Are you a rational person?
Are you a rational person like I am? More focused on facts, than just soft feelings and emotions? I am a trained scientist and want to prove things. I was so rational in the past that I had doubts about my feelings. What happens inside me when something bad happens? While I was young, not so much.
Although I see my rationality as a strength, I later started to realize that I am more open to symbols and emotions. Having the picture on the wall of my mother who passed away brings back good memories of her. Or burning a candle when someone passes away.
People in Jesus’ days wanted to know what was happening when John drew lots of people’s attention. Some people went into doing research and they asked him questions. When they listened to him, most of them wanted to be baptized as a symbol to start a better life. John makes it clear that this is a symbol. After him, Jesus will come and he will make the change from the inside. What do you think about symbols?
The Jewish authorities in Jerusalem sent some priests and Levites to John, to ask him, “Who are you?”
John did not refuse to answer, but spoke out openly and clearly, saying: “I am not the Messiah.”
“Who are you, then?” they asked. “Are you Elijah?”
“No, I am not,” John answered.
“Are you the Prophet?” they asked.
“No,” he replied.
“Then tell us who you are,” they said. “We have to take an answer back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
John answered by quoting the prophet Isaiah: “I am ‘the voice of someone shouting in the desert: Make a straight path for the Lord to travel!’ ”
The messengers, who had been sent by the Pharisees, asked John, “If you are not the Messiah nor Elijah nor the Prophet, why do you baptize?”
John answered, “I baptize with water, but among you stands the one you do not know. He is coming after me, but I am not good enough even to untie his sandals.”
All this happened in Bethany on the east side of the River Jordan, where John was baptizing.