An Excellent book for entering the life of Christ as it was during His life time.
Book: In the Steps of Jesus
Author: H.V. Morton
Dodd, Mead & Company, New York, pp. 218
Excerpt from Introduction:
This book is based on my In The Steps of The Master and I have prepared it for younger readers. I have done this with great pleasure, because I think that a book of this kind would have interested me when I was young and might have helped to answer many of the questions I was in the habit of asking.
For something like sixteen hundred years pilgrims have been visiting the land in which Jesus was born and in which He died. They have gone there to see for themselves such places as Bethlehem, Nazareth, Galilee and Jerusalem, and many have hoped that walking literally in the steps of Jesus, they might draw nearer to Him in spirit.
Excerpt from Book:
I stopped at a humble little village. I do not know the name of it. In a clearing several women sat beside a black pot beneath which blazed the thorn bushes that grow all over Palestine. As the thorns burned they made a crackling, splitting sound, and I realized the descriptive power of that famous line in Ecclesiastes: “As the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool.”
In the fields around this village men were unconsciously illustrating the Bible. One man was guiding a plow drawn by an ox and a camel. This is unfair on the smaller animal. The wooden yoke sinks from the high camel to the low ox so that he bears more than his share of the weight, and this clumsy arrangement chafes the necks of both animals.
Is not this exactly what St. Paul meant in this Second Epistle to the Corinthians: “Be you unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness, and what communion has light with darkness?”
A little further on was another plowman. He drove a restless, difficult ox. The beast was not broken in the plow. He lowered his head and tried to back. The plowman carried in his hand a pointed stick used for scraping the earth from the plowshare. Whenever the ox grew difficult he prodded him with the spike, and I knew that I was seeing something that Jesus had seen and noticed as He walked the roads of Palestine.
“Saul, Saul,” cried Jesus, “why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the pricks.”
Table of Contents:
Chapter One: Describes a journey to the Holy Land and an impression of Jerusalem. I visit the Holy Sepulcher; the Mount of Olives, the Garden of Gethsemane and the ghost of Solomon’s Temple.
Chapter Two: I go down to Jericho and visit the Inn of the Good Samaritan. I find Jericho in a trench of tropical heat and I explore the shores of the Dead Sea and come to the river Jordan.
Chapter Three: In Bethlehem I enter the Grotto of the Nativity and meet the descendants of the Crusaders. I travel to Beersheba, where I attend a sitting of a tribal court. I watch camels bathing in the sea at Ascalon and, in the country round about, I notice many Biblical scenes and characters.
Chapter Four: I stay awhile at Nazareth and watch the village carpenter at work. I go on into Galilee where I stay at Tiberias. I meet the fishermen of Galilee and go fishing with them on the lake.
Chapter Five: I stay in a garden on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. I discover the ruined Church of the Loaves and Fishes. I try to help a dog at Caesarea Philippi.
Chapter Six: I go to Jerusalem for Easter; I attend the ceremonies of the Washing of the Feet, the Holy Fire and the Searching for the Body of Christ. In the exciting atmosphere of the Holy City I attempt to reconstruct the events, which led to the Crucifixion.
Illustrations in Book:
Christ’s body, removed from the cross, was laid on the stone shelf where the priest rests his hands
A procession in the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem has followed Christ’s path to the Crucifixion place where the Holy Sepulcher Church now stands.
The road that climbs to Nazareth where Jesus spent his boyhood.
The road to Jericho, the probable setting of the Good Samaritan parable.
A monk in the present-day Garden of Gethsemane
The Sea of Galilee which Jesus knew and loved.
The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, built above a cave that has been long recognized as the birthplace of Jesus.
The Jordan River, near where Jesus is believed to have been baptized.
Fishermen mending their precious nets.
A modern Good Samaritan, an Arab, wearing a Western coat and carrying an injured sheep.
A Samaritan Madonna today.
The city of Tiberias as it appears today, with the Sea of Galilee in the background.
Ruins of the Synagogue in Capernaum.
All that remains of Heriod’s Judgment Hall in Sebaste
A boy washing the dust from his feet in the pool at the Mosque of Omar in Jerusalem.
An interesting study of faces — ragamuffins in a street of modern Jerusalem.
Narrow, cobbled streets steps in Jerusalem
View from the path outside the city wall on the east side of Jerusalem.
Modern Jerusalem, showing the enormous Moslem Mosque, the Dome of the Rock, which occupies the site of Solomon’s temple.
Girl carrying water from the Virgin’s Well under the city wall in Jerusalem