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A Dangerous Baptism Matthew 3:13-17

A Dangerous Baptism

The once mighty Jordan River is now a stinking creek where baptisms are dangerous. But isn’t baptism supposed to be dangerous?

Eighteen-wheeler dropped me off at that city limits sign

Sunday morning sunlight hurt my eyes

It’s a long way from where I been back to my hometown

But there’s a man in me I need to drown

Baptize me in that muddy water

Wash me clean in amazing grace

I ain’t been living like I oughta

Baptize me in that muddy water

These are just some of the lyrics to “Muddy Water,” written and sung by Trace Atkins (check out the video on YouTube). The words remind us, among other things, that if Jesus were to come to the Jordan River today for his baptism, he’d first need a tetanus shot … or a Hazmat suit … or his wallet.

That once mighty river — the river that Joshua and the Israelites miraculously crossed with God’s help, the river that shielded David and Elijah from their enemies, and the river where John the Baptist proclaimed the coming of God’s Messiah — is now little more than a stinking, bacteria-infested, polluted little creek (or “crick,” if that’s your local vernacular).

At the site where many...

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