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 <<  Matius 3 >> 

1IN due course John the Baptist arrived, preaching in the Judaean desert:

2"You must change your hearts and mindsfor the kingdom of Heaven has arrived!"

3This was the man whom the prophet Isaiah spoke about in the words: The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make ye ready the way of the Lord, Make his paths straight.

4John wore clothes of camelhair with a leather belt round his waist, and lived on locusts and wild honey.

5The people of Jerusalem and of all Judaea and the Jordan district flocked to him,

6and were baptised by him in the river Jordan, publicly confessing their sins.

7But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism he said: "Who warned you, you serpent's brood, to escape from the wrath to come?

8Go and do something to show that your hearts are really changed.

9Don't suppose that you can say to yourselves, 'We are Abraham's children',for I tell you that God could produce children of Abraham out of these stones!

10"The axe already lies at the root of the tree, and the tree that fails to produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

11It is true that I baptise you with water as a sign of your repentance, but the one who follows me is far stronger than I amindeed, I am not fit to carry his shoes. He will baptise you with the fire of the Holy Spirit.

12He comes all ready to separate the wheat from the chaff and very thoroughly will he clear his threshingfloorthe wheat he will collect into the granary and the chaff he will burn with a fire that can never be put out."

13Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptised by John.

14But John tried to prevent him. "I need you to baptise [me]", he said. "Surely you do not come to me?"

15But Jesus replied, "It is right for us to meet all the Law's demandslet it be so now." Then John agreed to baptise him.

16Jesus came straight out of the water afterwards, and suddenly the heavens opened and he saw the Spirit of God coming down like a dove and resting upon him.

17And a voice came out of Heaven saying, "This is my dearlyloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

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