John the Baptist Prepares the Way

Matthew 3

1 In those days a John the Baptist came preaching b in the wilderness of Judea, 2 and saying, "Repent, for c the kingdom of heaven is at hand!"

3 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying:
d "The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
e ' Prepare the way of the LORD;
Make His paths straight.' " 1

4 Now f John himself was clothed in camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was g locusts and h wild honey. 5 i Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him 6 j and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.

7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, k "Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from l the wrath to come? 8 "Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, 9 "and do not think to say to yourselves, m 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. 10 "And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. n Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

11 o "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. p He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit 2 and fire. 12 q "His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will r burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."

New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
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