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Matthew 3:1-10 (New International Reader's Version)

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John the Baptist Prepares the Way

1 In those days John the Baptist came and preached in the Desert of Judea. 2 He said, "Turn away from your sins! The kingdom of heaven is near." 3 John is the one the prophet Isaiah had spoken about. He had said, "A messenger is calling out in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the Lord. Make straight paths for him.' " #1(Isaiah 40:3)#2 4 John's clothes were made out of camel's hair. He had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. 5 People went out to him from Jerusalem and all of Judea. They also came from the whole area around the Jordan River. 6 When they admitted they had sinned, John baptized them in the Jordan. 7 John saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing. He said to them, "You are like a nest of poisonous snakes! Who warned you to escape the coming of God's anger? 8 Produce fruit that shows you have turned away from your sins. 9 Don't think you can say to yourselves, 'Abraham is our father.' I tell you, God can raise up children for Abraham even from these stones. 10 The ax is already lying at the roots of the trees. All the trees that don't produce good fruit will be cut down. They will be thrown into the fire.
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