Jesus Goes to Bethania
Next morning Jesus cured many sick of the city, although He passed before a number of houses without performing any cures. He healed also at the inn. After that He dismissed the Apostles, sending some to Capharnaum, and others to the place of the multiplication of the loaves. The holy women went to Bethania. Jesus Himself took the same direction, and celebrated the Sabbath at an inn with all the disciples whom He had brought back with Him from His great journey. They hung a lamp in the middle of the hall, laid a red cover on the table and over it a white one, put on their white Sabbath garments, and ranged round Jesus in the order observed at prayer. He prayed from a roll of writings. The whole party numbered about twenty. The Sabbath lamp burned the whole day, and Jesus alternately prayed and instructed the disciples in their duties. There was present a new disciple named Silvanus, whom Jesus had received in the last city. He was already thirty years old and of the tribe of Aaron. Jesus had known him from early youth, and looked upon him as His future disciple at the children’s feast given by holy Mother Anne when, as a boy of twelve, He returned from His teaching in the Temple. It was at the same feast that He had chosen the future bridegroom of Cana.
On the way to Bethania, Jesus, to continue His instructions for the benefit of the new disciples, explained to them the spoke to them of fidelity in His service, and told them that He would now teach awhile in Jerusalem, after which He would soon return to His Heavenly Father. He told them also that one would abandon Him, for treason was already in his heart. All these new disciples remained faithful. On this journey, Jesus healed several lepers who had been brought out on the road. One hour from Bethania, they entered the inn at which Jesus had taught so long before Lazarus’ resurrection and to which Magdalen had come forth to meet Him. The Blessed Virgin also was at the inn with other women, likewise five of the Apostles: Judas, Thomas, Simon, James the Less, Thaddeus, John Marc, and some others. Lazarus was not there. The Apostles came out a part of the way to meet the Lord at a well, where they saluted Him and washed His feet, after which He gave an instruction which was followed by a meal. The women then went on to Bethania while Jesus remained at the inn with the rest of the party. Next day, instead of going straight to Bethania, He made a circuit around the adjacent country with the three silent disciples. The rest of the Apostles and disciples separated into two bands, headed respectively by Thaddeus and James, and went around curing the sick. I saw them effecting cures in many different ways: by the imposition of hands, by breathing upon or leaning over the sick person, or in the case of children, by taking them on their knees, resting them on their breast and breathing upon them.
On this journey, Jesus cured a man possessed by the devil. The parents of the young man ran after Jesus just as He was entering a little village of scattered houses. He followed them into the court of their house, where He found their possessed son who, at the Lord’s approach, became furious, leaping about and dashing against the walls. His friends wanted to bind him, but they could not do it, as he grew more and more rabid, flinging right and left those that approached him. Thereupon Jesus commanded all present to withdraw and leave Him alone with the possessed. When they obeyed, Jesus called to the possessed to come to Him. But he, heeding not the call, began to put out his tongue and to make horrible grimaces at Jesus. Jesus called him again. He came not, but, with his head twisted over his shoulder, he looked at Him. Then Jesus raised His eyes to Heaven and prayed. When He again commanded the possessed to come to Him, he did so and cast himself full length at His feet. Jesus passed over him twice first one foot and then the other, as if treading him underfoot, and I saw rising from the open mouth of the possessed a black spiral vapor which disappeared in the air. In this rising exhalation, I remarked three knots, the last of which was the darkest and strongest. These three knots were connected together by one strong thread and many finer ones. I can compare the whole thing to nothing better than to three censers one above the other, whose clouds of smoke, issuing from different openings, at last united with one another.
The possessed now lay like one dead at Jesus’ feet. Jesus made over him the Sign of the Cross and commanded him to rise. The poor creature stood up. Jesus led him to his parents at the gate of the courtyard, and said to them: “I give you back your son cured, but I shall demand him again of you. Sin no more against him.” They had sinned against him, and it was on that account that he had fallen into so miserable a condition.
Jesus now went to Bethania. The man just delivered and many others went thither also, some before Jesus, others after Him. Many of those that had been cured by the Apostles were likewise present in the city, and a great tumult arose when the cured everywhere proclaimed their happiness. I saw some priests go to meet Jesus and conduct Him into the synagogue, where they laid before Him a book of Moses from which they desired Him to teach. There were many people in the school, and the holy women were in the place allotted to females..
They went afterward to the house of Simon of Bethania, the healed leper, where the women had prepared a repast in the rented hall. Lazarus was not there. Jesus and the three silent disciples spent the night at the inn near the synagogue, the Apostles and other disciples at that outside Bethania; Mary and the other women stayed with Martha and Magdalen. The house in which Lazarus formerly dwelt was toward the Jerusalem side of the city. It was like a castle, surrounded by moats and bridges.
