What River Did Jesus Get Baptized In

Where Was Jesus Baptized?

Located in the Jordan River, only a few miles north of the Dead Sea and around six miles east of Jericho, the Baptism of Jesus Christ is reported in all four Gospels as taking place in the Jordan River. However, it is generally agreed that Jesus’ baptism marked the beginning of his public ministry, not only because it fulfilled Old Testament prophecy and confirmed his divinity as the Son of God, but also because it marked the beginning of Jesus’ public mission.

Where Is the Jordan River?

Known in Hebrew as the Jordan River (Ha-Yarden), it is a significant geographical feature in the Middle East and a pivotal place in Israel’s history and the biblical narrative. The Jordan River flows southward from Mount Hermon, which is located on the border of modern-day Syria and Lebanon, and drains into the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel today, a distance of roughly 156 miles. The Sea of Galilee, also known as Lake Gennesaret (Luke 5:1) or the Sea of Tiberius (John 6:1, John 21:1), is just about a day’s walk from Nazareth, the town where Jesus grew up, and is a popular tourist destination (Matthew 2:19-23).

(Mark 5:21-43,Luke 8:22-25,Luke 9:10-17,John 6:16-21) Once it has emerged from the Sea of Galilee, the Jordan River makes its way through the Judean countryside, being fed by two large tributaries, the Yarmouk and Jabbok (Genesis 32:22) to the east, until it ultimately merges with the Dead Sea, where it comes to a climax.

  1. All of these streams are located within Jordan’s Rift Valley, a gigantic geological fissure that produces one of the world’s longest fissures and one of the world’s most profound natural depressions.
  2. Jordan River is rather narrow and easy to cross in most places, despite the fact that it has lush, sandy shoreline and steep, rocky banks in certain locations.
  3. Shallow ponds and lesser tributaries are frequent in the Jordan River system outside of the main river flow, though.
  4. Photograph courtesy of Getty Images/thanasus

Where Was Jesus Baptized in the Jordan River?

Known in Hebrew as the Jordan River (Ha-Yarden), it is a significant geographical feature in the Middle East and a significant place in both Israeli and Biblical history. The Jordan River flows southward from Mount Hermon, which is located on the border of modern-day Syria and Lebanon, and drains into the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel today, covering roughly 156 kilometers. In fact, the Sea of Galilee, also known as Lake Gennesaret (Luke 5:1) or Sea of Tiberius (John 6:1, John 21:1), is just about a day’s walk away from Nazareth, the town where Jesus grew up.

  1. Furthermore, it served as a significant location in Jesus’ career (Matthew 4:13-22, Mark 4:1-34, Matthew 13:2, Matthew 5-7), as well as the venue for some of his most amazing miracles (Matthew 5-7, Matthew 4:13-22).
  2. A geographical boundary between Israel’s West Bank and present-day Jordan to the west is formed by the Jordan River before it reaches the Dead Sea.
  3. According to official estimates, the Dead Sea, or Salt Sea, as it is frequently known to, is 1,300 feet below sea level, making it the planet’s lowest point.
  4. Shallow ponds and tiny tributaries are prevalent in the Jordan River, which extends beyond the main river’s flow.

One of these tiny ponds or inlets on the eastern bank of the river, where John the Baptist is said to have baptized Jesus and others, is most likely. Credit for the image goes to Getty Images/thanasus

Where Else Is the Jordan River Mentioned in the Bible?

The Baptism of Jesus is not the only significant biblical event that takes place on the banks of the Jordan River. Two key Old Testament tales take place along the Jordan River, and the river plays an important role in both narrative. Following the Exodus from Egypt, the next generation of Israelites were finally ordered by God to enter the Promised Land after 40 years of wandering in the desert as a punishment for their failure to believe in the Lord. Whenever the opportunity presented itself, God instructed Joshua to lead the people across the Jordan River, with the priest leading the caravan and carrying the Ark of The Covenant in front of them.

