Also called Bethabara, the ‘house of the ford and place of crossing’, this site is described in the New Testament as the site where Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist. ‘Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him (Matthew 3:13).’
The location also appears on the 6th-century Madaba Map and in the Jewish Talmud. It is located on the banks of the Jordan River south of Jericho. Traditions based on interpretations of the scriptural texts connect the site with two other miracles: the crossing of the River Jordan, whose waters were divinely restrained, by the Israelites under the command of Joshua(Joshua 3); and Prophet Elijah being taken to heaven by chariots of fire (2 Kings 2:9, 11).
“...As a child, whenever we drove from Jerusalem up north towards Galilee, my father used to drive through Jericho in the Jordan valley. In those days the border between Israel and Jordan was not accessible and you couldn’t go near the Jordan River itself, so the river was always an unreachable and somewhere I longed to go. During the drive along the valley there were two or three spots on the road where you could see a glimpse of the river glittering in the sun far in the East. I remember the excitement and cries of joy in the car every time its beauty was revealed. It was so exciting. Years later as an adult, after the Peace treaty between Israel and Jordan was established, I visited the Jordan River near Jericho and felt very privileged to touch and feel those waters filled with so much history...”