So my Pastor was teaching out of Revelation this morning, but he mentioned John the Baptist (only as an example of a man being called an angel because he was a messenger, not a cherub.) and that name instantly brought to my mind the scene of John the Baptist baptizing Jesus, not as the Bible describes it, (not against it either) but as a memory, like I was looking back at something that happened in my life, and the whole thing unfolded in my mind in an instant, and I thought it might be best portrayed as a one man play, acting as John the Baptist... I don't know, but let me describe what I saw:
John is walking out of the Jordan with a man he just baptized. John, in his camel-hair and leather belt was a man of girth that could withstand the cold waters of the Jordan without much of a problem, but the man, skinny and shivering in his linen garments, (maybe an ephod or a tunic? I'm not up to date on my Biblical Fashions.) hugged himself as he came out of the water to rejoin his friends and endure the criticizing and scrutinizing gaze of the observing Pharisee's. John starts talking to the crowd. "Repent and be Baptized! For the Messiah is coming! Repent of your sins!" He can feel the cold stare of the Pharisees, but ignores it as best he can.
Then Jesus walks out of the crowd towards John. "Jesus!" John exclaimes, and greets his cousin with a hug and a kiss. "I haven't seen you in ages."
"You have been living in the wilderness." Jesus smiles.
John laughs, "I guess I have."
"I want you to baptize me." Jesus continues to smile.
John laughs again. "Me baptize you? It should be you that baptizes me."
"But it must be this way, John, so that the scriptures may be fulfilled."
John is puzzled, but consents. As they wade into the river, John makes small talk about the Pharisee's asking the same questions over and over again. "Are you Elijah? Are you the Christ? Are they not teachers of the law? They will know Him when they see Him."
Jesus says nothing.
They stop waist deep, and turn to face the crowd as was John's custom. He whispers to Jesus, "I'm not sure what to say. What have you to repent of?"
Jesus simply says, "Immerse me."
John puts his large hand on Jesus' back and on his Chest and lowers him into the snow fed water. Upon surfacing, the clouds above part, and a light shines on Jesus. The Holy Spirit flies down the beam of light in the form of a dove and dissolves into Jesus' chest. John hears the voice, "This is my Son, in whom I'm pleased."
A thousand thoughts raced through John's head. "Of course! How could I have missed it. The way He lived, the way He acted, the things He said. How could Jesus not have been the Messiah" John takes a step back in awe of this revelation and being jolted back into the present by crowd on shore, he sstutters once, and stregnthens himself and proclaims loudly, "Behold, the Lamb of God."
Jesus, smiles at John, gives him a hug, and wades across the Jordan to the wilderness, leaving John baffled and bedazzled in the river. John continued to baptize, but not that day. The rest of that day, he walked to a secret place and laid out all his thoughts and memories before him, realigning each and every one to this new knowledge of his cousin Jesus, being the Savior whose way he was preparing.
So don't build doctrine out of this. It's my vision, which I believe I received from the Lord to renew the majesty of Jesus in my life. To invoke the emotions that I've become so good at living without. (Not that I am or will be subject to them, but that they will enhance my walk with Jesus unlike any way my mind could conjur.) This was for me. I cherish it. And I wanted to share it with you in the chance that God may speak to you through it. But I feel as if I have experienced this moment now, not just read it or thought about it. It is mine, just as God is mine. I don't control Him, but He is the one I run to and claim as my Abba Father. If I can encourage you to do one thing tonight, or today, or whenever you are reading this, it would be to take what you know to be true, and consider them in your heart. These aren't just stories that we are reading. This is history that has bearing on today. It will never fade away. We will know of these moments throughout eternity, because His word will last forever.
Setting Sun - Sun Setting in SoCal...I forget where exactly.....
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