Where was Jesus baptized? In Israel or in Jordan?

The Bible says, “This encounter took place in Bethany, an area east of the Jordan River, where John was baptizing.” (John 1:28, NLT)

This would seem to indicate that Jesus was baptized in what would now be the area of modern day Jordan (one of our favorite places in the world).

But where Jesus was baptized is not nearly as important as what John the Baptist said about the person of Jesus:

“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! He is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘A man is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’ I did not recognize him as the Messiah, but I have been baptizing with water so that he might be revealed to Israel.”

“Then John testified, ‘I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon him. I didn’t know he was the one, but when God sent me to baptize with water, he told me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descend and rest is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that he is the Chosen One of God.‘” (John 1:29-34, NLT)

Who was – who IS – Jesus?

Earlier in John chapter 1, John wrote these incredibly shocking words:

“In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.

“God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him.

“He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.

“So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.

“John testified about him when he shouted to the crowds, ‘This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’”

“From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.” (John 1:1-18)

“Who is Jesus?”

That is the question all of us must answer.

Our eternal futures depend upon it!

John 3:16

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