Luke 3: 10-18
And the people asked him, saying: What then shall we do?
And he answering, said to them: He that hath two coats, let him give to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do in like manner. And the publicans also came to be baptized, and said to him: Master, what shall we do? But he said to them: Do nothing more than that which is appointed you. And the soldiers also asked him, saying: And what shall we do? And he said to them: Do violence to no man; neither calumniate any man; and be content with your pay. And as the people were of opinion, and all were thinking in their hearts of John, that perhaps he might be the Christ; John answered, saying unto all: I indeed baptize you with water; but there shall come one mightier than I, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to loose: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in His hand, and He will purge His floor, and will gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire. And many other things exhorting, did he preach to the people.
From The Gospel as Revealed to Me by Maria Valtorta (Chapter 45.2-5):
[…] While I am watching these things, I notice that the right bank of the Jordan (according to my position) is becoming crowded with people. There are many men dressed in different fashions. Some seem ordinary people, some rich, and there are some who appear to be Pharisees, because their tunics are adorned with fringes and braids.
In the midst of them, standing on a rock, there is a man whom I recognise at once to be the Baptist, although it is the first time I see him. He is speaking to the crowds, and I can assure you that his sermon is not a sweet one. Jesus called1 James and John «the sons of thunder». Well then, what should we call this impetuous orator? John the Baptist deserves the names of thunderbolt, avalanche, earthquake, so impetuous and severe he is in his speech and gestures.
He is announcing the Messiah and exhorting the people to prepare their hearts for His coming, eradicating all obstructions and rectifying their thoughts. But it is a violent and harsh speech. The Precursor does not possess the light hand Jesus used to cure the wounds of hearts. He is a doctor who lays the wound bare, scrutinises it and cuts it mercilessly.
While I am listening — I am not repeating the words, because they are related by the Evangelists, but here they are amplified in impetuosity — I see my Jesus proceeding along a path, which is at the edge of the grassy shady strip coasting the Jordan. This rustic road (it is more a path than a road) seems to have been opened by the caravans and the people who throughout years and centuries passed along it to reach a point where it is easy to wade, because the water is very shallow. The path continues on the other side of the river and disappears from sight in the green strip of the other bank .
Jesus is alone. He is walking slowly, coming forward, behind the Baptist. He approaches noiselessly and listens to the thundering voice of the Penitent of the desert, as if He also were one of the many who came to John to be baptised and purified for the coming of the Messiah. There is nothing to distinguish Jesus from the others. His clothes are those of common people, but He has the appearance and handsomeness of a gentleman. There is no divine sign discriminating Him from the crowd.
But it would appear that John perceives a special spirituality emanate from Him. He turns around, and at once identifies the source of the emanation. He descends impulsively from the rocky pulpit and moves quickly towards Jesus, Who has stopped a few yards away from the crowd and is leaning against the trunk of a tree.
Jesus and John stare at each other for a moment: Jesus, with His very sweet blue eyes; John with his very severe black flashing ones. Seen from nearby, one is the antithesis of the other. They are both tall — their only resemblance — for all the rest, they differ immensely. Jesus is fair haired. His hair is long and tidy, His face is white ivory, His eyes blue, His garment simple, but majestic. John is hairy: his straight, black hair falls unevenly onto his shoulders, his sparse dark beard covers his face almost completely, but his cheeks, hollowed by fasting, are still noticeable, his feverish eyes are black, his complexion is dark, tanned by the sun and weather-beaten, his body is covered with hairs, he is half-naked in his camel-hair garment, which is tied to his waist by a leather belt and covers his trunk, reaching down to his thin sides, whilst his right side is uncovered and bare, completely weather-beaten. They look like a savage and an angel, seen close together.
John, after scrutinising Him with his piercing eyes, exclaims: «Here is the Lamb of God. How is it that my Lord comes to me?»
Jesus replies calmly: «To fulfil the penitential rite.»
«Never, my Lord. I must come to You to be sanctified, and You are coming to me?»
And Jesus, laying His hand on the head of John, who had bowed down in front of Him, replies: «Let it be done as I wish, that all justice may be fulfilled and your rite may become the beginning of a higher mystery and men may be informed that the Victim is in the world.»
John looks at Him with his eyes sweetened by tears and precedes Jesus towards the bank of the river. Jesus takes off His mantle and tunic, and is left with loin cloth. He then descends into the water, where there is John, who baptises Him, pouring on His head some water taken from the river by means of a cup, tied to his belt. It looks like a shell or a half pumpkin dried and emptied .
Jesus is really the Lamb. A Lamb in the whiteness of His flesh, in the modesty of His gestures, in the meekness of His appearance.
While Jesus climbs onto the bank and after putting on His clothes concentrates on praying, John points Him out to the crowd and testifies that he recognised Him by the sign that the Spirit of God had shown him as an infallible means to identify the Redeemer.
But I am enraptured in watching Jesus pray, and I can only see His bright figure against the green of the river bank.