Bible: Matthew 3-4

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 

The Baptism of Jesus

3:13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John to be baptized by him in the Jordan River. 20  3:14 But John 21  tried to prevent 22  him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you come to me? 3:15 So Jesus replied 23  to him, “Let it happen now, 24  for it is right for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John 25  yielded 26  to him. 3:16 After 27  Jesus was baptized, just as he was coming up out of the water, the 28  heavens 29  opened 30  and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove 31  and coming on him. 3:17 And 32  a voice from heaven said, 33 This is my one dear Son; 34  in him 35  I take great delight.” 36 

The Temptation of Jesus

4:1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness 37  to be tempted by the devil. 4:2 After he fasted forty days and forty nights he was famished. 38  4:3 The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become bread.” 39  4:4 But he answered, 40 It is written, ‘Man 41  does not live 42  by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ 43  4:5 Then the devil took him to the holy city, 44  had him stand 45  on the highest point 46  of the temple, 4:6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you 47  andwith their hands they will lift you up, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ 48  4:7 Jesus said to him, “Once again it is written: ‘You are not to put the Lord your God to the test.’” 49  4:8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their grandeur. 50  4:9 And he said to him, “I will give you all these things if you throw yourself to the ground and worship 51  me.” 4:10 Then Jesus said to him, “Go away, 52  Satan! For it is written: ‘You are to worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’ 53  4:11 Then the devil left him, and angels 54  came and began ministering to his needs.

Preaching in Galilee

4:12 Now when Jesus 55  heard that John had been imprisoned, 56  he went into Galilee. 4:13 While in Galilee, he moved from Nazareth 57  to make his home in Capernaum 58  by the sea, 59  in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali, 4:14 so that what was spoken by Isaiah the prophet would be fulfilled: 60 

4:15Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,

the way by the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles

4:16 the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light,

and on those who sit in the region and shadow of death a light has dawned.” 61 

4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach this message: 62  “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

The Call of the Disciples

4:18 As 63  he was walking by the Sea of Galilee he saw two brothers, Simon (called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea (for they were fishermen). 64  4:19 He said to them, “Follow me, and I will turn you into fishers of people.” 65  4:20 They 66  left their nets immediately and followed him. 67  4:21 Going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in a boat 68  with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. Then 69  he called them. 4:22 They 70  immediately left the boat and their father and followed him.

Jesus’ Healing Ministry

4:23 Jesus 71  went throughout all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, 72  preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of disease and sickness among the people. 4:24 So a report about him spread throughout Syria. People 73  brought to him all who suffered with various illnesses and afflictions, those who had seizures, 74  paralytics, and those possessed by demons, 75  and he healed them. 4:25 And large crowds followed him from Galilee, the Decapolis, 76  Jerusalem, 77  Judea, and beyond the Jordan River. 78 

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