In those days John the Baptist1 came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea
and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven2 has come near."
This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: "A voice of one calling in the wilderness, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.' "a34
John's4 clothes were made of camel's hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist.5 His food was locusts6 and wild honey.
People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan.
Confessing their sins, they were baptized7 by him in the Jordan River.
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: "You brood of vipers!8 Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?98
Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.109
And do not think you can say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.'11 I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.
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.1211
"I baptize you withb water for repentance.13 But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you withc the Holy Spirit14 and fire.1512
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."16