the head and fas­tened together around the body by straps reaching from the back. Around the neck and breast it was ornamented with cords and pearls. From it fell, in

The Adulteress


 folds to the ankle, two deep skirts, one shorter than the other. Both were of fine white wool embroidered with large, colored flowers. The sleeves were wide and fastened with armlets. To the shoulder straps that connected the front and back of the bodice was attached the upper part of a short mantle that fell over the arms. Over this flowed a long veil, of the whiteness of wool.

The woman, ashamed and anxious, entered slowly and timidly, her pale countenance bespeaking con­fusion and her eyes red from weeping. She wanted to approach Jesus, but the crowd was so great that she could not get near Him. The Pharisees keeping order went to her, and she at once addressed them: "Lead me to the Prophet, that He may forgive my sins and cure me!" The Pharisees stopped her with the words: "Woman, go home! What do you want here? The Prophet will not speak to you. How can He forgive you your sins? He will not busy Himself with you, for you are an adulteress." When the woman heard these words, she grew pale, her countenance assumed a frightful expression, she threw herself on the ground, rent her mantle from top to bottom, snatched her veil from her head and cried: "Ah, then I am lost! Now they lay hold of me! They are tear­ing me to pieces! See, there they are!" and she named five devils who were raging against her, one of her husband, the other four of her paramours. It was a fearful spectacle. Some of the women standing around raised her from the ground, and bore her wailing to her home. Jesus knew well what was going on, but He would not put the Pharisees of this place to shame. He did not interfere, but quietly continued His work of healing, for her hour had not yet come.

Soon after, accompanied by the disciples and Phar­isees, and followed by the people, Jesus went through the city to the hill upon which John had formerly taught. It was in the center of moss-covered ram­parts


Life of Jesus Christ

 and there were some buildings around. On the side by which they approached was a half-ruined castle, in one of whose towers Herod took up his abode during John's teaching. The whole hill was already covered with the expectant crowd. Jesus mounted to the place where John had taught. It was covered with a large awning open on all sides. Here He delivered a long discourse in which He spoke of the mercy of God to men, particularly to His own people. He ran through the entire Scriptures, showed God's guidance of His chosen nation, His promises to them, and proved that they were all being real­ized in the present. Jesus did not, however, say so openly at Ennon as He had done at Bezech that He was Himself the Messiah. He spoke also of John, his imprisonment and his mission. One crowd of lis­teners was at intervals supplanted by another, that all might hear His words. Jesus questioned some of them as to why they wanted to receive Baptism, why they had put it off till the present, and what they thought the ceremony to be. He divided them into classes, some of which were to be baptized at once, and others only after further instruction. I remember the answer of one group of neophytes to the question why they had delayed till now. One of the number said: "Because John constantly taught that a Man was to come who would be greater than himself. We waited consequently in order to receive still greater grace." At these words, all that approved the response raised their hands. They formed a spe­cial class to receive more particular instructions as preparation for Baptism.

The discourse ended at about three o'clock in the afternoon. Then Jesus and the disciples went with the Pharisees down the hill and into the city, where a great entertainment had been prepared for Him in one of the public halls. But when He drew near the hall, He stopped short, saying: "I have another kind of hunger," and He asked (though He already

Mary of Suphan


 knew) where that woman lived whom they had sent away from Him in the morning. They pointed out the house. It was near the hall of entertainment. Jesus left His companions standing where they were, while He went forward and entered the house through the courtyard.

As Jesus approached, I saw the fearful torture and affliction of the woman inside. The devil, who had possession of her, drove her from one corner to another. She was like a timorous animal that would hide itself. As Jesus was traversing the court and drawing near to where she was, she fled through a corridor and into a cellar in the side of the hill upon which her house was built. In it was a vessel like a great cask, narrow above and wide below. She wanted to hide herself in it, but when she tried to do so, it burst with a loud crash. It was an immense earthen vessel. Jesus meantime halted and cried: "Mary of Suphan, wife of ... " (here He pronounced her hus­band's name, which I have forgotten) "I command thee in the Name of God to come to Me!" Then the woman, enveloped from head to foot, as if the demon forced her still to hide in her mantle, came creeping to Jesus' feet on all fours, like a dog awaiting the whip. But Jesus said to her: "Stand up!" She obeyed, but drew her veil tightly over her face and around her neck as if she wanted to strangle herself. Then said the Lord to her: "Uncover thy face!" and she unwound her veil, but lowering her eyes and avert­ing them from Jesus as if forced to do so by an inter­ior power. Jesus, approaching His head to hers, said: "Look at Me!" and she obeyed. He breathed upon her, a black vapor went out of her on all sides, and she fell unconscious before Him. Her servant maids, alarmed by the loud bursting of the cask, had hur­ried thither and were standing nearby. Jesus directed them to take their mistress upstairs and lay her on a bed. He soon followed with two of the disciples that had accompanied Him, and found her weeping


