Open Bible:
January 2003 

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The Baptism of Jesus




The Bible

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The Baptism of Jesus, Mt 3, 13-17

Jesus was among the crowd gathering around John-the-Baptist to be baptized in the Jordan River. He was not getting the attention of the others. He just followed the common practice and submitted himself to a baptism of penance. Rather curious behavior because Jesus did not need a baptism of penance.

Le Baptême de Jésus In fact John-the-Baptist protested when he saw Jesus coming to him. " It is me who needs to be baptized by you and you come to me!" 

He could not understand why Jesus insisted to be a man like any other man. And Jesus answered to John-the-Baptist: " For the moment let me do it: in this way We are accomplishing what is just" This: "We" shows that these two, how different they are in their way of living and in their mission, will do all that God wants them to do. They will meet a violent death. John will be beheaded, Jesus will be crucified. The disciples of Jesus and John will not be able to oppose their two masters.

Jesus submitted himself to the baptism of penance but he took another direction. John-Baptist was announcing in the desert, as coming soon, the terrible day of Judgment. Him, Jesus, was going to towns and villages to announce the Good News of salvation. This considerable change will astonish John-Baptist himself, who one day from his prison will send to ask Jesus this question: " Are you the one who has to come or shall we wait for another one?"

The baptism in the Jordan with the entire crowd was a kind of an event for Jesus. An event that impressed him. It was a decisive turning point. He took conscience of his mission and his spiritual origin. From the personal experience of Jesus, Mathew made it into a public statement: " This is my beloved Son". The sky opened up and it is the first revelation of the mystery of Jesus, the Son of the Father.

The sky opens up because time has come for God to speak. With Jesus the word of God is going to be firmly heard again.

With the sign of the dove, Jesus understood that his mission is to make a new creation, wanted by God and Israel will be the first to receive it.  colombe 

One can see that the immersion for penance asked by John-Baptist has completely changed of meaning. Jesus will make everything new, announcing the Gospel to the poor, the liberation to the prisoners, the sight to the blind.