1. In the course of time John the Baptist appeared in the desert of Judea and began to proclaim his message,
2. "Change your ways, the Kingdom of heaven is now at hand!"
3. It was about him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said, A voice is shouting in the desert: prepare a way for the Lord; make his paths straight.
4. John had a leather garment around his waist and wore a cloak of camel's hair; his food was locusts and wild honey.
5. People came to him from Jerusalem, from all Judea and from the whole Jordan valley,
6. and they were baptized by him in the Jordan as they confessed their sins.
7. When he saw several Pharisees and Sadduccees coming to where he baptized, he said to them, "Brood of vipers! Who told you that you could escape the punishment that is to come?
8. Let it be seen that you are serious in your conversion,
9. and do not think: We have Abraham for our father. I tell you that God can raise children for Abraham from these stones!
10. The axe is already laid to the roots of the trees; any tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown in the fire.
11. I baptize you in water for a change of heart, but the one who is coming after me is more powerful than me; indeed I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire.
12. He has the winnowing fan in his hand and he will clear out his threshing floor. He will gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn in everlasting fire."
13. At that time Jesus arrived from Galilee and came to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him.
14. But John tried to prevent him, and said, "How is it you come to me: I should be baptized by you!"
15. But Jesus answered him, "Let it be like that for now that we may fulfill the right order." John agreed.
16. As soon as he was baptized, Jesus came up from the water. At once, the heavens opened and he saw the Spirit of God come down like a dove and rest upon him.
17. At the same time a voice from heaven was heard, "This is my Son, the Beloved; he is my Chosen One."