Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene (in the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas) – the word of God came to John (the son of Zacharias) in the wilderness. He came into all the region around the Jordan preaching the baptism of repentance for remission of sins.
For this is he who was written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,
“Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make ready the way of the Lord. Make his paths straight. Every valley will be filled… every mountain and hill will be brought low… the crooked will become straight… and the rough ways smooth. All flesh will see God’s salvation.’”
In those days there came a man sent from God, whose name was John. John the Baptizer came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!” The same came as a witness, that he might testify about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light but was sent that he might testify about the light. John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching the baptism of repentance for forgiveness of sins.
Now John himself wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. Then people from Jerusalem, all the country of Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him. They were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.
He preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and loosen. I baptized you in water, but he will baptize you in the Holy Spirit.”
The multitudes asked him, “What then must we do?” He answered them, “He who has two coats, let him give to him who has none. He who has food, let him do likewise.”
Tax collectors also came to be baptized, and they said to him, “Teacher, what must we do?” He said to them, “Collect no more than that which is appointed to you.”
Soldiers also asked him, saying, “What about us? What must we do?” He said to them, “Extort from no one by violence, neither accuse anyone wrongfully. Be content with your wages.”
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for his baptism, he said to them and to the multitudes who went out to be baptized by him, “You offspring of vipers… who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore, produce fruit worthy of repentance! Don’t think to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father,’ for I tell you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire.”
As the people were in expectation (and all men reasoned in their hearts concerning John, whether perhaps he was the Christ), John answered them all, “I indeed baptize you in water for repentance, but he who comes after me is mightier than I – whose shoes I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire, whose fan is in his hand. He will thoroughly cleanse his threshing floor. He will gather his wheat into the barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
Then with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people.
Source Text Prioritization:
- Matthew 3:1-12
- John 1:6-8
- Mark 1:2-8
- Luke 3:1-18