  • After crossing the Jordan, the Israelites launched the invasion of Canaan that would follow.
  • Years later, the prophet Elijah and his protégé Elisha escaped to the banks of the Jordan River, where they used the river as a natural barrier to defend themselves from threats from Israel’s king, who had come to kill them.
  • Elijah was lifted up into heaven in a whirlwind and a chariot of fire after he had reached safety on the eastern side (2 Kings 2:11).
  • The crossing of the Jordan River became a sign of God’s supernatural power, the affirmation of His favor, the fulfillment of promise, and the beginning of public ministry throughout the Bible’s narrative.
  • Consequently, in many respects, this exact site on the Jordan River had both symbolic and strategic significance—something that John the Baptist would have been fully cognizant.
  • Ryan is a children’s author, artist, educator, and public speaker living in Los Angeles who is enthusiastic about assisting young authors in expressing themselves creatively and learning about the glories of their Creator via narrative and art.
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The place where Jesus was baptized – Baptism Site

Aside from the Baptism of Jesus, there are several other biblical events that include the Jordan River. Even two important Old Testament tales take place along the banks of the Jordan River. Following the Exodus from Egypt, the next generation of Israelites were finally ordered by God to enter the Promised Land after 40 years of wandering in the desert as a punishment for failing to believe in the Lord. Whenever the opportunity presented itself, God instructed Joshua to lead the people across the Jordan River, with the priest leading the caravan and carrying the Ark of The Covenant in front of him.

  • (Joshua 3).
  • The day after God’s miraculous intervention, Joshua collected 12 stones from the river’s banks and set them in the center of it, where the priests had stood, to commemorate the spot where God had intervened and used his amazing power in Israel’s favor once more (Joshua 4:1-9).
  • Once reaching the river, Elijah shook the waters with the back of his coat, which quickly divided and allowed them to cross.
  • Elisha returned to the Jordan River with a twofold share of Elijah’s spirit and a coat in hand, intending to return to the western banks and begin his own ministry in the place of his mentor (2 Kings 2:12-14).

In addition, it is worth noting that both of the Old Testament river crossings listed above occurred at a similar site on the Jordan River, east of Jericho and a few miles north of the Dead Sea, very near to where John the Baptist would later minister and where Jesus would eventually be baptized.

Getty Images/Christopher-Sprake provided the image.

He lives in Los Angeles and works as a children’s author, illustrator, educator, and public speaker.

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Christians hold to a number of different beliefs. The Earth’s age has been estimated to be 4.6 billion years. In the Bible, who is my neighbor? What Is the Appearance Of God? The existence of Guardian Angels has been debated. To Be Zealous for God, what does that mean?

Celebrating Baptism: The Jordan River in the Time of Jesus

The Baptism of Jesus is not the only significant biblical event that takes place on the banks of the Jordan. Two key Old Testament tales take place along the Jordan River, and the river plays an important role in each. Following the Exodus from Egypt, the next generation of Israelites were finally ordered by God to enter the Promised Land after 40 years of wandering in the desert as a punishment for their failure to put their confidence in the Lord. When the time came, God instructed Joshua to lead the people across the Jordan River, with the Ark of the Covenant being carried ahead of the caravan by the priest.

  • Once they had crossed the Jordan, the Israelites began the invasion of Canaan that would follow.
  • Years later, the prophet Elijah and his protégé Elisha escaped to the banks of the Jordan River, where they used the river as a natural barrier to defend themselves from threats from Israel’s ruler.
  • Elijah was lifted up into heaven by a whirlwind and a chariot of fire after he had reached safety on the eastern side (2 Kings 2:11).
  • As a sign of God’s supernatural power, the crossing of the Jordan River has been used throughout Scripture to represent the affirmation of His favor, the fulfillment of promises, and the beginning of public ministry.
  • As a result, this exact position on the Jordan River had both symbolic and strategic significance, which John the Baptist would have been well aware of.
  • Ryan is a children’s author, artist, educator, and public speaker living in Los Angeles who is enthusiastic about assisting young authors in expressing themselves creatively and discovering the glories of their Creator via narrative and art.
  • This article is part of a broader resource library of Christian questions that are significant to the Christian faith that can be found on our website.

What Do Christians Hold As Beliefs? What Is the Age of the Earth? In the Bible, who is my neighbor and who is not? What Does the Face of God Look Like? Is the existence of Guardian Angels a myth? What Does It Mean to Be a God-Fearing Person?

