John the Baptist
Christ’s next big step on his journey is to be baptized by John, and then he will be tempted in the wilderness. In their gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Matthew, Mark, and Luke all talk about Jesus’ baptism. John’s gospel doesn’t speak about Jesus’ baptism directly.
Most modern theologians think that Jesus being baptized by John the Baptist is a historical event that can be known highly. Most biblical scholars see it as one of the two historical facts about Jesus that they can be sure of, along with the fact that he was crucified. They often use it as the starting point for studying the real Jesus. Nevertheless, most Christian groups think that Jesus’ baptism was an important event and is why Christians do baptisms.
John the Baptist in the Gospels
All of the Synoptic stories about Jesus’ baptism start with something about John the Baptist. They show John preaching penance and repentance for the forgiveness of sins and encouraging the poor to give alms (Luke 3:11) as he baptizes people in the desert around the Jordan River near Perea. Furthermore, he also predicts (Luke 3:16) the coming of someone “more powerful” than he is.
Later, Jesus says that John was “the Elijah who was to come” (Matthew 11:14, Mark 9:13–14), the prophet who was supposed to come before the “great and terrible day of the Lord” (Malachi 4:5). Luke also says that John had Elijah’s spirit and power (Luke 1:17). In Mark, John baptizes Jesus. When Jesus gets out of the water, he sees the Holy Spirit coming down to him like a dove, and he hears a voice from heaven saying that he is God’s Son (Mark 1:9–11). This is one of the two times in the gospels when a voice from heaven calls Jesus “Son.”
The other time is the Transfiguration. In this event, the spirit then sends him out into the desert, where Satan tries to get him to do bad things (Mark 1:12–13). Jesus stayed in the Judean Desert and fasted for 40 days and nights. Satan came to Jesus to get him to do something terrible during this time.
Three times, Jesus was tempted by evil. Hedonism (hunger/satisfaction), Egoism (spectacular throws/power), and Materialism (kingdoms/wealth) were the temptations. In his letter, John the Evangelist calls these temptations “in the world,” “lust of eyes,” “lust of the body,” and “pride of life” (egoism). After Jesus said no to each temptation, Satan left, and Jesus went back to Galilee to start his work.
The Beginning of Pilgrimage of Christ’s Ministry
He started in Galilee, north of Judea. After his temptation in the Judean Desert, Jesus begins his mission in Galilee. In Matthew 4:18–20, Jesus meets his first disciples, who will form the early Church in Galilee.
The Sermon on the Mount was one of Jesus’s most important lectures, calming the storm, feeding 5,000 people, walking on water, and other miracles and parables during this time. After Peter’s confession, Jesus changes.
In the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1–9, Mark 9:2–8, and Luke 9:28–36), Jesus takes Peter and two other apostles up an unnamed mountain, where “he was changed in front of them, and his face shone like the sun, and his garments became brilliant white.”
“This is my Son, the Beloved; I am pleased with him; listen to him,” a brilliant cloud exclaims (Matthew 17:1–9). Jesus returned to the Jordan River, approximately a third down from the Sea of Galilee, where he was baptized (John 10:40–42). Jesus’ final ministry in Jerusalem begins with his Palm Sunday triumphal arrival.
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