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Chapter 3

1In those days John the Baptist appeared, and preached in the desert of Judea.

2“Repent!” he said, “for the Kingdom of Heaven is coming!”

3It was he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, when he said,

“Hark! Someone is shouting in the desert,

‘Get the Lord’s way ready!

Make his paths straight!’ ”

4John wore clothing made of hair cloth, and he had a leather belt around his waist, and he lived on dried locusts and wild honey. 5Then Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole Jordan valley went out to him, 6and they were baptized by him in the Jordan River, in acknowledgment of their sins. 7But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them,

“You brood of snakes! Who warned you to escape from the wrath that is coming? 8Then produce fruit that will be consistent with your professed repentance! 9Do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our forefather,’ for I tell you God can produce descendants for Abraham right out of these stones! 10But the axe is already lying at the roots of the trees. Any tree that fails to produce good fruit is going to be cut down and thrown into the fire. 11I am baptizing you in water in token of your repentance, but he who is coming after me is stronger than I am, and I am not fit to carry his shoes. He will baptize you in the holy Spirit and in fire. 12His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clean up his threshing-floor, and store his wheat in his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with inextinguishable fire.”

13Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan, to John, to be baptized by him. 14But John dissuaded him, and said,

“I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”

15But Jesus answered,

“Let it be so this time, for it is right for us to do everything that God requires.”

Then John consented. 16And when Jesus was baptized, he went right up out of the water, and the heavens opened, and he saw the Spirit of God come down like a dove and light upon him, 17and a voice from heaven said,

“This is my Son, my Beloved! This is my Chosen.”

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