Friday, January 7, 2011

John the Baptist's Story: John the Baptist Prepares the Way

[Blended Gospels, ESV translation]

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness.

In those days John the Baptist appeared, clothed with camel’s hair: [he] wore a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. Now John came preaching in the wilderness of Judea [and] baptizing in the wilderness. And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins,"Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah: As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, "Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way – 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 made low, and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough places shall become level ways, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'"

Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan, all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem, were going out to him, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.
(Matthew 3:1-6, Mark 1:1-6, Luke 3:1-6, John 1:6-8)

[Tomorrow, a closer look at the beginning of John the Baptist's ministry]

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