1 In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness
of Judea, proclaiming,
for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’
3 This is the
one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said, ‘The voice
of one crying out in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the
Lord, make his paths straight.” ’
4 Now John wore
clothing of camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist,
and his food was locusts and wild honey.
5 Then the people
of Jerusalem and all Judea were going out to him, and all the region
along the Jordan,
6 and they were
baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.
7 But when he
saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to
them, ‘You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the
wrath to come?
8 Bear fruit worthy
9 Do not presume
to say to yourselves, “We have Abraham as our ancestor”;
for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children
10 Even now the
axe is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that
does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
11 ‘I baptize
you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than
I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will
baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
12 His winnowing-fork
is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing-floor and will gather
his wheat into the granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable