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Theophany - Baptism of Our Lord


When Christ attained the age of thirty, His time to preach had come, and He appeared to the people for the first time at the Jordan, where John the Forerunner had been heralding the coming of the Messiah. He preached baptism and repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

Crowds of people came to John from everywhere, and many began to wonder if he was the promised Messiah, but he told them; "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to bear. He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. "

"Then came Jesus from Galilee to the Jordan unto John to be baptized by him. But John forbad Him, saying, 'I have need to be baptized by Thee, and comest Thou to me?' And Jesus answering said unto him, 'Suffer it to be so now, for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness.' Then John suffered Him. And Jesus, when He had been baptized, went up straightway out of the water. And lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting upon Him. And lo, a voice came from Heaven, saying, 'THIS IS MY BELOVED SON, IN WHOM I AM WELL PLEASED'" (Matt. 3:11-16).

Thus, mystically, the Holy Trinity appeared before all the people at the baptism of Christ: the voice of God the Father was heard witnessing to God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit descended as a dove upon the Savior of the world. That is why this feast day is called Theophany - the manifestation of God to man.

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