Matthew, Chapter 3

- א נ י -

Multitudes Come to Confess and Be Baptized by John

1In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 2And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. 3For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 4And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, 6And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.” (Matthew 3:1-6)

 “13Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. 14But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? 15And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. 16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:13-17)

John the Baptist continues to preach throughout the Judean desert, staying far away from Jerusalem where he could be arrested for spreading his doctrine. John encourages people to repent and embrace the true faith—unlike the corrupt priests of the Temple who, in their preoccupation with material endeavors and the technicalities of their rituals, only add darkness to our world. John invites people to engage in authentic spirituality. He baptizes multitudes in the Jordan River. Jesus, too, comes to be baptized. John knows that this man is the true savior. He baptizes Jesus and a heavenly voice is heard: “This is my Son, whom I love.” The greater plan begins to reveal itself—the final redemption has begun. The divine plan becomes clear only in hindsight. Therefore, we must always move forward, even when we experience defeat and adversities that we cannot understand. Every individual has the ability to choose good over evil. We all have the potential to distance ourselves from those who increase darkness in our world.

Devotion combines self-discovery with love; as we discover our life’s purpose, we devote ourselves to others and to our cause.