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Matthew 3

3
John the Baptist Prepares the Way
1In those days John the Baptist came and preached in the desert around Judea. 2He said, “Turn away from your sins! The kingdom of heaven is near.” 3John is the one Isaiah the prophet was talking about when he said,
“A messenger is calling out in the desert,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.’ ”
4John’s clothes were made out of camel’s hair, and he wore a leather belt around his waist. For food, he ate locusts and wild honey. 5People came out to him from Jerusalem, all of Judea, and the whole area around the Jordan River. 6They confessed their sins, and John baptized them in the Jordan.
7But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to be baptized, John said to them, “You little snakes! Who warned you to try to escape the punishment that’s coming? 8If you have turned away from your sins, you have to live in a way that shows that. 9Don’t think you’re safe just because you can say, ‘We come from Abraham.’ I tell you, God can raise up children for Abraham even from these stones. 10The ax is already at the tree roots, and any tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
11“I’m baptizing you with water so you can show that you’ve turned away from your sins. But someone is coming after me who’s more powerful than I am. I’m not even worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12He’ll have a tool with him and use it to sort out everything on his threshing floor. He’ll gather the wheat into his barn, but he’ll burn up the husks in a fire that can’t be put out.”
Jesus Is Baptized
13Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan River so that John could baptize him. 14But John didn’t want to. He told Jesus, “I need to be baptized by you, so why are you coming to me?”
15Jesus answered, “Please agree to this. It’s right for us to do everything that God is asking of people now.” So then John agreed.
16Right after Jesus was baptized, as he was coming up out of the water, at that moment, heaven was opened and Jesus saw the Spirit of God coming down on him like a dove. 17A voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son. I’m very pleased with him.”
3
John the Baptist Prepares the Way
1In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea 2and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” 3This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:
“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.’ ”#3:3 Isaiah 40:3
4John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. 5People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. 6Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.
7But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. 9And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
11“I baptize you with#3:11 Or in water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with#3:11 Or in the Holy Spirit and fire. 12His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
The Baptism of Jesus
13Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
15Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.
16As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”