Jordan River, Baptism Site
This holy site is the original place where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. It was here that John was sent by The Lord to fulfill his destiny. John was ordered by God to cleanse the people, and prepare the world for the coming of the Messiah. Here he baptized many men and women, proclaiming himself to be the way-maker of our true Savior.
“He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Isaiah.” (John 1:23 KJV)
- Runs from north of the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea.
- Main river in Israel.
- Area Lot chose to settle in.
- The Israelites camped here across from Jericho before entering the Promised Land.
- Monument was set up there to mark the crossing of the Jordan.
- Israel crossed on dry ground as the Jordan River parted like the Red Sea had.
- Naaman the Leper was healed in it by the prophet Elisha.
- John the Baptist baptized in the Jordan River.
- Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist
Jordan River, Baptism Site - The site:
The Jordan River runs through the land and history of the Bible, giving its waters a spiritual significance that sets it aside from other rivers.
The Jordan is significant for Jews because the tribes of Israel under Joshua crossed the river on dry ground to enter the Promised Land after years of wandering in the desert.
It is significant for Christians because John the Baptist baptised Jesus in the waters of the Jordan.
The prophets Elijah and Elisha also crossed the river dry-shod; and the Syrian general Naaman was healed of leprosy after washing in the Jordan at Elisha’s direction.
The place where Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist is believed to be in Jordan, on the east bank of a large loop in the river opposite Jericho.
A site less than 2km east of the river’s present course, at Wadi Al-Kharrar, has been identified as Bethany Beyond the Jordan. This is where John lived and baptised, and where Jesus fled for safety after being threatened with stoning in Jerusalem.
Until the 1994 peace treaty between Jordan and Israel, the area was a Jordanian military zone. After clearing nearby minefields, the Jordanian government has made the place accessible to archaeologists, pilgrims and tourists.
Jordan’s new Baptism Archaeological Park contains the remains of a Byzantine-era monastery featuring at least four churches, one of which is built around a cave believed to be the one that ancient pilgrims called “the cave of John the Baptist”.
While the Jordanian location was inaccessible, a modern site commemorating Christ’s baptism was established at Yardenit in Israel, at the southern end of the Sea of Galilee.
Maintained by a kibbutz, it is a popular place for Christian pilgrims to renew their baptismal promises — or for new Christians to be baptised, often in white robes and undergoing total immersion in the mild waters of the Jordan.
Jordan River, Baptism Site Gallery:
From the Bible:
- Genesis 13:10 NIV – Lot looked up and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan was well watered, like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, toward Zoar. (This was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.)
- Numbers 22:1 NIV – Then the Israelites traveled to the plains of Moab and camped along the Jordan across from Jericho.
- Deuteronomy 27:2 NIV – When you have crossed the Jordan into the land the LORD your God is giving you, set up some large stones and coat them with plaster.
- Joshua 3:13 NIV – And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the LORD – the LORD of all the earth – set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap.”
- 2 Kings 5:10 NIV – Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.” But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than any of the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage. Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.
- Matthew 3:5 NIV – People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan.
- Matthew 3:13 NIV – Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John.