Cora Evans’ Sunday Reflection for January 12
At length, Jesus stepped into place in front of John. Instantly, John recognized Him and backed away. This was the first time his natural eyes had ever seen the Master.
Humbly, and without noticeable gestures, he adored Jesus. He said softly, “Jesus, the Living God! Why have You come here to me? I cannot take this privilege. I am not worthy to untie Your sandal, therefore, how can I touch Your hands, or ask You to bow so that Your forehead touches the running water?”
Quietly, Jesus answered, “John of the Wilderness – he who was sent to make straight the paths of souls for My coming, remember I am the teacher of humility. My request to receive baptism is just another step in the way of perfection for you. I am the Way for My friends to follow. Even in humility they must follow Me into baptism. The baptism that I will teach them will take away Original Sin, whereas, John, your penitential baptism is the means of grace to help them receive My way. My way of baptism will be as a new, invisible fire enkindled upon souls, for haven't I come to cast My Fire upon the earth, and what would I, but that everyone in the world become enkindled. My Father's Light, or Fire, is within Me for My Father and I are One. Come now, baptize Me and you will receive the greater gift of humility for all eternity.
In trepidation and trembling, John stepped forward and placed his hand on Jesus as He bent forward. As The Master straightened up, the heavens were opened and John and Andrew were enlightened in the hidden delights of sudden ecstatic rapture wherein they beheld a magnificent vision. Heaven's golden fire whirled toward them and there resounded the glories of triumphant music heard through the words of the Father, “THIS IS MY BELOVED SON IN WHOM I AM WELL PLEASED!”
Through the great whirling light there seemed to be a White Flame of Fire, which raced toward the earth. Then It slowed and lingered near Jesus, lowering Itself to His shoulder where It assumed the appearance of a white dove.
Quickly, then, the vision vanished.
Jesus stepped aside so that Andrew could confront the trembling John. Both were still in the effects of ecstatic rapture. As the radiance of the intellectual vision faded from their souls, John whispered to Andrew, “Did you see the heavens open? Did you hear the voice of God? Did you see the transcending Fire of God assume the form of a dove?”
Overcome with joy because someone else had seen the vision with him, Andrew simply nodded. Rapture was not new to him, but he marveled and wondered who the wonderful Man beside them could be Who had been so blessed with the mystery of God's hidden love that He could share His vision and gift with them.
Excited voices came from the riverbanks. People pointed heavenward and exclaimed with mixed expressions of joy and fear that they had seen an unusual light. Because of this, John and Andrew agreed that many, especially small children, had seen the holy vision.
During the excitement, Jesus withdrew quietly.