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A Glorious Encounter on the Shores of the Jordan River

Wendy Blight

Day: 6 | Plan: Luke

Today’s Reading: Luke 3

Luke 3:16 (NIV) John answered them all, ‘I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.’”

Today God brings together two extraordinary men, cousins born six months apart, for a glorious encounter on the shores of the Jordan River. For One it signified the beginning of a ministry, and for the other, it signified the end.

Isaiah prophesied this encounter hundreds of years earlier when he spoke of the one who would prepare the way for the Lord. (Isaiah 40:3-5) This man would preach a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, a symbolic representation of changing one’s mind and moving in another direction. Through baptism, a person recognized their sin, expressed their desire for spiritual cleansing and committed to follow God’s law in anticipation of the Messiah’s coming.

This man was John the Baptist. John knew his role and his purpose.

But John also announced that One more powerful than he would come and baptize, not with water, but with the Holy Spirit and with fire. (Luke 3:16) That One was Jesus.

That long-awaited day finally arrived. The stage was set for John to baptize the One for whom he had prepared the way. Did Jesus need the baptism of repentance? Absolutely not. He was the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.

Jesus submitted to baptism to provide us with a perfect portrait of His redemptive work … His death, burial and resurrection.

Jesus takes us beyond John’s baptism of repentance. His work on the cross completely washes away our sins and raises us to new life in Him … a life indwelled and empowered by His Holy Spirit.

John’s glorious encounter with Jesus came alive as I watched my daughter, Lauren, be baptized in the Jordan River, confessing her sins in the very same waters the New Testament believers stood in as they confessed their sins. And I’ll never forget the words she whispered following that sacred moment. Clothes dripping, tears of joy flowing, “Mom, as I came up out of the water, it’s like God showed me all my sins being carried down the river never to be seen again. Gone forever!”


Christ entered into and was baptized in the same waters where thousands had made their confessions. And where many more thousands, like Lauren, will make their confessions. My daughter’s statement symbolically displayed the weight of this glorious moment in time … our Savior willingly entered into our wretched world to wash our sins away and guarantee now and forever His forgiveness. His hope. His healing.

Prayer: Father, thank You for breaking into history and our world through Your Son, Jesus. Thank You for making a way for us to not only repent of our sins but also be forgiven of those sins and receive new life. Thank You that You have removed our sin as far as the east is from the west. Today we praise You because we are Your blood-bought children. We are the redeemed of the Lord. Help us to walk confidently in who and Whose we are! In Jesus’ name, amen. 

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