In the Spirit and Power of Elijah (Matthew 3:1-12; Mk 1:1-8; Lk 3:1-18)

Preaching Text: Matthew 3:1-12 (Parallel texts: Mk 1:1-8; Lk 3:1-18)

Matthew 3:1-12

The Preaching of John the Baptist

Now in those days John the Baptist *[a]came, [b]preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven [c]is at hand.” For this is the one referred to [d]by Isaiah the prophet when he said,

“The voice of one [e]calling [f]out in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
Make His paths straight!’”

Now John himself had [g]a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. At that time Jerusalem was going out to him, and all Judea and all the region around the Jordan; and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, as they confessed their sins.

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for [h]baptism, he said to them, “You [i]offspring of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore produce fruit consistent with repentance; and do not assume that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father’; for I tell you that God is able, from these stones, to raise up children for Abraham. 10 And the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore, every tree that does not bear good fruit is being cut down and thrown into the fire.

11 “As for me, I baptize you [j]with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you [k]with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

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