In the narrative of his baptism by John, Jesus is in the waters of the Jordan in the midst of the people. By having himself baptized in the midst of the repentant people, Jesus manifested the meaning of his mission. He chose to be baptized by John. John was the prophetic voice calling people to repentance and a change of heart. The kind of change for which John appealed had nothing to do with ritual purity or petty details of observance. He was a social prophet who dared to speak truth to power. Jesus came with the good news of a better way of living, a new way of relating to one another and to God. The gospel indicates that as the water of baptism poured over him from John’s hand, he had an experience of the presence of the Holy Spirit within him. He was called to the desert to fast and pray and prepare himself to begin his mission.
Today if you hear God’s voice harden not your heart.
Where do I hear the prophetic voices today? Is there a consistent message? How does the teaching of Jesus respond to them? Do I have the courage to choose and follow?
Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan
to be baptized by him.
John tried to prevent him, saying,
“I need to be baptized by you,
and yet you are coming to me?”
Jesus said to him in reply,
“Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us
to fulfill all righteousness.”
Then he allowed him.
Your ‘baptism’ is that moment when you get it–when you get your life’s purpose, when you get your meaning, when one day you wake up and say, ‘I think I know what I was created for.
The task of prophetic ministry is to nurture, nourish, and evoke a consciousness and perception alternative to the consciousness and perception of the dominant culture around us.
We need people with moral courage to speak and write their real thoughts, and to stand by their convictions, even to the very death.
Robert Green Ingersoll
John the Baptist was the only man in that society who impressed Jesus. Here was the voice of God warning the people of an impending disaster and calling for a change of heart in each and every individual. Jesus believed this and joined with those who were determined to do something about it. He was baptized by John.
The Holy Spirit is descending on Christ-and through him descends on the whole world. The water flowing from the hand of john the Baptist inaugurates the season of God’s great favor…Today that same Spirit again embraces humanity and all creation, warming us with the life that is God.
Follow your honest convictions and be strong.
William Makepeace Thackeray
Never for the sake of peace and quiet deny your convictions.
Strong convictions precede great actions.
Louisa May Alcott
Another way of judging the value of a prophet’s religious experience, therefore, would be to examine the type of manhood that he has created, and the cultural world that has sprung out of the spirit of his message.
It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.
J. K. Rowling