the baptism of Christ in the Jordan River

The baptism of Christ in the Jordan River
The baptism of Christ in the Jordan River

  •  Listen, beloved of Christ, to this talk of mine about the baptism of Christ in the Jordan. Perhaps it will arouse your longing for the Lord, who has done so much for us by descending to our level... because it is good to be thirsty for the matters of our salvation!  So let us all come from Galilee to Judea, and let us go out with Christ because blessed are those who share the journey on the path of life!
  • Come with wise steps to the Jordan to see John the Baptist baptizing the One who does not need baptism and yet submits himself to its ritual, in order to give us the grace of baptism for free. Come to see the image of our renewal in the waters of this river.
  • “Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John to be baptized by him” (Matthew 3:13).
  • How great is the humility of the Lord!  How rich is his condescension!  The King of Heaven hastens to John, his predecessor, without ordering the countless angels to surround him or for the armies to accompany him and herald his arrival!  Rather, he presented himself very simply in the form of a soldier to his subordinate, then approached him as one of the crowd, and humbled himself, making himself among the prisoners while he was their liberator!!!  He equated himself with those who are under judgment, while he is the judge!  And he joined the lost sheep, while he is the good shepherd who came down from heaven for the lost sheep!
  • And when he saw him and recognized the One whom he had previously recognized and while he was in his mother’s womb ran and worshiped him, he bowed his head like a servant filled with love for his master, saying: “I have need to be baptized by you and you come to me” (Matthew 3:14).
  • What are you doing sir?  I need to be baptized from you. Why do you want to take what you do not need?  Why do you burden me, your servant, with your lofty condescension to me?  The lesser is the one who is blessed by the greater, and the greater is not blessed or sanctified by the lesser.
  • I know you, my Lord, and I have experienced you well, because no one can know you if they do not enjoy your enlightenment. I know you, Lord, because I saw you in the spirit before I saw this light. When you were with all your fullness in the bosom of your heavenly, incorporeal Father, I was also with your fullness in the womb.  Your servant and your mother, and even though I was naturally considered to be in Elizabeth’s womb as in a prison, I remained steadfast and celebrated your birth with prior rejoicing!  Did I, who announced your arrival on earth before your birth, fail to realize your coming after your birth?  I cannot be silent while you are here because I am “a voice crying in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord’” (Matthew 3:3).
  • When I was born, I removed my mother’s barrenness, and while I was a child, my name became a cure for my father’s mutism, since I took from you from my childhood the gift of performing miracles. As for you, when you were born of the Virgin Mary - according to your will - your birth was not canceled by her virginity, but you preserved it, just as virginity did not replace  Your birth, but these two things - that is, birth and virginity - although they are completely opposite, have become harmonious and united for one goal, because this remains possible through you, O Creator of nature.
  •  I am only a man, but you are God even though you became a man, because by your nature you are the lover of mankind. You are the radiance of the glory of the Father (Hebrews 1:3) and the perfect image of the perfect Father. You are the true light that misleads every person who comes into the world (John 1:9).  ) You who resided in our house and showed yourself to your servants in the form of a slave, will you come to me?  Will the king come to his predecessor and pave the way for him?  Master to slave?
  • Although you were not ashamed to be born in the most despicable conditions according to human standards, I do not have the ability to go beyond natural standards. I know the great difference between dust and the Creator, and between clay and the potter. I know how high you are, O Sun of Righteousness, about me who is just a lamp. Who reveals the path to your grace.
  •  “I am not worthy to undo the straps of your sandals” (Luke 3:16) so how dare I touch your spotless head? How can I stretch out my right hand over you, O you who “spread out the heavens as a curtain” (Ps. 104:2) and “who spread out the earth upon the waters” (Ps. 136:6)? How do I hold these lowly human hands on your head? How do I wash you, O you who are without spot or sin? How do I turn on the light? What kind of prayer can I raise from you, O you who accept prayer even from those who do not know you?
  • “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29) In the Jordan River, accompany me with a pleasant chorus, and jump with me, and move your waters rhythmically as in the movements of musicians, because your Creator stands beside you in the flesh! Today the water flows easily and embraces the undefiled organs of the One who sanctifies all!! O all creation, bless the Lord who came across the Jordan River, because through the streams of this river, justification and sanctification will reach all rivers!!
  • The Lord Jesus answered him, saying, “Listen now, for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15).
  • When the Baptist heard these words, he directed his heart towards the author of salvation, the Lord Jesus, and he realized the secret that he had received and carried out the divine command.
  • “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” With those words that the Father uttered from heaven in what sounded like thunder, the human race was enlightened and they realized the difference between the Creator and the created, between the King and one of his soldiers, and as they were strengthened in faith, they approached, through the baptism of John, to Christ, our true God, who is fulfilling his promise. And He baptizes us “with the Holy Spirit and fire.” To Him be glory with His good Father and the Holy and Life-giving Spirit, the Holy Trinity, now and for ever and ever. Amen.