John baptizes Jesus.

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Title:John baptizes Jesus
Notes:JESUS MAFA is a response to the New Testament readings from the Lectionary by a Christian community in Cameroon, Africa. Each of the readings was selected and adapted to dramatic interpretation by the community members. Photographs of their interpretations were made, and these were then transcribed to paintings.

In this dramatic painting of Jesus’ baptism, people stand in the background to watch the event. John stands on a rock to perform the ritual despite earlier protestations (as told in the gospel passage). The water flows from John’s hands and cascades down Jesus’ head and body. Jesus stands in a prayerful, peaceful pose as he fulfills this righteous act. In this picturesque rendering, we see a very faithful human Jesus moments before the conclusion of the story, which states that a dove descends and a voice from heaven says, “This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.”


Scripture:Matthew 3:13-17
Lectionary links:AEpip01
General Subject:Baptism of Christ
Culture: African
Culture: Black
Library of Congress Subject:Christian art and symbolism -- Cameroon

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Copyright Permission:For non-commercial uses, include with the image the Attribution statement below. Variations of the statement are fine as long as the elements in the Attribution statement are included. For other uses contact Éditions de l’Emmanuel,
Attribution:JESUS MAFA. John baptizes Jesus, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved June 19, 2024]. Original source: (contact page:
Record Number:48290 Last Updated: 2022-04-18 19:34:45 Record Created: 2006-12-15 00:00:00
Institution:Vanderbilt University Collection: Art in the Christian Tradition