Bible: Luke 3:3-20

3:3 He 1  went into all the region around the Jordan River, 2  preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 3 

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

“The voice 4  of one shouting in the wilderness: 5 

‘Prepare the way for the Lord,

make 6  his paths straight.

3:5 Every valley will be filled, 7 

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 8  will see the salvation of God.’ 9 

3:7 So John 10  said to the crowds 11  that came out to be baptized by him, “You offspring of vipers! 12  Who warned you to flee 13  from the coming wrath? 3:8 Therefore produce 14  fruit 15  that proves your repentance, and don’t begin to say 16  to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ 17  For I tell you that God can raise up children for Abraham from these stones! 18  3:9 Even now the ax is laid at the root of the trees, 19  and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be 20  cut down and thrown into the fire.”

3:10 So 21  the crowds were asking 22  him, “What then should we do? 3:11 John 23  answered them, 24 The person who has two tunics 25  must share with the person who has none, and the person who has food must do likewise.” 3:12 Tax collectors 26  also came to be baptized, and they said to him, “Teacher, what should we do? 3:13 He told them, “Collect no more 27  than you are required to.” 28  3:14 Then some soldiers 29  also asked him, “And as for us – what should we do?” 30  He told them, “Take money from no one by violence 31  or by false accusation, 32  and be content with your pay.”

3:15 While the people were filled with anticipation 33  and they all wondered 34  whether perhaps John 35  could be the Christ, 36  3:16 John answered them all, 37 I baptize you with water, 38  but one more powerful than I am is coming – I am not worthy 39  to untie the strap 40  of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 41  3:17 His winnowing fork 42  is in his hand to clean out his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his storehouse, 43  but the chaff he will burn up with inextinguishable fire.” 44 

3:18 And in this way, 45  with many other exhortations, John 46  proclaimed good news to the people. 3:19 But when John rebuked Herod 47  the tetrarch 48  because of Herodias, his brother’s wife, 49  and because of all the evil deeds 50  that he had done, 3:20 Herod added this to them all: He locked up John in prison.

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