The meeting of John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth was a turning point for both of them. They came together where the Jordan River flows into the Dead Sea, at the lowest place on the continent, over 400 meters below sea level, where the atmospheric pressure is intense—even metamorphic!
John had called out in words of flame to a great following of people, as he preached to them of the fallen state of humanity. He clearly perceived how far humanity had fallen. He who “bears the Father-Spirit” held in his consciousness the ideals of the original creation. He strove to bring people to the shock of awareness of their own falling away from the ideals of the creation. John urged them: change the course of your life — he called it ‘metanoia’—see the threshold of the spiritual world, lift up your thinking, feeling and willing to the divine-spiritual and become true human beings, as God had created. John the Baptist spoke as the powerful voice of world-conscience.
What was the consciousness of John as he saw Jesus come to be baptised? John saw the only human being who did not need to be baptised! Here was the one who was not fallen. Jesus knew the sufferings of human beings as a result of the Fall, and he had experienced how even the wise teachers and priests had lost the connection to God. Nowhere could human beings find a way to pray for help and healing. The altars were empty, even taken over by evil spirits, cut off from wisdom and comfort. And he, the purest Soul, suffered with them—us. He did not restore the old wisdom, he offered love. In suffering, Jesus, the embodiment of the Logos, had become the silent one. The Word was burning in his soul, but he could not speak from that. His hour had not yet come.
He had poured out his heart to the mother, and she could not comfort him. But she could send him to John the Baptiser. Intensely silent and burning with longing to save humanity, Jesus went down to John at the Jordan River, and asked him to baptise him.
John, the greatest of all born of a woman, knew his task was not to rule but to prepare the way for the Lord. When he saw the silent one without sin, John wanted to refuse Jesus, saying, ‘You must baptise me.’ But Jesus, with his complete awareness of the will of the Father said, ‘Let it be so, to fulfill what destiny requires.’ And so it was… Time was reaching the turning point. The great baptism was not to cleanse this Jesus, or to bring his soul to the threshold. The baptism had a unique effect, and John was the only human being capable of seeing what took place—the great offering of Jesus for all who are “needy of healing on the field of earth’, and the Spirit descending like a dove into the open chalice of his soul, and the great union-communion of Christ and Jesus that turned the course of time.
This took place once for all time. But it is not over, for a great archetypal form was created at this turning point: today heaven and earth meet in a new way. And we can turn the course of our lives to this new impulse, and we can ripen in community in the Christ-Sun.
Contemplation by Rev. Susan Locey