Jesus Christ said of St. John the Baptist, "Among those who are born of women there is not a greater prophet." (Luke VII.28). About 27 B.C. John emerged from the desert to announce, "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." Those who confessed their sins were then washed in the river Jordan. So powerful was John's preaching that he baptized some of Christ’s apostles and Jesus Himself. This unique icon shows this important event, done in the 'Oklad' style with an ornate silver gilt cover over oil on panel. Christ is most dramatically depicted naked, humble in the act of being baptized; one who Himself was to give His blessings to humanity, "fulfilling all that is righteous." (Matthew 5:17). The act is watched over by three angels and God the Father in Heaven. All of them, like the Baptist, are in a sense 'shielded' from the world, leaving only Christ vulnerable and exposed--true to His nature of being human and divine.