Not for the miracles, they said. Who could be upset about miracles? Instead, their fury was about blasphemy; His claiming to be God.

Isn’t that what they’d asked Him earlier? Isn’t that what they wanted from Him?

Again Jesus stood His ground and again they tried to stone Him. This time, however, He was able to escape their grasp.

I suppose in some ways it’s a technical difficulty; having those you came to save — the very ones you created — turn on you. It’s enough to make even the Son of God weary, exhausted, and ready for His own retreat.

Back to the Jordan

Recently I had a most reenergizing experience, even amidst the workload of ministry. It began as I stood before a congregation. Gripping the podium on each side and willing myself not to cry, I squared my shoulders and scanned the crowd. “I can’t tell you what it means to be here,” I told them. “To lead you in revival for these next few days. There are so many memories in this room and so many of you bring a song to my heart. Mrs. Stanley, who taught me to arabesque as my ballet instructor; Mrs. Robinson, who taught me southern graces simply by being a lady….” I pointed to the altar. “This is the place, right here, that as a child I knelt before God and gave my life to the Lord. This church is where I heard the Word of God, where it inspired and called to me. This is my Bethlehem’s Field, the place I first heard about Jesus.”

It was also my Jordan, the place where I was first baptized. The place where my spiritual journey and my call to preach began.

Before Jesus began His three-and-a-half-year ministry, He went to the Jordan River where His relative, the one called John the Baptist, was preaching, crying out to the people to “repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”[4] Jesus stepped into the waters of the Jordan as a common man. John tried to stop Him. “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”[5]

But Jesus insisted and as Jesus came out of the water, the Spirit of God lighted on Him like a dove while the Father spoke, “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.”[6]