Jesus left Nazareth, until he reached Bethany beyond the Jordan and went to John for baptism. Jesus joined in the line of penitents asking for baptism, yet he was pure, free from all sin. He was the one who would say to the Jews, “Who among you can provide evidence that I have committed a sin.” John knew of Jesus from the revelation and inspiration of the Holy Spirit (John 1:32). John, however, objected to baptizing Jesus saying, “I am the one that needs you to baptize me!” But upon Jesus’ continued insistence, John acquiesced and baptized Jesus in the Jordan River. Therefore, the water of the Jordan River became holy and all the waters that flow along the baptism site were purified, reviving the souls of people at every place and time.
As Jesus was coming out of the water, he saw the heavens open up and the Holy Spirit descending like a dove. He heard a voice from above say, “You are my beloved son with whom I am well-pleased.” Then the Spirit took Jesus into the wilderness where he remained for forty days, and where Satan tempted him. In the wilderness Jesus dwelt among the wild beasts, but the angels looked after him.
After Jesus came back from the wilderness to Bethany beyond the Jordan, He found John sitting with two of his students. When John saw Jesus he said to his students, “This is the Lamb of God who will take away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29) Hearing this, the two students decided to follow Jesus and were in turn followed by three others, among them Peter.
Jesus carried the torch of faith from John the Baptist, the torch that had also been carried by Moses, Elijah and the other prophets. From Bethany beyond the Jordan Jesus declared the good news of God, saying, “The Hour draws near and the Kingdom of God is at hand! So, repent and have faith in the good news of God!”
After returning to Jerusalem, a dispute arose between Jesus and the Jews during the festival of the renovation of the Temple. When this happened Jesus fled back across the Jordan to Bethany where John was still baptizing. The people warmly received Jesus and many came to him from the surrounding towns and villages, from Salt, Amman, Madaba and Hisban. They brought their sick to him. He cured them, and many people came to believe in him.
From Bethany beyond the Jordan, Jesus returned to Jerusalem only to have to flee again, this time to Ephraim (al-Tayyibah) near Ramallah. Later he returned to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, and the events of his passion, death and resurrection would follow.