How should we understand the baptism of Jesus?
Some time after Jesus had been driven out of the synagogue, he heard much talk of a man, John, called "The Baptist", who journeyed from place to place in the region of the River Jordan.
Jesus heard that John spoke to the people there, and that he taught them much of the Kingdom of Heaven; heard that this man spoke sternly to the people, rebuking them for their ungodliness and for their worship of mammon and of power.
Some of the words of John were: “The Kingdom of Heaven is near—when you repent of the evil you have done, when you turn away from the false gods of this world, when you shun the deeds of Darkness.”
And when men and women came to him in sorrow and in remorse, John took water from the river into his hand and poured it over them.
And he said: “As with this water I cleanse your bodies of earthly dust and soil, so shall the Lord cleanse your hearts with heavenly fire; cleanse you of the impurities of sin and evil.”
But would any ask: “Are you the expected Messiah?” John would answer: “One who is greater than I shall come. I am but sent by the Lord to prepare the way for him.”
Many spoke of all this to Jesus.
And God awakened in his heart the desire to see this man and to speak with John, for that which he heard caused Jesus to wonder.
And Jesus went to the place where John was.
When John saw him coming, his spirit knew him.
And he bowed before Jesus and said: "Brother, be welcome!" Then John turned to the many who were with him and said: “It is he, whom I awaited; it is for him that I have prepared the way."
Then was Jesus gladdened by his words.
And he spoke with John and he said: "Brother, baptize me as you baptize the people, that cleansed I may go forth on my work."
Then John bowed to Jesus and said: "As your body is pure, even so is your heart."
But Jesus answered, saying: “None but God is pure.”
Then John did as Jesus wished.
When he had baptized Jesus, John turned to the people gathered about and called out in a loud voice: "This is the Son of God, the Beloved One! Follow him, obey him; for his words are true."
And as Jesus rose from the water the multitude fell back, for he stood before them as if a king.
Many bowed before him and some tried to kiss the hem of his robe, but Jesus bade them not do this.
And he stayed with John, and they spoke much with one another.
Then after a time they took leave of each other, and each went his own way.