1 In those days John the Baptist came on the scene, preaching in the desert of Judaea, 2 "Repent, the Reign of heaven is near." 3 (This was the man spoken of by the prophet Isaiah: The voice of one who cries in the desert, 'Make the way ready for the Lord, level the paths for him.')
4 This John had his clothes made of camel's hair, with a leather girdle round his loins; his food was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then Jerusalem and the whole of Judaea and all the Jordan-district went out to him 6 and got baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.
7 But when he noticed a number of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for his baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers, who told you to flee from the coming Wrath? 8 Now, produce fruit that answers to your repentance, 9 instead of presuming to say to yourselves, 'We have a father in Abraham.' I tell you, God can raise up children for Abraham from these stones! 10 The axe is lying all ready at the root of the trees; any tree that is not producing good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
11 I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier, and I am not fit even to carry his sandals; he will baptize you with the holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing-fan is in his hand, he will clean out his threshing-floor, his wheat he will gather into the granary, but the straw he will burn with fire unquenchable."
13 Then Jesus came on the scene from Galilee, to get baptized by John at the Jordan. 14 John tried to prevent him; "I need to get baptized by you," he said, "and you come to me!"
15 But Jesus answered him, "Come now, this is how we should fulfil all our duty to God." Then John gave in to him.