Greetings friends and travelers!
The part of the Holy Land that is on the eastern side of the Jordan River is blessed with the rich spiritual heritage of the full story of the history of salvation as recorded in the Bible. Abraham, Job, Moses, Ruth, Elijah, John the Baptist and Jesus were some of the figures of the Bible who performed pivotal elements of their divinely-ordained missions in this ancient landscape that is now within the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
The very name of the country – Jordan – retains the unique baptismal aura of a holy river and a blessed land. It was here, in the waters of Bethany-beyond-the-Jordan, where the Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit first manifested itself explicitly when John baptized Jesus.
The southern Jordan River Valley, the Dead Sea plains, and the surrounding hills and mountains are the home to some of the most momentous events in the history of man’s relationship with God. Here Abraham arrived in the Holy Land; Jacob and Esau made their pact; God protected Lot while destroying Sodom and Gomorrah; Moses saw the Promised Land which he would never enter; Joshua crossed the Jordan River into Canaan; Elijah rode a “chariot of fire” into heaven; Elisha cured the leper in the waters of the river; John the Baptist preached, baptized Jesus and was killed by King Herod; and Jesus received the Holy Spirit and resisted the temptations of Satan.
God repeatedly designated Jordan as a land of peace and refuge, where Ruth, Elijah, David, Jesus, John the Baptist and the first Christian communities, among others, found safety and peace. Most of the great biblical prophets made their journeys of faith from the east bank of the Jordan River to the west – symbolically moving from the “wilderness” where men and women are tested, to the Promised Land.
Most of the holy sites in Jordan where the biblical prophets performed miracles or reached out to ordinary people are identified, excavated and easily accessible to visitors. New sites are being discovered every year. Visitors to Jordan can often visit archaeological excavations and share in the excitement of identifying ancient remains of places where Moses completed his mission from God; where Elijah lived by faith; where John the Baptist preached and heralded the arrival of the Messiah; and where Jesus performed miracles.