The controversy over the Baptism of Jesus

The majority of experts think that Jesus was baptized at this location along the Jordan River. You may now go to the precise place where John baptized Jesus Christ, thanks to new technology. It might be difficult to distinguish between the guy and the movement at times. This is especially true when the movement has been developed entirely on the individual. However, in order to have a meaningful conversation about Jesus and history, we must temporarily set faith aside and take a step back to see the big picture.

  1. However, none of this can be proven.
  2. Some historians even claim that Jesus did not exist at all and that he was a fictitious character constructed only for the purpose of serving as a leader for a new religious movement.
  3. They just can’t seem to come to terms with who he was and what he accomplished.
  4. He was described as a charming healer, but some claim he was a political dissident and rebel.
  5. Because there is so little true personal data about him from that era of his life, it is likely that there will never be a way to know for certain.
  6. However, there is sufficient evidence for the majority of historians to agree on two points about the historical accuracy of the life of Jesus.
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Baptism site Jordan

The vast majority of experts think that Jesus was baptized at this location on the Jordan River. The precise place where John baptized Jesus Christ is now accessible to the general public. Distinguishing the individual from the movement might be difficult at times. especially when the campaign has been centered almost entirely around the individual in question Nevertheless, in order to have a meaningful conversation about Jesus and history, we must temporarily set faith aside in order to examine the larger picture.

  • There is no way to prove any of this though, is there?
  • A small number of academics are even of the opinion that Jesus did not exist at all and was only a fictitious character fabricated to serve as the symbol of an emerging religious movement.
  • They just can’t seem to come to terms with who he was and what he was up to!
  • He was described as a charming healer, but some claim he was a political dissident and a rebel.
  • That is what some people believe he was, while others disagree.
  • It is likely that it will always be a source of speculation.

Most historians, however, can agree on two points concerning the historical accuracy of Jesus’ life: he was born in Bethlehem, and his death was at Calvary. His baptism and his crucifixion were both memorable events in the life of Jesus Christ.

Visiting the baptism site

I’m going to the Jordan baptism site as an optional extra on my G Adventures tour of Jordan, which is a wonderful opportunity to experience all of the country’s highlights in one trip. You’ll note immediately when you arrive to the baptism site in Jordan that it is surrounded by a collection of churches that have been constructed by people of various religions, each of which has provided a place for their adherents. The presence of so many Christian structures in Jordan, a country with a mostly Muslim population, is intriguing; nonetheless, it should be remembered that this was formerly the Holy Land.

  1. The majority of visitors do not pay a visit to these relatively new churches.
  2. That’s where Jesus was baptized, at this location.
  3. It is surrounded by the foundations of a structure that is no longer there.
  4. In some respects, it’s a little weird to be looking at this webpage and thinking about baptismal services.
  5. The Jordan River has shifted somewhat further west over the past 2000 years, which has contributed to this shift.

The Jordan River baptism

To get to where the river is currently, you’ll need to walk a little further down the road. It is nevertheless spiritual, even though the location of the water is not historically significant, unlike the traditional baptism site, because of the presence of water. It is the symbolism that the Jordan River conveys that is so significant. It is a place where Christians from all over the world may come and perform baptisms in the same river where John the Baptist performed one on Jesus 2000 years earlier.

Palestine is located on the other side of the world, close enough to have a discussion or hurl something.

The Jordan baptism location is quite peaceful today, although the other site is fairly crowded.

On the other side lies a territory known as Qasr el Yahud, which, despite the fact that it is located in Palestine, is controlled and governed by Israel.

In Israel’s view, this is a means of attracting Christian tourists and pilgrims who wish to visit the Jordan River in order to be baptized. They are attempting to entice guests who might prefer to go from Jerusalem or Tel Aviv rather than from Amman, with the assistance of some creative marketing.

A World Heritage Site

While there is no disagreement regarding the spiritual significance of the waters of the Jordan River, I believe it is a little deceptive to suggest that Qasr el Yahud in Palestine, rather than Al-Maghtas in Jordan, is the Baptism Site of Jesus. Over the years, there has been some controversy concerning the specific location of Jesus’ baptism, and it is not surprise that the Israelis would want people to believe that it took place on their side of the river. However, a choice has already been taken.

