The Parting of the Waters:
The Case from Scripture for the Reincarnation of Jesus
By Mark Gaffney
A Fifth Repetition?
Which brings us--Voila!--to the fifth scriptural recurrence, more than eight hundred years after the time of Elisha, when we witness the return of the second Yeshua (Joshua = Jesus) to the river at a place which may have been very near to the spot where the prior crossing orchestrated by the first Joshua occurred; this time, however, not for a crossing, rather, for the occasion of a baptismal immersion hosted by the prophet John the Baptist. We are not surprised by the proximity of the waters, that is, the location on the Jordan. Because, now, we have been alerted to the pattern. Already we are experiencing an eerie case of deja vu. Whereupon, just when we are beginning to wonder what could Jesus possibly do to top the last solo performance, the Naassene document informs us that the slugger stepped up to the plate, crouched and waited for the delivery, got behind the swing, and--WHAM!--knocked the leather off the ball, smacking the thing out of the park! Not only does he stop the Jordan in mid-flow, dead in its tracks, he actually reverses it! He makes the river flow backwards, all the back way up to the source; by which, in this case, is not meant the Nahr Banias, nor the Ain Leddan, nor the Nahr Hasbani, the Jordan's three main headwater springs; but rather, to heaven, meaning, of course, ultimate spiritual reality. Instead of boring us with a seismic rerun, Jesus pulls off an encore performance worthy of the name in every respect. In short, he accomplishes the impossible, beautifully completing the cycle, while, at the same time, introducing us to a whole new series of cosmic lessons on a still higher plane--this the conundrum.
Of course, there is no explicit passage in the canonical New Testament about Jesus reversing the flow of the Jordan. Nevertheless, just such an event is mentioned in the apocryphal Testimony of Truth (from the Nag Hammadi), as well as in the Refutation. And for those willing to look, corroborating clues can also be found in unexpected places, for example, in folk legend: a Scandinavian fairy tale describing how Jesus "stopped up the Jordan." If they could speak, the Naassenes would surely tell us that the idea is implicit in scripture, assuming nothing more than the pattern we have just observed. Certainly, the parallels between the baptism of Jesus and the initiation of Elisha in II Kings are strikingly obvious. Without question, both cases are spiritual initiations, easily identified as such by the descent of spirit. Curiously, this is precisely the point of John's gospel (3:3), in the passage where Jesus tells Nicodemus and several other pharisees that "Unless a man is born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God." The same idea is also explicitly stated in Mark, Matthew and Luke, who unanimously report that when Jesus came up out of the waters of the Jordan the heavens opened and the spirit, like a dove, descended and remained upon him. In John's version the baptism is not mentioned, only implied.