1 In those days John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the wilderness of Judea
2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near!”
3 He was the one the prophet Isaiah was referring to when he said, “He is a voice calling out in the wilderness:‘Prepare the way for the Lord!Make his paths straight!’”
4 John had clothing made of camel's hair and wore a leather belt around his waist. His diet consisted of locusts and wild honey.
5 Then the people of Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region along the Jordan began flocking to him,
6 being baptized by him in the Jordan River while they confessed their sins.
7 But when John saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them, “You children of serpents! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?
8 Produce fruit that is consistent with repentance!
9 Don't think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our forefather.’ For I tell you that God can raise up descendants for Abraham from these stones!
10 The ax already lies against the roots of the trees. So every tree not producing good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
11 I am baptizing you with water as a token of repentance, but the one who is coming after me is stronger than I am, and I am not worthy to carry his sandals. It is he who will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
12 His winnowing fork is in his hand. He will clean up his threshing floor and gather his grain into the barn, but he will burn the chaff with inextinguishable fire.”
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John.
14 But John tried to stop him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and are you coming to me?”
15 But Jesus answered him,“Let it be this way for now, for this is the proper way for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John let him.
16 When Jesus had been baptized, he immediately came up out of the water. Suddenly the heavens opened up for him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him.
17 Then a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love. I am pleased with him!”