"Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John"
Something was different about this Nazarene. He wasn't big and burly. He was neither precious nor rugged.
But something in his deep greenish brown eyes humbled John like no other. There was no debate that this
was the man he had been preaching about: the One who was greater than all.
But the time was not yet right when everyone would understand. With Jesus standing before him,
John the Baptist suddenly lacked words and could proclaim nothing in this moment. No one paid attention to
the man who hailed from Nazareth as he began to kneel in the river before John.
His body descending, the water of the Jordan rose quickly to his neck. He was then briefly immersed
as John baptized him. John felt unworthy to do this, but the Nazarene told him he must.
It was done. Something strange, peculiar, had just happened, but no one except John could fully
comprehend the scope of it. Some saw a light flash before them in the form of a dove. Others did not,
assuming it to be lightening and thus moving back from the river bank, lest they be struck. Some thought
they heard the voice from heaven. Others heard nothing. The Nazarene, soaked and dripping, slowly
walked away in the same manner as he had first appeared. Few noticed except Jesus' cousins who were
watching from afar, confused and questioning.
It would be a number of weeks later when the mysterious man would return. John was again busy baptizing
and calling for repentance, when he looked up and saw the man approaching incognito from the direction of
the desert. His olive toned skin was darker, sunburned. When he came closer, John asked him his name.
"Jesus", he said reassuringly.
Proclaiming in a loud voice, bellowing as he was known to do, John hailed Jesus as the Messiah, the
fulfillment of prophetic utterances of generations. Again only a few took notice. There were more pressing
concerns than the ranting and ravings of John, the strange one who lived on locusts and honey. This man
before him was not the image of the messiah that they were prepared to embrace. Surely John was mistaken.
And so it had begun.