We begin the Luminous mysteries with the Baptism of Christ in the Jordan by John the Baptist. As we hear in the Gospels John has been preaching that someone will come after him and John would not be able to remove the shoes of the one to come. Most of the time when we look at this story we focus on Jesus with the clouds parting, the dove and voice passing over the important role played by John the Baptist.
It is John the Baptist who is one the first to recognize Mary’s child as the Son of God when he leaps for joy in Elizabeth womb. We do not know much about John’ s youth or even his ministry, however we learn in the Gospels that he is a wild man living away from society and many people come to him to be washed in the the Jordan. Ritual cleaning is a major part of the Jewish faith, Leviticus has pages on the topic if you fell inclined. So many of these people were coming to become cleansed of sin. They heard John preach about someone to come after him who would baptize with Holy Spirit and fire. John’s disciples grew in number, it is widely suggested that there is some overlap in the disciples of John and Jesus.
Now John has attracted people from all over society, laying the ground work for the ministry of Jesus. This did not put John the Baptist in any good graces with the authorities. As John was captured and put into prison, before he was beheaded, his disciples came and asked about Jesus and John told them to follow Christ. Are we as observant and as trusting as John the Baptist and willing to tell our followers to follow after some other guy as it is better for them in the long run. John is a great example of being humility as he even says I am unwilling to take the sandal from the one who is to come.