The Miracle of the Palm Tree (The Journey of Baby Jesus Continues)
by Bob Schwartz
More from The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew (see previous post Baby Jesus Is Worshiped by Dragons and Other Wild Beasts)
The Miracle of the Palm Tree
1 Then, after these things, on the third day after they had started out, Mary was weary from too much sun in the wilderness, and seeing a palm tree she wanted to rest awhile in its shade. Joseph hastened to lead her to the palm and he had her descend from the donkey. When Mary sat down, she looked to the foliage on the palm and saw that it was full of fruit, and she said, “If only I could get some of that fruit from the palm!” Joseph said to her, “I am surprised that you’re saying this, when you can see how high the palm is. You are thinking of the fruit of the palm; but I am thinking about the water that we no longer have in our water skins; we have nowhere to replenish them to quench our thirst.”
2 Then the young child Jesus, sitting in the lap of his mother, the virgin, cried out to the palm tree and said, “Bend down, O tree, and refresh my mother from your fruit.” Immediately when he spoke, the palm tree bent its top down to Mary’s feet. Everyone gathered the fruit in it and was refreshed. After all its fruit had been gathered, the tree remained bent, expecting that it would rise up at the command of the one who had ordered it to bend over. Then Jesus said to it, “Stand erect, O palm, and be strong, and become a companion of my trees that are in the paradise of my Father. And open up from your roots the hidden springs, that water may flow from them to quench our thirst.” Immediately the palm stood erect, and from its roots springs of water began to come forth, clear, cold, and very sweet. When they saw the springs of water flowing, they all rejoiced with a great joy and drank, together with their beasts and companions, giving thanks to God.
The image above is taken from a 14th century manuscript of the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew.