The Baptism of Jesus

May 3, 2006 at 10:31 pm (Religion)

Most of us have a world-painted picture of the baptism of Jesus.  A pastoral scene with green grassy hills and sheep, a blue sky, white fluffy clouds, and a gathering of disciples to witness the event.

Let's take a scriptural look and see how accurate that picture is:

John was widely known, and large crowds attended his preaching and baptisms.  Pharisees, Sadducees, publicans, soldiers are specifically mentioned.  The events were not calm and pious events, as his preaching was confrontational, and aggressive. (way too aggressive for our lukewarm times)

Jesus was the last one baptized (Luke 3:21).  I assume that those baptized didn't immediately leave, but that the entire crowd would wait until John was finished.

John briefly resists baptizing Jesus, probably loudly enough for the crowd to hear – at least the 'Behold, the Lamb of God' part – but finally relents and baptizes him.  As this hadn't happened before, I'm sure it would have attracted the attention of anyone who wasn't paying full attention before.  (murmuring in the crowd – who is it that John doesn't want to baptize? Did he say he wasn't WORTHY to do it? What's going on now?)

Suddenly, when Jesus is coming up out of the water, the heavens are torn open (the word for opened in Mark 1:10 is the same word used when the veil of the temple was rent in Matthew 27:51, Mark 15:38, and Luke 23:45).  Picture the clouds and sky splitting to reveal heaven behind it.  The glory of heaven shining down through a tear in the sky would have attracted the attention of everyone immediately, even if it were soundless (which I doubt).
The visible Spirit of God leaves heaven through the tear, and lights on Jesus.  I guarantee you that everyone that was looking at the tear in the sky followed its flight and saw it land on Jesus.

Immediately (and while everyone was staring at the Spirit on Jesus), the great booming voice of God declares "Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased"

Now tell me that anyone in the crowd that day would have possibly been confused about who Jesus was.

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