Next morning Jesus again taught in the school where among the many disciples present were Saturnin, Nathanael Chased, and Zacheus. Many sick had been brought to Bethania. In the house of Simon, the healed leper, a meal was again prepared, at which Jesus distributed all the viands to the poor and invited them to partake with the other guests. This gave rise to the report among the Pharisees and in Jerusalem that Jesus was a spendthrift who lavished upon the mob all that He could lay hands on.
While Jesus was teaching in the school, the crowds of sick, all men, were ranged in a double row of tents from the school to Simon’s house. There were no lepers among them, for they showed themselves only in retired places. When Jesus approached the tents, three disciples followed Him like Levites, two on either side, but a little behind Him, and the third directly behind Him. There was no crowd. Jesus went up along one row of tents and down by the other, curing in various ways. He merely passed by some of the sick, and exhorted others without curing them. He told them that they should change their manner of life. Some He took by the hand and commanded to rise, while others He merely touched. One man affected with the dropsy, He stroked over the head and body with His hand, and the swelling immediately went down. The water poured from his whole person in a stream of perspiration. Many of the cured threw themselves prostrate at Jesus’ feet. His companions raised them and led them away. When the Lord returned to the school, He caused the cured to be seated near Him, and then He taught.
I saw Jesus sending out the disciples two by two from Bethania into the country to teach and to heal. Some He told to return to Bethania, and others to Bethphage. He Himself with the three silent disciples journeyed a couple of hours southward from Bethania to a little village where He healed the sick. Here I saw Him going into the house of a man whom He had once cured of dumbness, but who having sinned again, had now become paralyzed. His hands and fingers were quite distorted. Jesus addressed to him some words of exhortation and touched him. The man arose. He healed likewise several girls who were lying pale and sick. Sometimes they lay unconscious as if dead, and again they alternately wept and laughed heartily. They were lunatics.
When, before the Sabbath, Jesus again returned to Bethania and went to the school, I heard the Jews boasting against Him that He could not yet do what God had done for the Children of Israel when He rained down manna for them in the desert. They were indignant against Jesus. Jesus passed the night this time not in Bethania, but outside in the disciples’ inn.
While at this inn, three men came to Him from Jerusalem: Obed, the son of the old man Simeon, a Temple servant and a disciple in secret; the second, a relative of Veronica; and the third, a relative of Johanna Chusa. This last-mentioned became, later on, Bishop of Kedar. For a time also he lived as a hermit near the date trees that, on her flight into Egypt, had bent down their fruit to Mary that she might partake of it. These disciples asked why He had so long abandoned them, why He had in other places done so much of which they knew nothing. In His answer to these questions, Jesus spoke of tapestry and other precious things which looked new and beautiful to one that had not seen them for some time. He said also that if the sower sowed his seed all at once and in one place, the whole might
be destroyed by a hailstorm, so the instructions and cures that were scattered far and wide would not soon be forgotten. Jesus’ answers were something like the above.
These disciples brought the news that the High Priest and Pharisees were going to station spies in the places round Jerusalem in order to seize Him as soon as He appeared. Hearing this, Jesus took with Him only His two latest disciples, Selam of Kedar and Silvanus, and travelled the whole night with them to Lazarus’ estate near Ginea, where Lazarus himself was then stopping. Two days previously he was in the little city between Bethania and Bethlehem, in the neighborhood of which the Three Kings had rested on their journey to the latter place; but on receiving a message from Jesus, he had left and gone to his estate. Jesus knew very well that the three disciples would bring Him this news from Jerusalem and that He Himself would leave Bethania, therefore it was that He had already passed two nights not in Bethania, but in the disciples’ inn outside.
Jesus arrived before dawn (it was still dark) at Lazarus’ estate and knocked at the gate of the courtyard. It was opened by Lazarus himself who, with a light, conducted Him into a large hall where were assembled Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathea, John Marc, and Jairus, the younger brother of Obed.
I saw Jesus afterward with the two disciples again in Bethabara and Ephron, where He celebrated the Sabbath. Andrew, Judas, Thomas, James the Less, Thaddeus, Zacheus, and seven other disciples were present, having come hither from Bethania to meet Jesus. When Judas was about leaving Bethania, I saw the Blessed Virgin earnestly exhorting him to be more moderate, to watch over himself, and not interfere in affairs as he did.
In Ephron, Jesus healed the blind, the lame, the deaf and dumb, who had been brought thither for that purpose. He delivered one possessed also from the power of the devil.
On leaving Ephron, He went to a place north of Jericho where there was an asylum for the sick and the poor. Here He restored sight to an old blind man whom once before, when engaged in healing, He had sent away, although at the same time He had restored sight to two others by anointing their eyes with salve made of clay mixed with spittle. He now cured this man by His word alone. The village was situated on His way.
From this last place Jesus returned to Lazarus’ estate, and thence went with Lazarus to Bethania, whither the holy women came to meet Him.
Last teachings of Jesus and triumphal entry into Jerusalem – Part 1
Jesus Goes to Bethania