The answer to this question is: yes, and Jesus Christ’s Baptism Site at the Jordan River is like no other place on Earth. If you desire to follow Jesus’ footsteps, you can be baptized in the same place as Him.
When Jesus Christ was about 30 years old, He visited John the Baptist at the Jordan River six months after John began preaching. Jesus asked John to baptize Him; however, John rejected and said, “I am the one who needs to be baptized by you, and you are coming to me?” (Matthew 3:14). John was aware that Jesus is God’s special Son. He also understood that the baptism he performs is for those repenting of their sins but Jesus was without any sin. Despite John’s objection, Jesus insisted and said, “Let it be this time, for in that way it is suitable for us to carry out all that is righteous” (Matthew 3:15). The holy Bible tells us, “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. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased’” (Matthew 3:16-17). This moment was certainly magical for those gathered at the Jordan River that day.
One of the most special attributes of Jordan is that it is home to biblical miracles such as Jesus’ baptism. Bethany Beyond the Jordan, Jesus Christ’s Baptism Site, which is located on the eastern bank of the Jordan River, is one of the most popular baptismal sites and pilgrimage destinations in the world. All four Gospel writers mention Jesus’ baptism, but only John specifies its location as “Bethany Beyond the Jordan.” John 1:26-28 states, “‘I baptize with water,’ John replied, ‘but among you stands one you do not know. He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.’ This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan where John was baptizing.”
Today, Bethany Beyond the Jordan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that welcomes pilgrims from around the world. The site consists of two distinct areas: Tell al-Kharrar, also known as Jabal Mar-Elias (Elijah’s Hill) and the location of the churches of St. John the Baptist. The Baptism Site continues to be a place of immense religious importance to most denominations of the Christian faith who have accepted it as the location where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist.
The site where John baptized Jesus in the Jordan River became an important pilgrimage site from the 4th century CE. It encouraged generations of pilgrims, monks, hermits, and priests to reside and visit the location, and leave behind testimonies not only of their religious activities, but also of their devotions. Moreover, those who were ill or disabled visited Jordan for healing purposes, as Jacinthus the Presbyter related in the late 11th century: “On the feast of the Epiphany, cripples and sick people come and using the rope to steady themselves go down to dip themselves in the water: women who are barren also come here.” Until today, people continue to visit the same site for physical and spiritual healing purposes.
The Jordan River plays an important role in the Old Testament as the border of land that God gives to the Israelites. Likewise, in the New Testament, John’s baptism of Jesus forms a seminal moment in Jesus’ life and marks a defining event in the Christ Church. It also altered the spiritual status of the Jordan River water. It was seen as the archetypal “river of life” as well as the site of a divine manifestation of God, for just as water had been the basic element that witnessed God’s creation, the Jordan River had witnessed the beginning of the Gospels.
Right before Jesus ascended into heaven, He gave His disciples their marching orders, which were His final words to them. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20). Since baptism is a symbol of God’s grace and a way to publicly pledge allegiance to Him, Jesus commands it for His disciples. Thus, if you are eager to follow Jesus’ wishes for His believers, you should consider being baptized at the Jordan River.
Baptism is a religious ritual that has marked the response of people to Jesus for 2,000 years. In the New Testament, each time someone began to follow Jesus’ path, they were baptized. In Christianity, baptism is not intended to be a private experience. Although when people claim Jesus as their personal Savior, it is an intensely private experience, once they enter the family of God, it becomes a public matter. You are a part of the Church, the Body of Christ, brothers and sisters related together in God’s family. Almost everything of spiritual significance that happens to you following your salvation occurs in connection with your family – the extended family of God, including baptism. Baptism is an ordinance of the Church of Jesus Christ. In the early Church, following the Lord in the waters of baptism was the official and public pronouncement that a person was a believer in Christ and part of the Christian movement. When people choose to be baptized, they are saying, “I am not just a ‘lone ranger’ for Christ. I am part of God’s family.” They join a family of mutual commitment, love, and relatedness to one another. While baptism can be performed anywhere in the world, being baptized in Jordan is like no other experience.
Quick Tips For Getting Baptized in Jordan
- Plan and book your event through this link.
- If a Priest/Pastor is not accompanying you to the Baptism Site, you can book one through this link.
- Bring extra clothing to change after the Baptism, there is a changing room, and you can also rent a robe from the Site for the Baptism ceremony.
- You can buy oil from the Church in the Baptism Site and can be used during the Ceremony.
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