Jesus has come to the age of thirty years, as he himself said unto me, went up to Mount Olives with his mother to gather olives. Then at midday, as he was praying, when he came to these words: ‘Lord, with mercy . . . ,’ he was surrounded by an exceeding bright light and by an infinite multitude of angels, who were saying: ‘Blessed be God.’ The angel Gabriel presented to him as it were a shining mirror, a book, which descended into the heart of Jesus, in which he had knowledge of what God hath done and what hath said and what God willeth insomuch that everything was laid bare and open to him; as he said unto me: ‘Believe, Barnabas, that I know every prophet with every prophecy, insomuch that whatever I say the whole bath come forth from that book.’
Jesus, having received this vision, and knowing that he was a prophet sent to the house of Israel, revealed all to Mary his mother, telling her that he needs must suffer great persecution for the honour of God, and that he could not any longer abide with her to serve her. Whereupon, having heard this, Mary answered: ‘Son. ere thou west born all was announced to me; wherefore blessed be the holy name of God. Jesus departed therefore that day from his mother to attend to his prophetic office.
An Islamic Perspective and Commentary
Jesus (peace be on him) receives the book at age thirty brought to him by the angel Gabriel(peace be on him). In Islam, Gabriel is a highly honoured and trustworthy Messenger from God. It is Gabriel who brought revelations from God to the earlier Prophets and then finally brought the Holy Quran to Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him).
It is the first time we see that St. Barnabas mentions his direct communication with Jesus. Jesus’ midday prayer is also mentioned, which perhaps he was used to doing daily.
The text also delineates another fact, that Jesus was sent as a prophet to the house of Israel and not to the entire mankind. This is not to say that the non-Israelites can not benefit from his teachings and his life. It is just that his mission was special for the Israelites.