Jesus' baptism, a different point of view
David was a good boy, as boys go. He didn’t pick on his sister, most of the time. He remembered to do his chores, sometimes. He even listened to his mother, at least when he happened to hear her. David was also good at his studies. History was his favorite although he did well in the other areas too. Today, however, he was learning the law. This was his least favorite subject. All the do’s and don’ts were tedious. Although it was amusing that he could trap a snail on the Sabbath, but not a fly. Flies were a lot more fun to watch when trapped. David’s mind began to wander. It would be a good day to go fishing. The weather was perfect and the Jordan River wasn’t too far away. Besides, many people were going to the Jordan lately. There was a man there who was getting a lot of attention. His name was John. He wore camel hair clothes and ate locusts. David thought that would be pretty cool. His mom would have a fit if she caught David eating locust. He wouldn’t mind seeing a camel hair cloak up close either. He wondered if it was comfortable or if it made the skin itch. His best friend, Caleb had seen John with his own eyes and told David all about it. He said that John was baptizing people in the river and the Pharisees were getting upset. Maybe if he went fishing, he could get close enough to see some of the action. David was pretty sure he could get away without being caught. If he wasn’t gone too long, he figured no one would miss him. The more he thought about it, the better the idea sounded. He developed his plan to perfection. Today was not going to be so boring after all.
When David got to the river, he was surprised at how big the crowd was. He could see all the religious leaders gathered to one side with scowls on their faces. That was normal, they didn’t smile very much. It must be miserable to have to be so good all the time. All the other people were watching John intently. He was talking about something. David could barely make it out, he inched closer. Soon he was right in among the crowd. John was saying something about repentance and forgiveness of sins. David found himself so interested in John’s words that he forgot all about the locusts, he barely even glanced at his camelhair wardrobe. Suddenly the crowd began to stir. The Pharisees were asking John a question. They didn’t seem to like his answer. John was saying that someone greater was coming. People were whispering and pushing to get a closer look. Who could he be talking about? David was glad that he was small; he quietly slipped between everyone and made his way to the front. He was just in time to see a man approaching John. There was something about this man that was different. Just his presence commanded the attention of everyone there. Someone recognized him as Jesus, the carpenter’s son. He looked ordinary enough, kind and gentle but strong at the same time. There was nothing special in the way he was dressed. David could tell he wasn’t rich or spoiled. This was a man who was used to hard work. Still there was something about him, something powerful. The man wanted John to baptize him. David was surprised to hear John try to refuse. John said Jesus should baptize him, not the other way around. Could this be the person who John said he was unworthy to tie the sandals of? Jesus said a few words to John and John agreed to baptize him.
David never forgot what happened next. For the rest of his life he would think about that moment with a sense of awe. It was almost unreal and sometimes he would wonder if it was a dream. When Jesus came up out of the water, time seemed to slow down. Every detail was etched on David’s memory in vivid color. A beautiful white dove came down out of heaven and descended on Jesus. It was unlike any dove that he had ever seen. Pure white, its wings shimmered with a light of their own. But it was the voice from heaven that knocked David on his rump. He had never heard such a voice. At first he wasn’t sure where it came from. But then the words echoed in his heart and he knew he was hearing the voice of God. “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” David was sure no one would ever believe him. He had just seen the Son of God, and heard the voice of God. For once David was speechless. He walked home in a daze and even forgot his well laid plan to get back without being noticed. On that day, his life was changed forever.
Thank you for reading! Please read my next hub about the first disciples meeting Jesus.