3
John Prepares the Way for Jesus
(Mt. 3:1–12; Mk. 1:1–8; Jn. 1:19–28)
1It was the 15th year of the rule of Tiberius Caesar. These men were under Caesar:
Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judea;
Herod, the ruler of Galilee;
Philip, Herod’s brother, the ruler of Iturea and Trachonitis;
Lysanias, the ruler of Abilene.
2Annas and Caiaphas were the high priests. During this time, John, the son of Zechariah, was living in the desert, and he received a message from God. 3So he went through the whole area around the Jordan River and told the people God’s message. He told them to be baptized to show that they wanted to change their lives, and then their sins would be forgiven. 4This is like the words written in the book of Isaiah the prophet:
“There is someone shouting in the desert:
‘Prepare the way for the Lord.
Make the road straight for him.
5Every valley will be filled,
and every mountain and hill will be made flat.
Crooked roads will be made straight,
and rough roads will be made smooth.
6Then everyone will see
how God will save his people!’” Isaiah 40:3-5
7Crowds of people came to be baptized by John. But he said to them, “You are all snakes! Who warned you to run from God’s judgment that is coming? 8Change your hearts! And show by your lives that you have changed. I know what you are about to say—‘but Abraham is our father!’ That means nothing. I tell you that God can make children for Abraham from these rocks! 9The ax is now ready to cut down the trees.#3:9 trees Meaning the people who don’t obey God. They are like “trees” that will be cut down. Every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”
10The people asked John, “What should we do?”
11He answered, “If you have two shirts, share with someone who does not have one. If you have food, share that too.”
12Even the tax collectors came to John. They wanted to be baptized. They said to him, “Teacher, what should we do?”
13He told them, “Don’t take more taxes from people than you have been ordered to collect.”
14The soldiers asked him, “What about us? What should we do?”
He said to them, “Don’t use force or lies to make people give you money. Be happy with the pay you get.”
15Everyone was hoping for the Messiah to come, and they wondered about John. They thought, “Maybe he is the Messiah.”
16John’s answer to this was, “I baptize you in water, but there is someone coming later who is able to do more than I can. I am not good enough to be the slave who unties his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 17He will come ready to clean the grain.#3:17 clean the grain Meaning that Jesus will separate the good people from those who are bad. He will separate the good grain from the straw, and he will put the good part into his barn. Then he will burn the useless part with a fire that cannot be stopped.” 18John said many other things like this to encourage the people to change, and he told them the Good News.
How John’s Work Later Ended
19John criticized Herod the ruler for what he had done with Herodias, the wife of Herod’s brother, as well as for all the other bad things he had done. 20So Herod added another bad thing to all his other wrongs: He put John in jail.
Jesus Is Baptized by John
(Mt. 3:13–17; Mk. 1:9–11)
21When all the people were being baptized, Jesus came and was baptized too. And while he was praying, the sky opened, 22and the Holy Spirit came down on him. The Spirit looked like a real dove. Then a voice came from heaven and said, “You are my Son, the one I love. I am very pleased with you.”
The Family History of Joseph
(Mt. 1:1–17)
23When Jesus began to teach, he was about 30 years old. People thought that Jesus was Joseph’s son.
Joseph was the son of Eli.
24Eli was the son of Matthat.
Matthat was the son of Levi.
Levi was the son of Melchi.
Melchi was the son of Jannai.
Jannai was the son of Joseph.
25Joseph was the son of Mattathias.
Mattathias was the son of Amos.
Amos was the son of Nahum.
Nahum was the son of Esli.
Esli was the son of Naggai.
26Naggai was the son of Maath.
Maath was the son of Mattathias.
Mattathias was the son of Semein.
Semein was the son of Josech.
Josech was the son of Joda.
27Joda was the son of Joanan.
Joanan was the son of Rhesa.
Rhesa was the son of Zerubbabel.
Zerubbabel was the son of Shealtiel.
Shealtiel was the son of Neri.
28Neri was the son of Melchi.
Melchi was the son of Addi.
Addi was the son of Cosam.
Cosam was the son of Elmadam.
Elmadam was the son of Er.
29Er was the son of Joshua.
Joshua was the son of Eliezer.
Eliezer was the son of Jorim.
Jorim was the son of Matthat.
Matthat was the son of Levi.
30Levi was the son of Simeon.
Simeon was the son of Judah.
Judah was the son of Joseph.
Joseph was the son of Jonam.
Jonam was the son of Eliakim.
31Eliakim was the son of Melea.
Melea was the son of Menna.
Menna was the son of Mattatha.
Mattatha was the son of Nathan.
Nathan was the son of David.
32David was the son of Jesse.
Jesse was the son of Obed.
Obed was the son of Boaz.
Boaz was the son of Salmon.
Salmon was the son of Nahshon.
33Nahshon was the son of Amminadab.
Amminadab was the son of Admin.
Admin was the son of Arni.
Arni was the son of Hezron.
Hezron was the son of Perez.
Perez was the son of Judah.
34Judah was the son of Jacob.
Jacob was the son of Isaac.
Isaac was the son of Abraham.
Abraham was the son of Terah.
Terah was the son of Nahor.
35Nahor was the son of Serug.
Serug was the son of Reu.
Reu was the son of Peleg.
Peleg was the son of Eber.
Eber was the son of Shelah.
36Shelah was the son of Cainan.
Cainan was the son of Arphaxad.
Arphaxad was the son of Shem.
Shem was the son of Noah.
Noah was the son of Lamech.
37Lamech was the son of Methuselah.
Methuselah was the son of Enoch.
Enoch was the son of Jared.
Jared was the son of Mahalaleel.
Mahalaleel was the son of Cainan.
38Cainan was the son of Enos.
Enos was the son of Seth.
Seth was the son of Adam.
Adam was the son of God.
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