Finding Our Way Again and Again – Br. Curtis Almquist

Br. Curtis Almquist

The Baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Mark 1:4-11

Jesus and John have known one another since they were children. Today we remember their encounter at the Jordan River, both of them now about 30 years old. Their parents have talked to one another about their boys since before they were born. John is the miracle son of Zechariah and Elizabeth, who were old enough to be his great grandparents; and Jesus is the miracle son of Mary who “reportedly” conceived him through an angel, not with her husband, Joseph. John’s parents, Elizabeth and Zechariah, are Jesus’ aunt and uncle.

Jesus and John bear both the blessing and the burden of their destinies. Their lives were prophesied to be great: John was predicted to be the Messiah’s “advance man,” the Messiah’s “forerunner,” to set the stage. Jesus was predicted to be the Messiah. How can this be?[i]

The stories about angels and the miraculous conceptions of these two cousins are undoubtedly the makings for small town gossip and, I imagine, eye-rolling derisive humor, and people’s incredulity. If Jesus and John were supposed to be these bionic boys, why did they appear so normal and unspectacular, disappointing even? What would it have been like for these two cousins to grow up in each other’s shadows, most likely to live in close proximity, never finding their voices for almost 30 years, which is approaching old age in their own day?[ii] Their lives had been shrouded with such mystery, and speculation, and derision about their iden­tities and their destinies. Neither of them married. Neither of them was all-that-special, really, at least for men who were supposed to become so great. What did they know about each other? What did they think about each other? How did they talk to one another? We don’t know. Read More