  1. The world community came to a unanimous decision — despite the fact that the official text states that there is no way to definitively determine where Jesus was baptized and that there are competing claims to the spot.
  2. However, two years later, in 2017, both the United States and Israel declared that they were withdrawing from UNESCO due to what they regarded to be anti-Israel prejudice.
  3. Both nations officially withdrew from the EU on the first of January, 2019.
  4. I make an effort not to worry about the debate as I sit down by the river, take off my shoes and socks, and dangle my feet in the flowing water.
  5. Across the street from us, a pretty big group of well-dressed individuals are singing as they prepare to begin a baptism ceremony on the other side of the street, surrounded by more luxurious equipment.
  6. A guy was baptized here, by a river in the middle of a desert, 2000 years ago.
  7. Some of that transition was accompanied by conflict from the beginning, and it is unfortunate that it is still occurring two millennia later.

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT JORDAN?

See my Jordan Travel Guide for more information. When I go overseas, I make it a point to purchase travel insurance. In the event of a medical emergency or other major disaster, it is not worth the risk to take the chance. I strongly advise you to use World Nomads for your travel arrangements.

Matthew 3:13 At that time Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John.

(13)After that, Jesus appears. – We have been brought here face to face with the question that the tale just cited was attempting to address, and we are unable to turn away from it completely: Why did the Lord Jesus show himself during John’s baptismal ceremony? The Sinless One had no sin to confess, and so had no need to repent. It is impossible for us to assign to Him the sense of evil that weighs upon their minds in nearly exact proportion to their purity; yet we must think that His righteousness was fundamentally human, and therefore capable of increasing even as He grew in wisdom and height.

  1. It was proper that He should embrace a divine ordinance in order to fulfill the whole measure of righteousness in all of its manifestations, even though doing so appeared to bring Him in association with sinners.
  2. (See Mark 1:19-11 and Luke 3:21-22 for parallel sections.) Verse 13: After that; in the future (ver.
  3. In the midst of his preaching and baptism.
  4. 1, note).
  5. Because this is Mark’s first historical reference of our Lord, he adds the phrase “from Nazareth of Galilee,” meaning that our Lord has been a resident of Nazareth since our Lord’s birth.
  6. As a contrast to the representative teachers from Jerusalem and the throngs that had gathered both there and in the Jordan valley (verse 5), this Stranger had traveled from Galilee to join them.
  7. In this case, it is difficult to understand why the Revised Version inserts “the” here while leaving the Authorized Version unchanged in ver.
  8. It is necessary to be baptized(o); Matthew 2:13, take heed.
  9. Our Lord’s motivation for coming was not only to be baptized, but to be baptized by John the Baptist.
  10. Commentaries that run in parallel.
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Strong’s 5119 (Tote)Adverb: “Then, at that point in time.” From the words ho and hote, which means “when,” as in “at the time that.” JesusἸησοῦς(Iēsous) Noun – Nominative Masculine Form of Noun SingularStrong’s 2424:Of Hebrew origin; Jesus, the name of our Lord, and the names of two other Israelites are all mentioned in the Bible.

  1. Galilee Galalias (Galilaias) is a noun of the Genitive Feminine gender.
  2. toἐπὶ(epi) On, against, on the basis of, and at are examples of prepositions from Strong’s 1909: theτὸν(ton) In this article, we will look at the accusative masculine.
  3. This includes all of the inflections of the feminine he as well as the neuter to; the definite article; and the.
  4. to undergo baptismal rites βαπτισθῆναι(baptisthēnai) Aorist Infinitive Passive Aorist Infinitive Passive Strong’s 907 (Strong’s 907): I dunk, immerse, but especially refer to ceremonial dunks; I baptize is the literal translation.
  5. of place, or with verbs; of place (underneath) or where (below), or time (when).
  6. The reflexive pronoun self, which is used in the third person as well as the other persons, is derived from the particle au.
  7. Biblia Matthew 3:13 et cetera Paralela Matthew 3:13 (Chinese Version of the Bible) French translation of Matthew 3:13 in the Bible Gospel of Matthew 3:13 (Catholic Bible) Gospels of the New Testament: Matthew 3:13 is a biblical passage that teaches that God is love.

