It was the fifteenth year of the rule of Tiberius Caesar. These men were under Caesar: Pontius Pilate, the ruler of Judea; Herod, the ruler of Galilee; Philip, Herod's brother, the ruler of Iturea and Traconitis; and Lysanias, the ruler of Abilene.
Annas and Caiaphas were the high priests. At this time, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the desert.
He went all over the area around the Jordan River preaching a baptism of changed hearts and lives for the forgiveness of sins.
As it is written in the book of Isaiah the prophet: "This is a voice of one who calls out in the desert: 'Prepare the way for the Lord. Make the road straight for him.
Every valley should be filled in, and every mountain and hill should be made flat. Roads with turns should be made straight, and rough roads should be made smooth.
And all people will know about the salvation of God!'"