Bible: Matt 3:1-12

The Ministry of John the Baptist

3:1 In those days John the Baptist came into the wilderness 1  of Judea proclaiming, 3:2 Repent, 2  for the kingdom of heaven is near.” 3:3 For he is the one about whom Isaiah the prophet had spoken: 3 

The voice 4  of one shouting in the wilderness,

Prepare the way for the Lord, make 5  his paths straight.’ 6 

3:4 Now John wore clothing made from camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his diet consisted of locusts and wild honey. 7  3:5 Then people from Jerusalem, 8  as well as all Judea and all the region around the Jordan, were going out to him, 3:6 and he was baptizing them 9  in the Jordan River as they confessed their sins.

3:7 But when he saw many Pharisees 10  and Sadducees 11  coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You offspring of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 3:8 Therefore produce fruit 12  that proves your 13  repentance, 3:9 and don’t think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that God can raise up children for Abraham from these stones! 3:10 Even now the ax is laid at 14  the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

3:11I baptize you with water, for repentance, but the one coming after me is more powerful than I am – I am not worthy 15  to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 16  3:12 His winnowing fork 17  is in his hand, and he will clean out his threshing floor and will gather his wheat into the storehouse, 18  but the chaff he will burn up with inextinguishable fire.” 19 

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