Then Jesus traveled from Galilee to Jerusalem (Matt. Mat Mt)

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Andy Peiffer ’11 is a student at the University of California, Los Angeles. I believe I would have been an outstanding apostle. Long walks are something I enjoy doing. A diet consisting primarily of fish, healthy grains, and a small amount of wine is ideal for me. Most importantly, I have a remarkable and almost limitless capacity for failing when it comes to attempting to follow Jesus. Of course, I don’t consider myself to be among the great saints, but their errors, such as Peter’s in today’s gospel, offer a sinner like me reason to be optimistic.

  • “Get behind me, Satan!” What is the reason for the rebuke?
  • As we will see later, Peter was more concerned with Jesus’ impending suffering than he was with his own sorrow.
  • He appears to be walking on water, but he is actually sinking.
  • At the most critical moment of his arrest and trial, Peter rejects Jesus three times in the same breath.
  • Discipleship does not necessitate the attainment of perfection.
  • Days after accusing Peter of being Satan, Jesus summons him to the mountaintop to see his transfiguration.
  • Jesus chose imperfect individuals to be the foundation of his church.
  • The church is still comprised of flawed individuals.
  • We cannot accept our failures—Jesus’ scolding continues to ring in our ears as a call to repentance—but, with God’s grace, we may overcome our shortcomings.

Why was Jesus baptised in the River Jordan? — by Mark Barnes

According to the Bible, there are more than 1,000 separate places named, ranging from Abana (2 Kings 5:12) to Zuph (Joshua 1:5). (1 Samuel 9:5). However, we have a tendency to dismiss the locations as if they were only incidental to the Bible’s account. We’re interested in learning what happened; the location of the event does not appear to be very significant. As a result, other from a few well-known locations such as Jerusalem and Bethlehem, most of us are unfamiliar with the locations mentioned in our Bible.

I came to realize that the locations weren’t just an afterthought in the plot; they were an integral part of it.

It is important to know where you are. For example, Jesus could not have been baptized in the Jabbok river; he had to have been baptized in the Jordan river. Continue reading to find out why.

New life — but also a barrier

During biblical times, the Jordan River served as both a source of life and a huge obstacle to go across. On a much lesser scale than the Nile, it serves as a source of life in a similar way to the Amazon. Jordan Valley has little precipitation, yet the river encourages the growth of abundant vegetation. It is for this reason that people have chosen to live on the banks of the river for millennia. The Jordan, on the other hand, is a formidable obstacle. It acted as a natural barrier, as do most large rivers.

The Jordan River served as the boundary between the promised land and the rest of the world, and it continues to be a strong barrier even now – you have to traverse a minefield to get to the single bridge that crosses it!

A life returned

The narrative of Naaman illustrates the life-giving characteristics of the Jordan in a metaphorical way, as well. This Syrian commander comes to Elisha in order to be healed of leprosy, and Elisha instructs him to take a wash in the Jordan River. The river finally wins Naaman over, despite his protestations that it contains nothing remarkable. His flesh is healed as if he’d been granted a second chance at life (2 Kings 5:14). This tells Naaman that he cannot separate geography from theology, no matter how much we may want him to.

He returns to Syria carrying numerous bags of Israelite dirt (v17), presumably to guarantee that he always kept something of Israel with him, no matter where that would take him (see also: verses 1–2).

The barrier crossed

Because Jordan served as a physical barrier, many of the legends that have been told about it relate its passage. Joshua leads Israel over the Jordan Torrent after forty years in the desert, with God miraculously halting the swollen river, just as he had done with the Red Sea (Joshua 3–4). The prophets Elijah and Elisha appeared beside the same river at a nearly same location (near Jericho, 2 Kings 2:4–6) some hundred years after the first encounter. Before Elijah ascends to heaven, the river parting separates them and they both cross over on dry land.

