Matthew 3:1-12 (Lexham English Bible)

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John the Baptist Begins His Ministry

1 Now in those days John the Baptist came preaching in the Judean wilderness 2 and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near!" 3 For this is the one who was spoken about by the prophet Isaiah, saying, "The voice of one crying out in the wilderness, 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.'" 4 Now John himself had his clothing made from camel's hair and a belt made of leather around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the district around the Jordan were going out to him, 6 and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River [as they]a confessed their sins. 7 But [when he]b saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, "Offspring of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Therefore produce fruit worthy of repentance! 9 And do not think to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham [as] father.' For I say to you that God is able to raise up children for Abraham from these stones! 10 Already now the ax is positioned at the root of the trees; therefore every tree not producing good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 11 I baptize you with water for repentance, but the one who comes after me is more powerful than I [am], whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing shovel [is] in his hand, and he will clean out his threshing floor and will gather his wheat into the storehouse, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."
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