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The Preaching of John the Baptist(A)

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the Prophets:

“Look, I am sending My messenger before Your face,
    who will prepare Your way before You.”[a]
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
    make His paths straight.’ ”[b]

John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. The whole region of Judea and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins. John was clothed with camel’s hair and with a leather belt around his waist. And he ate locusts and wild honey. He preached saying, “After me is coming One mightier than I, the straps of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I indeed have baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

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The Preaching of John the Baptist(A)

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Caesar Tiberius, Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip was tetrarch of Iturea and the region of Traconitis, and Lysanias was the tetrarch of Abilene. Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He came into the region surrounding the Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying:

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord;
    make His paths straight.
Every valley shall be filled
    and every mountain and hill shall be brought low;
and the crooked shall be made straight
    and the rough ways shall be made smooth;
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’ ”[a]

Then he said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You children of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruit worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. Even now the axe is put to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

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15 As the people were in expectation, and everyone reflected in their hearts upon John, whether he might be the Christ or not, 16 John answered them all, “I indeed baptize you with water. But One mightier than I is coming, the strings of whose shoes I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 17 His fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly cleanse His threshing floor, and will gather the wheat into His granary. But He will burn the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

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The Testimony of John the Baptist(A)

19 Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.”

21 They asked him, “Who then? Are you Elijah?”

He said, “I am not.”

“Are you the Prophet?”

He answered, “No.”

22 They said to him then, “Who are you? Tell us so that we may give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say concerning yourself?”

23 John said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’[a] just as the prophet Isaiah said.”

24 Now those who were sent were from the Pharisees. 25 They asked him, “Why do you baptize then, if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”

26 John answered them, “I baptize with water, but One stands among you, whom you do not know. 27 This is He who comes after me, who is preferred before me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.”

28 These things took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

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Footnotes

  1. John 1:23 Isa 40:3.

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