Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.
As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
Matthew 3: 13-17 (NIV)
During our marriage, we’ve been fortunate to travel to a number of places in this country and others, and there are yet others we would like to see some time, if possible.
Certainly not urgent, and not necessary. It would just be nice, and maybe to visit some especially with family.
But there is one spot which I would love to visit and experience.
The Jordan River.
Maybe even to be baptized again.
Even to try to get a sense of what Christ must have felt as He immersed Himself in that moment for those of the day, who would eventually turn their backs on Him.
To remember all that Jesus did for us—knowing full well what they would do to Him—as He began His ministry and waded into the river to be baptized by John the Baptist.
Immersing Himself, much to the surprise of John and no doubt others watching in that moment. Certainly Jesus, sinless and perfect, didn’t need baptism for sin, but did so in obedience to God’s mission for Him to ultimately provide a path to salvation for humanity.
Being with those coming to the river, and sharing in their lives.
He was on a mission of His Father to offer salvation to everyday sinners like you and like me, and so He submitted, as He began His ministry, to John’s baptism for repentance and forgiveness. Identifying, by doing that, with the humanity of those He came to save then and there, and also with others since, and you and me today.
Demonstrating in His humanness, although sinless, that He was there for them and for us.
Maybe walking into the Jordan River would help me to remember that He really is here for me today. And maybe it would help you to remember that.
In the midst of all the difficulties of the day, which we all experience, difficulties which do their best to pull us away from that truth, maybe it would help us to remember that we don’t go it alone.
Maybe through all the moments where friends and others are not there when needed most, it would be a reminder that Jesus always is, and never leaves us.
The One who loves us the most is the One who stepped into the dirt and grime of that river of baptism, just as He steps into the dirt and grime of our lives today and lifts us to a new and better day.
Maybe my visit would simply be another confession and repentance, and a re-deposit of all my sins and shortcomings into the dirt and grime of that river—then containing mine too—which my Savior and Lord, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, also stepped into.
In His Name–Scott