‘surprised’ at the appearance of Jesus for baptism from him? Why is this so?
It is very interesting that in this very first public appearance of Jesus at the beginning of his public ministry, he does not say one single word! The implications are enormous: Jesus desires to be revealed through the words and memories of other human beings! He is the innocent lamb, silent and humbly submitting to the shearer.
The metaphor “Lamb of God” is loaded with even deeper meaning, because every year the night before Passover the lambs were slaughtered for the great sacrifice of the Passover meal. In our setting with John the Baptist, it is a
“type” or symbolic representation of what was yet to come – the Lamb (Jesus) is the sacrifice on the Cross for our salvation.
Now, note these important words from the Baptist: “I did not know him myself” What? Wasn’t he the cousin of Jesus? Yes; but he did not know that cousin Jesus was the Messiah until God infused that knowledge into him. After all, Jesus did not have one of those “halo’s” on top of his head, like the artists who portray saints and people to indicate their holiness. (CCC 438) says that this was revealed at the moment of his baptism by John.
What about us- that’s you and me: do WE recognise Jesus today? It is quite clear that he desires us to find him in other people, not to let other people find him in us. Our God is a sacramental God; he chooses to manifest his loving kindness through people instead of through cosmic displays of power and grandeur. This leaves us with the question, are we (you and I) cooperating with the desires and intentions of Jesus in our daily lives ?