John the Baptist Prepares the Way
3 hIn those days iJohn the Baptist came preaching in jthe wilderness of Judea,
2 k“Repent, for lthe kingdom of heaven is at hand.”1 3 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said,
m“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
n‘Prepare2 the way of the Lord;
make his paths straight.’”
4 Now John wore oa garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was plocusts and qwild honey. 5 Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him, 6 and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, rconfessing their sins.
7 But when he saw many of sthe Pharisees and tSadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, u“You brood of vvipers! Who warned you to flee from wthe wrath to come? 8 Bear fruit xin keeping with repentance. 9 And do not presume to say to yourselves, y‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from zthese stones to raise up children for Abraham. 10 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. aEvery tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
11 b“I baptize you with water cfor repentance, but dhe who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you ewith the Holy Spirit and ffire. 12 His gwinnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and hgather his wheat into the barn, ibut the chaff he will burn with junquenchable fire.”