Join me on a journey with Jesus over the next 40 days. This is a journal of Mary Magdalene’s journey with Jesus throughout his ministry. May God speak to us through His powerful word and bless you.
Come with me to the Jordan River. Many people are already there. Can you not see the man baptising people in the river? It wasn’t unusual to see people being baptised, just not as many as there have been here recently. People were baptised often before as a symbol of being cleansed. They wash their hands before every meal and are cleaned after every sickness and women after every menstrual period. Cleanliness is key in a Jewish home.
I have been by the riverside several times listening to this man who calls himself John preach. He talks about a Messiah coming, someone greater than he. He keeps declaring that we must repent and be baptised. I have heard a lot about repentance from the times I have been to the synagogues but not like this. Surely we have to confess our sins to a priest and give a sacrificial offering not just saying it and being right immediately. This man says the Messiah is coming and going to baptise us with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit! I thought that was only for the priests and holy men. Me, be baptised with the Holy Spirit, I think this has to be unheard of!
Let’s sit by the river’s edge. The water is fairly warm today, the sun beaming down, not a cloud in the sky. More and more people gather in queues to be baptised.
This news of the Messiah’s arrival to save us is wonderful seeing that we haven’t heard anything from God for over 400 years! Yes, about 30 years ago we heard about a baby being born and angels singing and shepherds visited. You should have heard the stories about that night. Nothing else was said so our hopes have been dashed again. But here, now, I just have a feeling something wonderful is going to happen. It’s just a lovely day, so many people repenting, being baptised, and rejoicing.
After baptising so many people, John speaks up again. Silence fills the crowd. The singing stops. All eyes turn to him. A man is in the water asking John to baptise Him and John just looks at Him and asks why. The man looks at John and says “we must carry out all God requires.” John baptises the man and when He comes out of the water, the sun shone brighter. John then tells all of us, “This man is the Son of God who takes away the sins of the world. He is the one I was talking about when baptising you. He is greater than me and He has existed longer than me.”
There was a touch of heaven like I never felt before. Then out of the sky came a dove and landed on Jesus. He was filled with the Holy Spirit. We felt a touch of God’s presence. I didn’t hear a voice, yet I have heard later God had declared the man in the water as “His dearly loved Son who brings Him great joy and He is well pleased with Him.”
I don’t know what came over me. I began to weep. I felt awful because of all the wrongs I did. I had to join the queue to be baptised. I wanted to be cleansed because after seeing that man for some reason I felt like I needed to change. He just looked like an ordinary man, as one of us. How could He really be the Son of God? Is He really the Messiah who was promised by the prophets so long ago? Oh, I do hope so. I really want to follow Him. I want to know more about this mystery man.
It’s my turn now. I slowly walked into the water. I asked for forgiveness and then John baptised me. I came out of the water, rejoicing like everyone else did. I don’t know what has happened today, but I know I am not the same person I was when I came here. I told you I thought something wonderful was going to happen!
I have got to follow this man named Jesus. There is something about Him which makes my heart leap, my stomach goes into butterflies and makes me feel so different. Today is the beginning of something new in my life and I believe even in the life of Jesus. For now, I am going to rest by the riverside and let all of this soak in. Until later…
*The Spirit of God anointed Jesus for His ministry when the dove descended from Heaven upon Him.
*John, even though he was Jesus’ cousin and grew up with Him, realised that day Jesus is truly the “Chosen One of God” and is the “Messiah.”
*Jesus gives His approval to the message that John preached of repentance and confession of sin which is necessary for eternal life.
*Jesus justifies us, takes away our sins and baptises us with the Holy Spirit- filling us with enabling power!
For further study:
Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-23; John 1:29-34