It was our fourth day in Israel. We said goodbye to Kibbutz Haon Guest House on the Sea o Galilee and boarded the bus with all of our belongings. We drove south via the Jordan Valley past Jericho to Qasr el Yahud, the traditional site on the Jordan River where Jesus was baptized.
As we drove to the site we could see the land of Jordan to one side of the tour bus. I was amazed throughout the trip at how small the land is compared to how far things are in the US. To get to the site we crossed a border check point. There is a marker in the middle of the Jordan River. The other side is in Jordan!
Y’all this is THE Jordan River! We were there. I’m still amazed to have had this incredible opportunity!
I was a little puzzled in our itinerary as it mention being baptized in the Jordan. “I’ve already been baptized,” was all I kept thinking. It didn’t seem to me it would have any meaning to go through the motions again just because it was the Jordan River. I didn’t see any point; however, I came to understand that it is a big deal and many Christians get rebaptized there. Many left feeling…something. I’m not sure what, but it was very special to them.
I very much enjoyed getting to see the Jordan and actually feeling the water, but this didn’t have the same significance to me as it did to many on our trip.
As I stood there, I imagined Jesus being baptized here. I could just picture that right there is where was heard from heaven, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” Wow!
And then across the way the mosques were visible. So interesting to me. They seem so out of place and yet they are beautiful.
Next in the day? Masada!!!
That would be really neat to see where Jesus was baptized. I think I would do the same as you – imagine what it would’ve been like when He was there and what God said.
Such a neat experience!
Beautiful post, kind of gives me goose bumps to think about being in the location of Jesus’ baptism. And it was very nice to see someone who feels the same way I do about the whole “re-baptism” topic. A few years ago a group from our church went to Israel (although we were not with them) and they were all baptized in the Jordan. When they returned, it was all they could talk about. Of course I was happy for them and did not say a thing about my opinion, but I did feel like maybe there was something wrong with me for not thinking this was such a monumental event. Love your honest and heartfelt take on the whole thing.