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Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.”

~ Matthew 3:13–17



Pastel on paper
42″ × 28″

This painting portrays a dear friend of mine, Debra Sarlo, being baptized in the Jordan River. We toured Israel together in the summer of 2015.

When we arrived at the Jordan River, I was fascinated by the luminous appearance of the water and the light. The Holy Spirit was truly present and made everything glow, including my friend at this precious moment in her life. Through the power of her faith in Jesus, she has traveled far in her readiness to forgive and to trust God. The expression on her face reveals her complete peace on arriving at this point in her journey.

This piece was exhibited in 2016 at the California Art Club’s 105th Annual Gold Medal Show at the Autry Museum of the American West.

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[click to enlarge]