In those days John the Baptist appeared in the desert of Judea announcing,
"Change your hearts and lives! Here comes the kingdom of heaven!"
He was the one of whom Isaiah the prophet spoke when he said: The voice of one shouting in the wilderness, "Prepare the way for the Lord;make his paths straight."a4
John wore clothes made of camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey.
People from Jerusalem, throughout Judea, and all around the Jordan River came to him.
As they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River.
Many Pharisees and Sadducees came to be baptized by John. He said to them, "You children of snakes! Who warned you to escape from the angry judgment that is coming soon?
Produce fruit that shows you have changed your hearts and lives.
And don't even think about saying to yourselves, Abraham is our father. I tell you that God is able to raise up Abraham's children from these stones.
The ax is already at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that doesn't produce good fruit will be chopped down and tossed into the fire.
I baptize with water those of you who have changed your hearts and lives. The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I'm not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
The shovel he uses to sift the wheat from the husks is in his hands. He will clean out his threshing area and bring the wheat into his barn. But he will burn the husks with a fire that can't be put out."
At that time Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan River so that John would baptize him.
John tried to stop him and said, "I need to be baptized by you, yet you come to me?"
Jesus answered, "Allow me to be baptized now. This is necessary to fulfill all righteousness." So John agreed to baptize Jesus.
When Jesus was baptized, he immediately came up out of the water. Heaven was opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God coming down like a dove and resting on him.
A voice from heaven said, "This is my Son whom I dearly love; I find happiness in him."