1By now Tiberias had been Caesar for fifteen years. Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea. Herod was ruler#3:1. Literally, “tetrarch.” Also the other instances where ruler is used in this verse. of Galilee, his brother Philip was ruler of Iturea and Trachonitis, and Lysanius was ruler of Abiline. 2Annas and Caiphas were the current high priests. This was the time when the word of God came to John, Zechariah’s son, who was living in the desert. 3He went throughout the whole Jordan region, announcing to everyone that they needed to be baptized to show they had repented and their sins had been forgiven. 4As Isaiah the prophet wrote: “A voice was heard crying out in the desert, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord: make his paths straight. 5Every valley will be filled, and every mountain and hill will be leveled. Crooked ways will be straightened, and rough roads will be smoothed. 6Every human being will see God’s salvation.’”
7John addressed the crowds that came to him to be baptized. “You viper’s brood! Who warned you to flee from the coming judgment?” he asked. 8“Demonstrate that you have truly repented#3:8. Literally, “Produce worthy fruits of repentance.”. Don’t try to justify yourselves by saying, ‘We’re Abraham’s descendants.’ Let me tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these stones. 9The ax is set to begin chopping at the base of the trees. Any tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.”
10“So what should we do?” the crowds asked him.
11“If you have two coats, then share with someone who doesn’t have one. If you have food, then share with those who don’t,” he told them.
12Some tax collectors came to be baptized. “Teacher, what should we do?” they also asked.
13“Don’t collect any more tax than you’re meant to,” he replied.
14“What about us?” some soldiers asked. “What should we do?”
“Don’t demand money with threats of violence. Don’t make accusations that are untrue. Be satisfied with your wages,” he replied.
15The people were waiting expectantly, and wondered whether John himself might be the Messiah. 16John replied and explained to everybody, “Yes, I am baptizing you in water. But the one who is coming is more important than me, and I’m not worthy to undo his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 17His winnowing fork is in his hand and he’s ready to separate the wheat from the chaff on his threshing floor. He’ll gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with fire that can’t be extinguished.”
18John gave many warnings like this as he announced the good news to the people. 19But when John reprimanded Herod the ruler for marrying Herodias, Herod’s brother’s wife, and for all the evil things he’d done, 20Herod added to his crimes by having John thrown into jail.
21Now it happened that after everyone had been baptized, Jesus was baptized as well. As he was praying, heaven was opened, 22and the Holy Spirit descended upon him, taking the form of a dove. A voice came from heaven, saying, “You are my son, the one I love. I am truly pleased with you.”
23Jesus was around thirty when he began his public ministry. People presumed he was the son of Joseph. Joseph was the son of Heli, 24the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, 25the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, 26the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda, 27the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, 28the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, 29the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, 31the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon, 33the son of Amminadab, the son of Arni, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 34the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 35the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, 36the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan, 38the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.