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Matthew 3 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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The Message (MSG) New International Version (NIV)
1 While Jesus was living in the Galilean hills, John, called "the Baptizer," was preaching in the desert country of Judea. 1 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea
2 His message was simple and austere, like his desert surroundings: "Change your life. God's kingdom is here." 2 and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."
3 John and his message were authorized by Isaiah's prophecy: Thunder in the desert! Prepare for God's arrival! Make the road smooth and straight! 3 This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: "A voice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.' "
4 John dressed in a camel-hair habit tied at the waist by a leather strap. He lived on a diet of locusts and wild field honey. 4 John's clothes were made of camel's hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey.
5 People poured out of Jerusalem, Judea, and the Jordanian countryside to hear and see him in action. 5 People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan.
6 There at the Jordan River those who came to confess their sins were baptized into a changed life. 6 Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.
7 When John realized that a lot of Pharisees and Sadducees were showing up for a baptismal experience because it was becoming the popular thing to do, he exploded: "Brood of snakes! What do you think you're doing slithering down here to the river? Do you think a little water on your snakeskins is going to make any difference? 7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?
8 It's your life that must change, not your skin! 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.
9 And don't think you can pull rank by claiming Abraham as father. Being a descendant of Abraham is neither here nor there. Descendants of Abraham are a dime a dozen. 9 And do not think you can say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.
10 What counts is your life. Is it green and blossoming? Because if it's deadwood, it goes on the fire. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
11 "I'm baptizing you here in the river, turning your old life in for a kingdom life. The real action comes next: The main character in this drama - compared to him I'm a mere stagehand - will ignite the kingdom life within you, a fire within you, the Holy Spirit within you, changing you from the inside out. 11 "I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
12 He's going to clean house - make a clean sweep of your lives. He'll place everything true in its proper place before God; everything false he'll put out with the trash to be burned." 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire."
13 Jesus then appeared, arriving at the Jordan River from Galilee. He wanted John to baptize him. 13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John.
14 John objected, "I'm the one who needs to be baptized, not you!" 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?"
15 But Jesus insisted. "Do it. God's work, putting things right all these centuries, is coming together right now in this baptism." So John did it. 15 Jesus replied, "Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness." Then John consented.
16 The moment Jesus came up out of the baptismal waters, the skies opened up and he saw God's Spirit - it looked like a dove - descending and landing on him. 16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him.
17 And along with the Spirit, a voice: "This is my Son, chosen and marked by my love, delight of my life." 17 And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."