“Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptised in the Jordan by John.”
Monday, 11 January 2021
There is something compelling about this encounter of Jesus with his cousin John in the Jordan. These two men knew each other from before they were born. When Mary, newly pregnant with Jesus arrived at Elizabeth’s house, Elizabeth told her, “The moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leapt for joy.” John in utero recognised Jesus.
We know nothing about how the two grew up and whether John and Jesus spent much time together. They would likely have had some encounters as children and young adults as they each discerned their calling. Perhaps some of their conversations were about the growing sense of their identity and mission.
It is powerful that, at this moment when Jesus is on the brink of his ministry, it is John who passes on the torch. John’s role was to prepare the hearts and minds of people to receive Jesus as the Messiah. Now Jesus has returned from the desert, ready to begin his ministry and John is there at the moment of Jesus’ Baptism, which marks the beginning of his public life.
Sometimes some people play a significant role in preparing the way for our own life’s ministry. People who see something more of who we are and who we are called to become.
Is there a John the Baptist in your life? Someone who has prepared the way for you, whether a grandparent, a parent, a teacher or mentor. Today may be a good day to thank God for that person’s contribution in your life – and perhaps even to thank them.