It was the fifteenth year in the reign of the Emperor Tiberius. Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea. Herod ruled Galilee, and his brother Philip ruled Iturea and Trachonitis. Lysanias was the ruler of Abilene.
It was at the time when Annas and Caiaphas were chief priests that God spoke to John, son of Zechariah, in the desert.
John traveled throughout the region around the Jordan River. He told people about a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
As the prophet Isaiah wrote in his book, "A voice cries out in the desert: 'Prepare the way for the Lord! Make his paths straight!
Every valley will be filled. Every mountain and hill will be leveled. The crooked ways will be made straight. The rough roads will be made smooth.
All people will see the salvation that God gives.'"