I love epiphanies. Those moments when your heart and mind sync up. Something shakes loose inside you and you know in your knower. You settle into that aha moment and feel an assurance that, “Yes. I can. I will. I am.”
Epiphanies happen all throughout our lives. Sometimes they’re take-your-breath-away experiences. Other times, it’s just a quietness and peace that feels like a warm cloak. I wonder which kind of epiphany Jesus had at his baptism?
This is what Matthew tells us:
Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” ~ Matthew 3:13-17
I’d like to experience a little more of the clouds parting and a strong voice coming from the heavens saying, “This is my beloved daughter, Linda, with whom I am well pleased!”
John the Baptizer talked up Jesus for a long time and, when the moment of truth is right before him, he has a brief bit of wonder. Almost like he’s questioning if him baptizing Jesus is how the drill goes. Maybe it should it be the other way around; Jesus baptizing John? I think even Jesus was a bit hesitant. After all, isn’t that how we humans are? A little bit hesitant, wondering if we’re reading the signs correctly. Pausing to make sure we’re getting “it” right. We don’t know if they had a guidance dream like Joseph or the magi.
While we never fully know what that moment of truth was like for Jesus, we do know he was fully committed to the work before him from that moment on. Jesus was intimately familiar with the Hebrew Scriptures, reciting from Isaiah more than any other. When he heard God’s voice from heaven, he must have recalled the passage from Isaiah:
Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my spirit upon him;
he will bring forth justice to the nations. ~ Isaiah 42:1
In that moment, it became clear what his mission was; his purpose here on this planet.
Have you had a moment of truth yet this New Year? Maybe recalling a previous epiphany that somehow got buried under distractions? We won’t always hear the strong voice from heaven. Sometimes it’s a whisper. Take a moment to be silent. Listen.