The first mystery of Light is the Baptism in the Jordan. How did Jesus know the John was baptizing in the Jordan? Did he travel much outside his town of Nazareth before He began His ministry? Was it common knowledge brought by travelers to Nazareth?
For centuries the Jews were waiting for the Messiah – and some still wait. News of a new prophet, which might have been thought of John, would surely be important. Although in the time of Jesus there was no internet, twitter or cable news, it would be ignorant to think that important news did not have a way to be spread. Ancient peoples were not stupid, nor without their methods whether it be building structures, organizing governments or spreading important news. People traveled to Jerusalem on pilgrimage at times of major feasts, when it was required by their faith, and perhaps at other times for commerce, thanksgiving for gifts received from God or petitioning for His help. Travel was more difficult than today but not unavailable or impossible.
Jesus was a Man of prayer. His parents, Mary and Joseph, were people of prayer. Prayer informed their daily lives, from the moment of awakening to the moment of sleep. Even the songs they sang were prayers. They lived, as we are instructed to live, with God as the center and meaning of their existence. God was present to them at every moment. And to Jesus, God the Father would have been more present, as Jesus is the Son of God, and intimately connected to His Father.
News of John the Baptist’s work would have been, perhaps, a signal. It is time! The messenger has begun his work, announcing that the Messiah is near. “Repent“, spoke John. “Prepare yourselves for His coming.” When John draws back from baptizing Jesus, having recognized Him as the Son of God, the Messiah who was to come, Jesus says “Let us fulfill all righteousness.” What does that mean? In order to fulfill His ministry, to save a fallen world, Jesus must become like us. He has taken on our nature. Now He must be as we are, in all ways but sin. He experiences life as we do, and will die unjustly on the Cross.
I have read this on another blog:” He who covers himself with light as with a garment has vouchsafed for our sakes to become as we are. Today He is covered by the streams of the Jordan, though He has not need to be cleansed by them: but through the cleansing that He Himself receives He bestows regeneration on us… From The Vigil of Great Compline
***The stained glass window of the Baptism of Jesus is from the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Charleston, SC – where mom and dad were married. ***