Life of Jesus Christ

 bitter tears. He went to her, laid His hand on her head, and said: "Thy sins are forgiven thee!" She wept vehemently and sat up. And now her three chil­dren entered the room, a boy about twelve years old, and two little girls of about nine and seven. The girls wore little short-sleeved tunics embroidered in yel­low. Jesus stepped forward to meet the children, spoke to them kindly, asked them some questions, and gave them some instruction. Their mother said: "Thank the Prophet! He has cured me!" whereupon the lit­tle ones fell on the ground at Jesus' feet. He blessed them, led them one by one to their mother, in order of age, and put their little hands into hers. It seemed to me that, by this action, Jesus removed from the children the disgrace, and thus legitimatized them, for they were the fruits of adulterous unions. Jesus still consoled the woman, telling her that she would be reconciled with her husband, and counseling her thenceforth to live righteously in contrition and penance. After that He went with the disciples to the entertainment of the Pharisees.

This woman was from Suphan in the land of Moab. She was a descendant of Orpha, the widow of Che­lion, and daughter-in-law of Noemi, who upon the latter's advice did not go with her to Bethlehem, though Ruth, the widow of Orpha's other son Mahalon, accompanied Noemi thither. Orpha, the widow of Chelion, who was the son of Elimelech of Bethlehem, married again in Moab, and from that union sprang the family of Mary the Suphanite. She was a Jewess and rich, but an adulteress. The three children that she had with her at the time of her conversion were illegitimate. Her legitimate children had been retained by their father when he repudi­ated his unfaithful wife, their mother. She was liv­ing at this time in a house of her own at Ennon. For a long time she had conceived sentiments of sor­row for her disorders and had done penance, her conduct being so reserved and proper that she had

Mary of Suphan


 won the esteem of even the most respectable women of Ennon. The Baptist's preaching against Herod's unlawful connection had strongly affected her. She was often possessed by five devils. They had again seized upon her when, as a last resource, she had gone to the court where Jesus was curing the sick. The rebuff of the Pharisees and their words, which in her deep dejection she had taken as true, had driven her to the brink of despair. Through her descent from Orpha, Ruth's sister-in-law, she was connected with the House of David, the ancestral line of Jesus. It was shown me how this stream, deviating in her from its course and troubled by her abominable sins, was purified anew in her by the grace of Jesus and flowed once more in its direct course toward the Church.

Jesus went into the entertainment hall in which were the Pharisees and the rest of the disciples, and took His place with them at table. The Pharisees were somewhat displeased that Jesus had left them and gone to seek the woman whom they had so harshly repulsed that morning before so many peo­ple. But they said nothing, fearing to receive a reproof themselves. Jesus treated them with much consid­eration during the meal, and taught in numerous similitudes and parables. Toward the middle of the entertainment, the three children of the Suphanite entered in their holiday dresses. One of the little girls bore an urn full of odoriferous water, the other had a similar one of nard, and the boy carried a vessel. They entered the hall by the door opposite the unoccupied side of the table, cast themselves down before Jesus, and set their presents on the table in front of Him. Mary herself followed with her maids, but she dared not approach. She was veiled, and carried a shining crystal vase with col­ored veins like marble in which, surrounded by upright sprays of delicate green foliage, were vari­ous kinds of costly aromatics. Her children had


Life of Jesus Christ

 offered similar vases, but smaller. The Pharisees cast forbidding glances upon the mother and children. But Jesus said: "Draw near, Mary!" and she stepped humbly behind Him, while her children, to whom she had handed it, deposited her offering beside the others on the table. Jesus thanked her. The Phar­isees murmured as later on they did at Magdalen's present to Jesus. They thought it a great waste, quite opposed to economy and compassion for the needy; however, they only wanted something to bring against the poor woman. Jesus spoke to her very kindly, as also to the children, to whom He presented some fruit which they took away with them. The Suphanite remained veiled and standing humbly behind Jesus. He said to the Pharisees: "All gifts come from God. For precious gifts, gratitude gives in return what it has the most precious, and that is no waste. The people that gather and prepare these spices must live." Then He directed one of the disciples to give the value of them to the poor, spoke some words upon the woman's conversion and repen­tance, restored her to the good opinion of all, and called upon the inhabitants of the city to treat her affectionately. Mary spoke not a word, but wept qui­etly under her veil the whole time. At last she cast herself in silence at Jesus' feet, rose, and left the dining hall.

