Baptized in a River!
Baptized in a River!
When the Lord Jesus Christ began teaching others the Word of God many thought he was a prophet. They did not understand that He was the Son of God. It had been three or four hundred years since the people had been sent a prophet by God. Now the people wrongly thought they had two, the first St. John the Baptist and the second one, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Well, the people of the time were certainly right in recognizing that John the Baptist was indeed a prophet. But just as right as they were about St. John, they were equally wrong about the Lord Jesus Christ. He was certainly no ordinary prophet, rather HE WAS THE MESSIAH!
Who was John the Baptist? St. John was the son to Zechariah, an old priest, so the Word of God was familiar to him. He also like the Lord Jesus Christ would care for his mother, Elizabeth, at the death of his father. St. John would take his mother to the wilderness to escape the threats of sinful men and there he would eat locusts and wild honey. St. John wore clothing of camel's hair.
St. John made a great reputation for himself by his preaching and would come to have followers as the Lord Jesus Christ would one day too. So, John the Baptist was similar to the Lord in many ways. The greatest was their love for God.
John the Baptist moving from the depths of the wilderness now began preaching and teaching the Word of God and the coming of the Messiah to all the people who came to listen beside the River Jordan. Wonder why St. John the Baptist was preaching beside a river instead of at the most beautiful synagogue or street corner? Why didn't he stay inside the wilderness?
He was preaching along the River Jordan because he was baptizing those who believed in his teachings and were sorry for their sinful way of life. He needed a body of water deep enough to immerse those who wished to be baptized. Because of the many he baptized he earned the name of John "the Baptist".
John the Baptist did not pretend to be the Lord Jesus Christ, he told those he baptized that he baptized them with water only. St. John being a prophet could not baptize them with the Holy Spirit as only Jesus Christ could do that. Therefore with St. John the Baptist the Sacrament of Baptism was not yet instituted.
But John the Baptist would do a very great deed! He baptized the Lord Jesus Christ in the Jordan River, immersing His Holy Body into the river. When the Lord came up out of the water, St. John witnessed the Heavens open up and the Holy Spirit come down in the form of a pure white dove which rested upon the Lord Jesus Christ.
St. John also heard a voice coming from Heaven above which said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." It was at this very moment St. John was sure in his heart that this was the Son of God, the promised Messiah!
+Lesson: Baptism is very necessary and very special as the Lord Jesus Christ Himself was baptized by John the Baptist and God blessed it from Heaven.+
- Name St. John's father and mother.
- Explain why the Jordan River was chosen by St. John over the wilderness for preaching the Word of God.
- Discuss why the Lord Jesus Christ most probably chose St. John to baptize Him?
- What were some of the similarities between the Lord Jesus Christ and St. John the Baptist?
- Recite what the Voice from Heaven said when the Lord came up out of the water of the Jordan River.