No one accidentally walks 70 mile … why was man at the baptism that Jesus?Share | Tweet | publish | email


If she a organized reader the the Bible, there’s definitely nothing unusual about coming come the passage spanning the baptism that Jesus.

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Ask human being to name the top Ten occasions of Jesus’ life, his baptism in the flow Jordan is a certain bet to do the quick list.

So here’s my question. Why were so plenty of of the young guys destined to become disciples there to check out it?

No matter where the baptism was held, James, John, Andrew and Simon were all countless miles away from home. If Jesus was baptized close to Jericho – together the Gospel of john indicates<1> – climate those young fishermen were around 70 miles from home!

The best answer? castle had concerned Jerusalem for one of the festivals and also were returning house when castle met Jesus.

This is one more example of how the floor can offer us crucial insights to familiar passages that the Bible.

John the Baptizer come out of the wilderness and also was calling people to repentance really near the Qumran Community. The “Essenes” who stayed in Qumran were radically cursed to spiritual renewal and also purity that faith. Though man wasn’t part of the Essene movement, he was an extremely much reduced from the exact same cloth.

John was component of a movement that thought the Messiah would come if only enough of God’s world would become radically committed to repentance and purity. He even explained his reason for baptizing the masses together a method of prepare the method for the Messiah.<2> exactly how cool is it the Jesus decided that place to notice his ministry? however that’s another story for an additional day.

The most logical ar for where John to be baptizing was really near the intersection of roads traveling pilgrims would have actually taken. Young males passionate enough to walk 90 mile to attend among the festivals in Jerusalem could have an extremely naturally to be curious enough about the new prophet to have detoured a short distance to visit the river.

We recognize they were on their means home due to the fact that the following day they went back to the Galilee v Jesus.<3> They likewise had met Jesus in ~ 4 p.m., which would certainly have given them enough time to do the 18-mile, downhill journey from Jerusalem to Jericho.

Can us be particular they had just attended one of the three main festival periods in Jerusalem? No, us can’t. The message doesn’t tell us directly, so us shouldn’t ~ pretend to have actually the critical answer tucked under our theological compasses. Yet it’s very unlikely castle walked all that means to sell fish. Top top the various other hand, it was extremely usual for world to take trip to Jerusalem for one of the festivals. Substantial crowds were likewise visiting man the Baptizer, for this reason we have the right to logically deduce one even greater probability that john the disciple was on his way home from one of the festivals.

Bottom line: the a safe presumption to believe the future disciples that were eyewitnesses to the baptism that Jesus had just to be to Jerusalem for a couple of days that passionate worship. And also in the mood, they were additionally curious around the prophet in ~ the river.

So now the an ext intriguing question. I m sorry festival had actually they just attended? almost certainly, Jesus had actually just to visit the very same festival! No issue which festival that was, currently we’ve gained some an effective symbolism to add to an already powerfully symbolic story!

Was it Passover? It can have to be the Passover, which would have been in the spring. If so, there was plenty the water in the river Jordan, an ext so than any type of other time of the year. Jesus was arrested, crucified and also laid in a new tomb on Passover, for this reason the beginning of his ministry can have to be book-ended by the very same festival. A lamb is the literal centerpiece the every Passover meal, and John identifies Jesus together the “Lamb the God” on lot of occasions.<4> The symbolism is rich and Passover to be no doubt the one Jerusalem trip attended through the most families coming from the Galilee. If girlfriend were only going to do one 180-mile round-trip visit a year, Passover was your festival.

Was the Pentecost? It might have to be Shavuot, better known in Christian circles together “Pentecost.” held just 50 days after Passover, it appears unlikely that numerous families would have actually made the return expedition to Jerusalem therefore soon. Young men, top top the other hand, might have gladly tackled the challenge. If so, the symbolism the a new, Spirit-filled covenant arriving for God’s human being is rich indeed. ~ the resurrection and also ascension of Jesus, it to be this holiday that kicked off the radical motion we now recognize as “Christianity.”

Was that the Feast the Tabernacles? It might have been one of the autumn festivals, v its great New year’s Celebration that the trumpets, the solemn fast of Yom Kippur, or the incredible joy of Tabernacles. When John began writing his memoirs year after this events, his carefully-worded prologue had the line that, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”<5> Look the up for yourself. The Greek wording is clear. John stated this Word-become-flesh tabernacled among us.” the a wording for this reason strange, no English translation would certainly think of using it. Yet if it was a reference to the loss festival through the very same name, it’s an attractive thought. To be John offering a clue to the time of year the to adjust began? to be he make the efforts to give us the moment of year when Jesus was born?

Perhaps that was. An ext than likely, he to be not. John’s clearly-stated function of writing what we recognize as the Gospel of man was to tell us around Jesus. As one creating from an “Eastern” mentality, that wanted us to view Jesus. As a human being with a “Western” mentality, we want the details. We want the facts. We would love to understand what Jesus looked like. How tall was he, John? What was the color of his eyes? What was his favourite food?

John would certainly think us crazy. Come him, those details weren’t important. Read the remainder of his gospel and you’ll check out a an extremely different timeline than the one followed by Matthew, Mark and Luke. Man hand-picked just seven miracles for his accountancy of a story saturated with miracles. Tellingly, John dubbed them “signs.” that didn’t want to re-superstructure a west timeline through us. He just wanted us to see Jesus.<6>

What was essential for him to be for us to check out the Lamb that God. What was essential was that we see the start of a new, grace-filled commitment from the God that loved us sufficient to dwell among us. And also yes, he wanted united state to know that also the God-ordained festivals of worship pointed come Jesus together the long-awaited Messiah.

Whether we could connect the beginning of Jesus’ ministry to the well-off symbolism the Passover, Shavuot or Tabernacles, John just wanted us to see Jesus.

John, James, Andrew and also Simon Peter got it. By the moment they got home they had actually heard sufficient from the rabbi that as soon as he referred to as them come follow, castle left immediately. The symbolism that the festival they’d just attended was rich indeed and also it aided them make the connection. But what overwhelmed lock by the time they gained home was Jesus himself.

<1> This all taken place at Bethany on the various other side of the Jordan, where john was baptizing. (John 1:28)

<2> john 1:23.

<3> john 1:43.

<4> man 1:29, 36.

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<5> man 1:14.

<6> at the finish of John’s gospel come two comparable statements of purpose. This one originates from John 20:30-31 … “Jesus performed countless other signs in the presence of his disciples, which space not recorded in this book. But these room written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the son of God, and the by believing you may have actually life in his name.”