John 1:28, Bethabara beyond the Jordan. John’s discussion with these Jewish leaders occurred “beyond the Jordan” or on the east side of the Jordan River. Bethabara in Hebrew means “house or place of the crossing over” and contains the same three letter root (עבר) as the name Eber, who was the grandfather of Abraham from which the name Hebrews drives.
John baptizing in the Jordan River was spiritually symbolic of one making the choice, as did Abraham, the father of the Hebrews and the saints’ spiritual father of faith (Gal 3:29), and the one to whom YHVH initially showed the path or pattern of salvation (Romans chapter 4), to cross over from the world (or “Babylon”) and to become a Hebrew. A Hebrew or Ivrit is one who has crossed over by faith from the world and its religious systems into the Promised Land of one’s spiritual inheritance.
In the case of John, the priest or cohen, he was baptizing those who were crossing over from a manmade or worldly religious system that had largely become disconnected from the essentials of its Hebraic roots and had become a confused (or Babylonian) mixture of good and evil (as in the tree by that name that was located in the garden) and was no longer a tree of life.
Baptism was a symbolic act of dying to the world, the flesh and devil by coming out of false religious systems of men and crossing over into deeper, purer and anointed spiritual relationship or walk with Elohim through Yeshua the Mashiach (or anointed one) just as Abraham had done two millennia previously.
Presently, YHVH is calling all of this people to come out of spiritual Babylonian religious harlot systems that are fornicating with the world by becoming like or syncretizing with the it (Rev 18:4) and to cross over into a more Hebraic spiritual orientation in their walk with him. This act along with one’s faith in Yeshua the Hebrew Messiah (John 1:1–18, 29) is a pre-requisite for becoming a child of Elohim (John 1:12).