By Livinus Nnebedum
“Trip to the place of Baptism of Jesus Christ in River Jordan will multiply our faith and belief in the Lord”. This literally trip to River Jordan will enable us know more about that important River in the World History.
Jesus Christ was baptized at the River Jordan by John the Baptist. Jesus arrived from Galilee and came to John at River Jordan to be baptized by him (Mathew Chapter 3:13-16)
The River Jordan is near to the Mediterranean Sea but it does not flow into it. It flows into the Dead Sea instead. The River Jordan begins where three or four little streams flow together. It then flows through a small lake called the waters of Merom. All round this lake there are swamps where reeds grow. The reeds are called papyrus reeds. From reeds like these the very first writing paper was made.
When River Jordan flows out of the small lake called Water of Merom, it rushes downhill very fast for a long way and flows into the Sea of Galilee. After it leaves the Sea of Galilee, it twists and turns, and it gets to the Dead Sea. River Jordan is a rushing river in times of flood in April but it shrinks to a small stream in the dry summer. All along its course are thick jungles of reeds.
Places where River Jordan can be crossed are called Fords. In the picture shown in this write up there are two horses walking across the River Jordan carrying their riders.
There was no bridge across the River Jordan when Jesus Christ crossed it (Sanders,1956). People waded through the water on foot, except in time of flood. Then they had to cross in a boat. Trees, reeds and bushes grow along the River Jordan (See picture). River Jordan flows into the Sea of Galilee at the Northern end and flows out at the Southern end.
From Genesis 13: 10-13, we were told that because Jordan valley had plenty of water, Lot choose the whole Jordan Valley and moved to the East. That was before God had destroyed cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abram stayed in the land of Canaan while Lot settled among the cities in the valley and camped near Sodom whose people were wicked and sinned against the Lord. Also from Genesis 19:24-29, we learnt about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. The Lord rained burning sulphur on the cities of Sodom and Gommorrah and destroyed the whole valley with all the people and everything that grew on the land.
It is recalled that in Ancient Egypt the kind of paper called Papyrus is made from tall water plant called reeds. These reeds grow along the River Jordan. Reeds are coarse, film-stemmed jointed grasses growing in or near water. The Egyptians made the first paper from reeds called papyrus, which also grow along the River Nile in Egypt.
Mr. Livinus Nnebedum is a Public Affairs Analyst and writes from Anambra State Agricultural Development Program (ADP).