The Artist's Commentary

The account of the baptism of Christ is recorded in the three synoptic gospels andBaptism of
                    Jesus referenced indirectly in the Gospel of John. It is considered by the majority of Bible scholars to be the first indisputable historical event in the story of Jesus’s life.

The painting was done in a kind of cubist style which means that the design is very geometric. There are several symbolic images in this portrayal. There are numerous diamond and triangular shapes. Diamonds are regal. Triangles are symbols of the three-in-one.

The figure of Jesus is dark skinned, which is probably historically accurate. His hands are uplifted in the prayerful pose of a supplicant. Water is flowing through his hands. His hands symbolize the work He was called to do; his bowed head symbolizes his obedient spirit.

The white shapes on either side of Jesus's head bring angel's wings to mind.

A dove, representing the Holy Spirit, is shown descending from above.

The ribbon is inscribed with symbols of Christ and is the representation of the voice coming forth out of the heavens proclaiming Jesus to be the son of God

This event is sometimes used to illustrate the trinity or triune God: God the Father (the Creator) whose voice is heard, God the Son (the Physical) who rises from the water, and God the Holy Spirit (Inspiration, Revelation, Understanding, Strength) who descends in the form of a dove.

Baptism represents being washed clean. In terms of redemption, it is seen as an acting out of salvation from sin -- death of the old, sinful life and burial (going under the water) and resurrection or rebirth (arising from the water) to a new life in Christ.

Baptism has other important spiritual meanings. The water is not only cleansing but also life-giving and invigorating. Water is a universal symbol of life itself.

I believe the water, in this case, can be accurately interpreted as representing the love which is central to Jesus's message. This is the meaning that Jesus was communicating to the Samaritan woman at the well when he said, "
whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Having the mind of Christ is achieved only when our reasoning is cleansed of thoughts of separateness, anger, hate, fear, revenge, judgmentalism, and condemnation of others. In their place, a love of God and our fellow humans needs to reside.

Should baptism be strictly a one-time event or can a person be baptized multiple times?

The important question is: how does this story apply to us today?


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Copyright, James Bennett 2021