Bible: Luke 3:2-17

3:2 during the high priesthood 1  of Annas and Caiaphas, the word 2  of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3  3:3 He 4  went into all the region around the Jordan River, 5  preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 6 

3:4 As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,

“The voice 7  of one shouting in the wilderness: 8 

‘Prepare the way for the Lord,

make 9  his paths straight.

3:5 Every valley will be filled, 10 

and every mountain and hill will be brought low,

and the crooked will be made straight,

and the rough ways will be made smooth,

3:6 and all humanity 11  will see the salvation of God.’ 12 

3:7 So John 13  said to the crowds 14  that came out to be baptized by him, “You offspring of vipers! 15  Who warned you to flee 16  from the coming wrath? 3:8 Therefore produce 17  fruit 18  that proves your repentance, and don’t begin to say 19  to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ 20  For I tell you that God can raise up children for Abraham from these stones! 21  3:9 Even now the ax is laid at the root of the trees, 22  and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be 23  cut down and thrown into the fire.”

3:10 So 24  the crowds were asking 25  him, “What then should we do? 3:11 John 26  answered them, 27 The person who has two tunics 28  must share with the person who has none, and the person who has food must do likewise.” 3:12 Tax collectors 29  also came to be baptized, and they said to him, “Teacher, what should we do? 3:13 He told them, “Collect no more 30  than you are required to.” 31  3:14 Then some soldiers 32  also asked him, “And as for us – what should we do?” 33  He told them, “Take money from no one by violence 34  or by false accusation, 35  and be content with your pay.”

3:15 While the people were filled with anticipation 36  and they all wondered 37  whether perhaps John 38  could be the Christ, 39  3:16 John answered them all, 40 I baptize you with water, 41  but one more powerful than I am is coming – I am not worthy 42  to untie the strap 43  of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 44  3:17 His winnowing fork 45  is in his hand to clean out his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his storehouse, 46  but the chaff he will burn up with inextinguishable fire.” 47 

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