  • Rather than approaching the promised land, Elijah is departing from it.
  • In many respects, Elijah has served as a modern-day Moses.
  • At Sinai, both Moses and Elijah had experiences with God while hiding in a cleft or cave and fasting for 40 days (Exodus 34:28, 1 Kings 19:8).
  • At the conclusion of their life, they both travel to be with their God, who is just a short distance away from the promised land.
  • As a result, when Elijah crosses the Jordan River to go to heaven, it isn’t so much that he is abandoning the promised land as it is that he is following in Moses’ footsteps.
  • Both Elisha and Joshua have names that are close to one another: Elisha means “God is salvation,” while Joshua means “the Lord saves.” Elisha is following in the footsteps of his forefathers, Elijah and Joshua.
  • Both Elisha and Joshua were commissioned on the other side of the Jordan.

(2 Kings 2:18-22). Similarly to Joshua, Elijah will offer mercy to an enemy (Rahab in Joshua 6, Naaman in 2 Kings 5), and then they will inflict God’s punishment on Israelites who steal in the aftermath of victory (Achan in Joshua 7, Gehazi in 2 Kings 5:27–28), much as Joshua did.

Greater than Moses

When we jump ahead to the New Testament, we find that all of these motifs come together in a remarkable way with John’s baptism of Jesus. Matthew 11:14, Mark 9:9–13, and Luke 1:17 all refer to John as the ‘Elijah who was to come.’ A murderous queen, like the one who sought Elijah’s death (1 Kings 19:1-2; Mark 6:17–25), seeks his death. As with Elijah, his distinguishing feature was “a garment of hair around his waist, and. a leather belt around his waist” (2 Kings 1:8, Matthew 3:4). John, like Elijah, is a voice in the desert, a voice that must be heard.

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Both were unsurpassed prophets (Deuteronomy 34:10; Matthew 11:11), and both spoke of a successor who would come after them (Deuteronomy 34:10; Matthew 11:11).

Just as John the Baptist is reminiscent of both Elijah and Moses, so too is John the Baptist’s successor reminiscent of both Elisha and Joshua.

As a result of his actions, he is credited with cleansing lepers (2 Kings 5:40–45), showing kindness to hostile troops (Matthew 8:5–13), reuniting a dead son with his mother (2 Kings 4:18–37, Luke 7:11–17), and feeding a large crowd with a few loaves of bread (2 Kings 4:42–44, Matthew 14:13–21).

He picks twelve men to be in the forefront of his conquest (Joshua 4:4, Matthew 10:1–8), and he saves misfits and integrates them into his people (Joshua 6:22–23, Luke 5:27–31).

Considering that Joshua and Elisha both got their commissions on the other side of the Jordan before immediately departing on their divine missions, it is reasonable to speculate that Jesus may have received his commission somewhere else as well.

Why Jordan?

For the first time since Joshua and Elisha, Jesus had not emerged from the Jordan on dry ground, as did Joshua and Elisha. God saved their lives, but he did not spare the life of his own Son. While breaking through the water barrier that separated the desert from the promised land, he was submerged beneath the surface of the water and then resurrected to life; dying like Moses as a penalty for sin, and being revived like Elijah as a vindication of his righteousness. As a result, when Jesus arose from the Jordan after his baptism, he wasn’t simply portraying our need for purification from sin.

As an intentional indication, God was beginning a new conquest, following in the footsteps of Moses and Elijah, Joshua and Elisha, and bringing what they had begun to a successful conclusion.

He would rescue God’s people from the clutches of the powers of wickedness. He would be the one to bring them into the promised land. What was the purpose of Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan? It’s inconceivable that it could have happened somewhere else.

Where was Jesus baptized?

QuestionAnswer Beginning with the fact that “Jesus traveled from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John,” the Gospel of Matthew provides us with the most thorough narrative of Christ’s baptism available anywhere (Matthew 3:13, NLT). “One day Jesus arrived from Nazareth in Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan River,” says Mark’s gospel. “John baptized him in the Jordan River” means “John baptized him in the Jordan River” (Mark 1:9, NLT). The baptism of Jesus is described in the shortest possible detail in the Gospel of Luke, who does not specify where it took place.

