And He must have known the dangers. No need of supernatural knowledge here. His familiarity with David and Jeremiah and other Hebrew writers, His knowledge of human nature as it had grown to be, His knowledge of a foe subtler than human, the fine sensitiveness of His finely organized sensitive spirit—these would lead Him to scent the danger.
But He falters not. The calmness of His will gives steadiness to His step down the river’s bank. Aye, the dangers lured Him on. He had a keen scent for danger, for it was danger to His race of men, whose King He was in right and would prove Himself in fact. He would draw the thorn points by His own flesh that men might be saved their stinging prod and slash. He would neutralize the burning acid poison of the undergrowth by the red alkaline from His own veins. He would use the thorns to draw the healing salve for the wounds they had caused. He would put His firm foot on the serpent’s head that His brothers might safely come along after. This was the meaning of His plunge into the swift waters by John’s side.
The intense significance of this decisive step by Jesus is brought out strikingly by what follows. What followed is God’s comment upon it. Quick as the act was done came the Father’s approval. John’s crowds were not the only intent lookers-on that day. Jesus stands praying. Since He is going this road it must be a-knee. Then the rift in the upper blue, the Holy Spirit straight from the Father’s presence comes upon the waiting Man and the voice of pleased approval. And the heart of Jesus thrilled with the sound of that approving voice. He could go any length, down any steep, if He might only ever hear that voice in approval. Then the Holy Spirit took possession of Him for the earth-mission. In the pathway of obedience down that rough steep came the coveted power of God upon Him.
Three times in His life the Father’s voice came, and each time at a crisis. Now at the plunge into the Jordan waters, which meant brotherhood with the race, and meant, too, a frostier chill of other waters later on. At the opening of the Greek door through which led an easy path to a great following, and away from a cross, when Jesus, with an agony intensified by the intensified nearing of those crossed logs, turned His step yet more steadily in the path He had chosen that first Jordan day. And between these two, on the mountain top, when the whole fabric of the future beyond the cross hung upon three poor wobbling, spiritually stupid, mentally untrained Galilean fishermen.
This is the meaning of that step into the Jordan. It was the decisive start.
The Wilderness: Temptation
The University of Arabia.