This past June, my husband and I visited Jordan. We were so impressed with the friendly people and the many historical sites dating back to before Christ but very important for Christian.
Much as I would love to tell you about all of the sites, I’ll limit this writing to the Jordan River and Bethany. Bethany is the site where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist and referred to in John 1:28, “These things were done in Bethany beyond the Jordan where John was baptizing.” During Jesus time the river flowed through Bethany but it has changed course today. There is still water at Bethany from an underground stream that keeps the water level visible. The site today is nothing like what Jesus saw but it was an awe inspiring feeling to know that we were standing were Jesus stood when he encouraged John to baptize him and as reported in Matthew 3:16-17, “As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him….”
Our small group then walked several yards to the banks of the Jordan River. The approach to the River was a wooden deck and a trellis to protect us from the summer sun. Located under the trellis was a small baptismal font that our guide told us was used for baby and child baptisms.
We walked down the wooden stairs to the bank of the Jordan across the river a large group of people were being baptized in the Jordan on the Israeli side.
What a beautiful message for our small group of Christians, the symbolism of the white dove at the baptismal font could not be missed. Our guide commented, “Maybe this is a hope filled sign for these difficult times in this part of the world.” To this comment I have to say AMEN.