  • John the Baptist, the harsh and rugged prophet who was spreading the message that Israel’s promised Messiah was on his way, is presented to us in John 1:19–28.
  • John responded by saying that he was only the messenger sent by God to prepare the way for the coming of the Lord.
  • “This all took place in Bethany, on the opposite side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing,” the gospel writer relates in his account (John 1:28).
  • The village of Bethany, where Jesus was baptized, is located on the other side of the Jordan River, on the east bank of the river.
  • According to John 1:29–34, Jesus traveled to the east bank of the Jordan River and was baptized by John the Baptist.
  • According to the Bible, a large number of individuals came to Jesus at that location.
  • The location of the temple, based on geographical data recorded in Scripture, can be reasonably assumed to be on the eastern bank of the Jordan River.
  • Matthew 3:1–6, 13, 4:1; Luke 3:3, 4:1; Mark 1:4–5, 9–12 all refer to the site as being accessible from the wilderness of Judea, the Judean hill country, and Jerusalem.
  • It is likely that the region was well-traveled in John the Baptist’s day, since the road from Jerusalem to Jericho carried a steady stream of religious leaders, soldiers, tax-collectors, and other passengers through the region (Matthew 3:7; Luke 3:7–14).

In Joshua’s day, it was in this region that the Israelites took their first steps toward entering the Promised Land (Joshua 1:1–6; Joshua 3:14–17); it was in this region that Elijah and Elisha crossed the Jordan on dry ground and Elijah was taken up to heaven in a whirlwind (2 Kings 2:1–12); and it was in this region that Israel anticipated God’s return in glory following the exile (Ezekiel 43:2–4).

Not only was it perhaps convenient for John the Baptist to choose this location because of its accessibility, but it also has a rich historical past and has eschatological importance.

Indelible links would be established between the Lord’s mission and message and the Jewish people and their aspirations for a coming Savior in the spot where Jesus was baptized. Questions regarding Jesus Christ (return to top of page) In what location was Jesus baptized?

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The Baptismal Site of the Jordan River

The trek to the baptismal location of Christ at the Jordan River in the city of Jericho, which is just an hour and 40 minutes away from Bethlehem and Jerusalem, is a descend to the lowest point of elevation on the planet, which is the lowest place on the planet. It is also considered to be one of the most hallowed locations in Christian tradition. Christ was baptized by his cousin, John the Baptist, on the banks of the Jordan River, according to Matthew 3:13-17, following which he fasted in the Judean Desert for 40 days.

Historically, this baptismal site near the Jordan River has been recognized in local tradition since at least the early Byzantine era, and it is known by the Arabic name of Qasr al-Yahud.

While pilgrims during the Crusades were known to bring back phials of water from the Jordan River, a continuing tradition in Greece and the Balkan Chrisitian communities is to add the prefix “Hadji” or “Hatzi,” which means pilgrim, to one’s family name after the symbolic baptism has been conducted.

Two Different Locations for the Baptismal Site

Many modern travelers are familiar with the Yardenit baptismal park, which is located near the mouth of the Jordan River on the southern side of the Sea of Galilee, near the site of Jesus’ baptism. In addition to being visually appealing and providing an accurate representation of what the Jordan River near Jericho would have looked like in centuries past, when the water table was significantly higher, the park was built for pilgrims during periods when access to the traditional baptismal site of Qasr al-Yehud was unavailable due to inaccessibility.

Following the Six-Day War of 1967, the state of Israel seized control of the West Bank, which included the actual “west bank” of the Jordan River, which included the location of the Baptism of the Prophet Muhammad.

However, when ties between the two countries began to improve, plans to reopen the site began to come into being.

Today, pilgrims can visit the site on a daily basis, where they can participate in the ritual of baptism in their own language, cultural, and religious tradition in a specially cordoned-off section of the river, or simply find a quiet spot in the shade of one of the many sitting areas at the site to sit and contemplate the River.

The ambitious development project that the Kingdom of Jordan has undertaken to increase pilgrimage tourism to their partition of the Jordan River is also visible at the site; this project allows virtually every Christian community to build a church and a visitor center or guesthouse along an allotment of land that has been parceled to their denomination is also visible at the site.

Integrate Yourself Into the Tradition To visit the baptismal site is to participate in one of the most important Christian traditions, as well as to witness the coming together of many people and traditions from different lands, all with the same goal: to be renewed in their faith through the waters of the Jordan River, which runs through the site.

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