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  • Writer's pictureKirk

Baptisms in the Jordan River

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

After visiting the site of the Baptism of Jesus, our group progressed to the area of the Jordan River that was more vibrant. If you saw the post on Jesus' baptism you know there is little water there today.


The lower Jordan is not the mighty river it once was. Through diversion for agriculture, trucking of water to the interior of arid Jordan, and pollution, this river is in jeopardy.


The river flows from the Sea of Galilee and dumps into the Dead Sea. As a result the Dead Sea is shrinking. Although the Dead Sea may be called Dead from water starvation, it's actually called the Dead Sea because the salinity of the water is so high nothing can live in it.


The Jordan River today. Not too hard to cross!




I approached the river from the Jordanian side. Directly across the river was the Israeli side.


Israeli flag flying by river


There is a stark contrast between the two sides. And for good reason, of course. Many people view this a holy site and they see Israel as the holy land. Whereas Jordan is predominantly Sunni Islam and 97% Muslim.


One person told me Jordan was inhabited by more Palestinians than true Jordanians. So, if visiting the Jordan River is done for religious purposes, it makes sense the Israelite side gets more visitors.




This particular group appeared to come from an African country. They appear to be ready for their baptisms. Seems like such a long journey to find water to me. But perhaps they wanted to make the moment more memorial.


As I mentioned on a previous post, I don't see this water as holy. Personally, I would prefer cleaner water into which to be baptized. If this were holy water I don't think it would be so polluted! But I don't judge anyone who sees it differently and wants to be baptized here because they think it is. What do I know?


Video of the Israeli side of the Jordan river:


Quite a boisterous group! I suppose they are very excited to have made the journey and begin their Christian life.


I will say my expectations for the Jordan River were not met. I had pictured the Jordan River described in Joshua 3 at the crossing into Israel. I was expecting a flowing river at near flood stages that would be difficult to cross unless the water was heaped up to allow passage.


I'm quite sure that even I could have swam across the river today without much difficulty.

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