Then Jesus Went Back Across the Jordan

John 10: 40-42

As Christ’s ministry progressed, the spiritual distance between His sheep – His own – and the unbelieving world grew wider. The truth He proclaimed about Himself and His mission was the Shepherd’s voice calling His sheep to follow: this truth not only identified His enemies, however, it also incited them to violence. Later, the Chief Shepherd would tell His talmidim that the purpose for His confronting the apostate religious authorities with the truth was to give an occasion for them to consummate their sin (John 15:22-25). As the feast of Dedication came to a close, Jesus retreated from the Holy City of David. He had important work to do across the Jordan. Christ continued His ministry, not in hopes of reversing the trend, but rather to teach the Twelve concerning their ministry on His behalf. The division between non-believers grew steadily wider, though not yet to the point of breaking. That would happen soon enough.1071

For Jesus, time was running out, and He knew it.The great Galilean campaign was over, and the religious authorities in Jerusalem were looking for an opportunity to murder Him.1072 Herod Antipas had killed the forerunner (see Fl – John the Baptist Beheaded), leaving his disciples without a leader. Unlike the religious leaders in the Sanhedrin, they compared the predictions of the forerunner to the works of Yeshua and responded in belief. Therefore, Yeshua would give Himself during His last months to an effort to evangelize Perea. The Lord was not running away; on the contrary, He was preparing Himself for the final contest.1073 Once more the Jordan flowed between Jesus and His bitter enemies.

Then Jesus went back across the Jordan to Perea, the place where John the Baptizer had been baptizing in the early days. The place to which Jesus went is most significance. He went to the place where the Forerunner had baptized Him. It was there that the voice of God had come to Him and assured Him that He had made the right decision and was on the right path. It would often do our souls a world of good to make a pilgrimage to the place where we first found YHVH. When Jacob fled to Haran for his life because he thought Esau would kill him, God found him at Bethel (see Genesis Hd – Jacob Saw the Angels of God Ascending and Descending). And after the disastrous results of his disobedience at Shechem, Ya’akov went back to Bethel (see Genesis Ig – Jacob’s Spiritual Renewal at Bethel). When Jacob needed God, he went back to the place where the pre-incarnate Messiah had found him Therefore, Yeshua, before the end, went back to the place where the beginning had happened.1074

There He stayed, and many people poured in from the surrounding parts of this province and came to Him. John the Baptizer, even though dead, was still having influence in people’s lives as they remembered his witness. They said: Though John never performed a sign, all that John said about this man, Yeshua ha-Meshiach, was true. And undisturbed by the evils of pharisaic Judaism, in that place many simple-minded, faithful followers believed in Jesus (John 10:40-42). These were the posthumous children of the Immerser. And so, all who are sown for Christ, who have labored in faith and gone to rest in hope, though they lie buried in the ground will at the trumpet of God, spring up and ripen to everlasting joy.1075


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