By Lesslie Newbigin
Presently sooner than he died in February 1998, Lesslie Newbigin recorded a chain of 8 15-minute talks, pitched at a well-liked point and entitled "A stroll throughout the Bible". This quantity collects the 8 talks.
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Israel had entered the Promised Land by going through the waters of Jordan. John calls Israel to go back to the starting point, to make a radically fresh beginning, to go through the waters of Jordan in a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins and to make a new start. And multitudes were responding to this call. To Jesus this came as a call from his father. He knew that his hour had come, and a day came when he laid down the carpenter's tools for the last time and took the long road down from the hills of Galilee to the banks of the Jordan.
No one could possibly doubt the meaning of that parable: the authorities must either surrender to the teaching of Jesus or destroy him. And the decision is taken to destroy him. But it was necessary that his disciples should be prepared to face what was to come. And so on the last day before the Passover he gathered his disciples together for one of their familiar meals and demonstrated in an action something that words alone could never show. ' He took a cup, shared it with them, and said: 'This is the new covenant in my blood shed for you and for many.
We see him in public for the first time, standing among a crowd of repentant sinners asking for the baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. He makes no distinction between himself and them. He is part of Israel. He is identified with Israel in its sin. He is numbered with the transgressors. John, as we know, resisted, but Jesus insisted and so went down into the waters of the Jordan and received from John the baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. html[21/04/11 12:58:19 PM] next page > page_51 < previous page page_51 next page > Page 51 launch Jesus on his public ministry.