Jesus took this occasion to give some instruction against adultery. Which among them, He asked, felt himself free from spiritual adultery. He remarked that John had not been able to convert Herod, but that this poor woman had of her own accord turned away from her evil life, and then He related the para­ble of the sheep lost and found. He had already con­soled the woman in her own house, assuring her that her children would turn out well, and holding out to her the hope that she should one day join the women under Martha's supervision and work for the bene­fit of the inns. I saw the disciples after the entertain­ment

The Region of the Jabok


 giving abundantly of what was left to the poor. Jesus then went down to the west side of the hill of Ennon where the camp of the heathens lay at some distance. There was also, I think, a tent inn on this side. There Jesus instructed the heathens. Ennon was in the dominion of Herod, but it belonged, like a prop­erty across the boundary, to the Tetrarch Philip. Many soldiers of Herod were again there trying to find out news for their master.

15. Jesus in Ramoth-Galaad

From Ennon Jesus went with twelve disciples to the Jabok and the neighboring places. Andrew, James, John, and some other disciples remained at Ennon, in order to baptize at the pool of Baptism east of the hill. The water ran from the hill into the baptismal basin, formed a little lake behind it, watered some meadows as a little brook, and then fell into a reser­voir on the north of Ennon from which it could be turned at pleasure into the Jordan.

I saw Jesus with the disciples teaching in a city about one hour east of Socoth and on the south side of the Jabok. Among the numerous sick that He healed was a man who since his birth had one eye closed, Jesus moistened it with His saliva. The eye opened, and the man enjoyed perfect sight.

Jesus crossed the Jabok, which flows through a valley, and turned to the east until He came into the vicinity of Mahanaim, a nice, clean city in two sections. He sat down by the well outside, and soon out came the Elders of the synagogues and the chief men of the city with goblets, food, and drink. They bade Jesus welcome, washed His and the disciples' feet, poured ointment on Jesus' head, gave Him and the disciples a little luncheon, and conducted Him with great love and simplicity into the city. Jesus delivered a short discourse upon the Patriarch Jacob and of all that had happened to him in those parts.


Life of Jesus Christ

 Most of these people had been baptized by John. A patriarchal simplicity reigned in all the cities around this region, and many of the ancient customs were still observed. Jesus did not tarry long here, only time enough to receive the honors paid Him on His route.

From Mahanaim He went along the northern bank of the Jabok for about an hour eastward to the place where Jacob and Esau met. The valley here sinks deep. During the whole way Jesus taught His disci­ples. After some time they recrossed to the southern bank not far from where two little streams united to form the Jabok. Then they continued their jour­ney for about a mile to the east with the desert of Ephraim on their right.

After traversing the valley they found, upon a mountain ridge to the east of the forest of Ephraim, Ramoth-Galaad, a beautiful city, clean and regularly built. In it the heathens had their own quarter and temple. The sacred services were celebrated by Levites. One of the disciples went on ahead to announce Jesus' approach. The Levites and others of distinction were already awaiting Him in a tent near the well out­side the city. They washed the newcomers' feet, gave them the usual refreshments as a pledge of hospi­tality, and conducted them into the city. There they found a crowd of poor sick gathered on an open square to implore Jesus' help. He cured many of them. That evening He taught in the synagogue, for it was the beginning of the Sabbath that commemorated the sacrifice of Jephte's daughter, which in this city was celebrated as a mourning and national festival. There were crowds of young maidens and other people from the country around.

Jesus and the disciples took a repast with the Levites and stayed overnight in a house near the synagogue. There were in these parts no special inns prepared for Jesus. In Ennon, Kamon, and Mahanaim they were hired in advance, and the number of guests

Life of Jesus Christ by Anne Catherine Emmerich
Vol 2

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