Being in the Middle East has been an experience for sure. One of my favorite things about living here is all of the Biblical history that surrounds us. I was so thankful that when my parents were here we had the opportunity to spend a few days touring around Jordan. There is so much to see but we really have not had the time to do it yet as we have been in full time language school.
One morning we drove to the Jordan River to Jesus' baptismal site, which is only about 40 minutes from where live, but with traffic it took a little longer. It amazes me to think that 2,000 years ago Jesus himself walked this very land where we are living.
My Dad did a great job documenting our trip...so, I decided I would use his email to share more of the details :)
We left Amman @ 8:30 and Paul did a good job driving us through the crazy Amman traffic - It's like bumper cars with more congestion and at higher speeds. We got to the Jordan River @ 10:00 and paid the fee to get to go see the site where the Jordanians say that Jesus was baptized. During our drive down to the river, we could see the area where the city Jericho was and could actually see 2-3 tall buildings in Jeruselem. The River is not much of a river these days as Israel is taking water upstream -per the Jordanians. Back in Jesus day it was much wider. It was emotional to see the "area" where John The Baptist baptized Jesus and Jesus began his ministry - and to think that God spoke audibly to the people: "This is my son with whom I am well pleased" - and that the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus here.
After the 6 Day War, Israel took over some of the land previously owned by Jordan - they now occupy one side of the Jordan River and Jordan the other side. Armed guards are on both sides of the river where we visited.
The Jordan River no longer comes up to the actual site (?) and there has had 3 churches built on top of each other (the first at 400AD) over time.
What is left of the Jordan River
Here is the a picture of the place where it is said that Jesus was baptized.