Matthew 3:16-17

 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

“Tell me again, mother,” Jesus says.

They’re walking down a lane near their home–something they often do. Mary looks at Jesus side-long. He’s taller than her with broad shoulders and a strong jaw. He’s grown into a man, still listening to her stories.

“I think you’ve heard them enough.” She laughs, “You should begin telling me stories!”

“I’ve been hearing stories of John.”

“We all have.”

Jesus’ face turns upward, to the sky, though it droops in sadness.

“I must go.” He says to the sky, and then looks to His mother, “It is time.”

She nods, and takes His hand in her own. They walk in silence until they come to their gate, their home.

Jesus bids his family good-bye, walking through each room and passing out hugs. He finds His mother in the kitchen, working on a pack of food for the road.

“For wherever you might go,” is all she says before handing him the bag and squeezing Him into a hug. Her eyes are filled with tears.

Jesus comes out of Galilee to where He heard His cousin was preaching and baptizing believers. He hears the commotion before He reaches the shore. Waiting between the shadows of trees, He watches for a moment, listens to John’s words, waits for the time. Jesus rests, rubs His tired feet, and finally heaves Himself up off the dirt. It is time indeed, He thinks.

John sees Him before the gathered crowd does. He knows Him. Surely Jesus has not come to be baptized by John!

But, Jesus removes His sandals and walks into the water, to His knees, to His thighs. Then He is waist deep with John at His side.

“You should be baptizing me, Jesus!” John laughs, but seriousness shows in his eyes.

“Baptize Me, John, and this will fulfill all righteousness.”

And, John dips Jesus into the Jordan, covering Him completely in water, heaving Him back out again.

As water drips off the two men, and the sun shines down on them and the gathered group, a dove flies above Jesus’ head, and a voice sounds from heaven.

“This is my Son, I am very pleased with Him.”