Here begins the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God.
In the book of the prophet Isaiah, God said, "Look, I am sending my messenger before you, and he will prepare your way.
He is a voice shouting in the wilderness: 'Prepare a pathway for the Lord's coming! Make a straight road for him!'"
This messenger was John the Baptist. He lived in the wilderness and was preaching that people should be baptized to show that they had turned from their sins and turned to God to be forgiven.
People from Jerusalem and from all over Judea traveled out into the wilderness to see and hear John. And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River.
His clothes were woven from camel hair, and he wore a leather belt; his food was locusts and wild honey.
He announced: "Someone is coming soon who is far greater than I am -- so much greater that I am not even worthy to be his slave.
I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit!"
One day Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and he was baptized by John in the Jordan River.
And when Jesus came up out of the water, he saw the heavens split open and the Holy Spirit descending like a dove on him.
And a voice came from heaven saying, "You are my beloved Son, and I am fully pleased with you."
Immediately the Holy Spirit compelled Jesus to go into the wilderness.