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Matthew 3:1-12 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

John Prepares the Way for Jesus

When it was the right time, John the Baptizer began telling people a message from God. This was out in the desert area of Judea. John said, “Change your hearts and lives, because God’s kingdom is now very near.[a] John is the one Isaiah the prophet was talking about when he said,

“There is someone shouting in the desert:
‘Prepare the way for the Lord.
    Make the road straight for him.’”

John’s clothes were made from camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. For food, he ate locusts and wild honey. People came to John from Jerusalem and the rest of Judea and from all the areas along the Jordan River. They confessed the bad things they had done, and John baptized them in the Jordan.

Many Pharisees and Sadducees came to where John was baptizing people. When John saw them, he said, “You are all snakes! Who warned you to run from God’s judgment that is coming? Change your hearts! And show by the way you live that you have changed. I know what you are thinking. You want to say, ‘but Abraham is our father!’ That means nothing. I tell you, God could make children for Abraham from these rocks. 10 The ax is now ready to cut down the trees.[b] Every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

11 “I baptize you with water to show that you have changed your hearts and lives. But there is someone coming later who is able to do more than I can. I am not good enough to be the slave who takes off his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12 He will come ready to clean the grain.[c] He will separate the good grain from the straw, and he will put the good part into his barn. Then he will burn the useless part with a fire that cannot be stopped.”

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 3:2 is now very near Or “is coming soon” or “has come.”
  2. Matthew 3:10 trees The people who don’t obey God. They are like “trees” that will be cut down.
  3. Matthew 3:12 clean the grain Meaning that Jesus will separate the good people from those who are bad.
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International

Mark 1:1-8 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

John Prepares the Way for Jesus

The Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God,[a] begins with what the prophet Isaiah said would happen. He wrote:

“Listen! I will send my messenger ahead of you.
    He will prepare the way for you.”

“There is someone shouting in the desert:
‘Prepare the way for the Lord.
    Make the road straight for him.’”

So John the Baptizer came and was baptizing people in the desert area. He told them to be baptized to show that they wanted to change their lives, and then their sins would be forgiven. All the people from Judea, including everyone from Jerusalem, came out to John. They confessed the bad things they had done, and he baptized them in the Jordan River.

John wore clothes made from camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey.

This is what John told the people: “There is someone coming later who is able to do more than I can. I am not good enough to be the slave who stoops down to untie his sandals. I baptize you with water, but the one who is coming will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

Footnotes:

  1. Mark 1:1 the Son of God Some Greek copies do not have these words.
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International

Luke 3:1-9 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

John Prepares the Way for Jesus

It was the 15th year of the rule of Tiberius Caesar. These men were under Caesar:

Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judea;

Herod, the ruler of Galilee;

Philip, Herod’s brother, the ruler of Iturea and Trachonitis;

Lysanias, the ruler of Abilene.

Annas and Caiaphas were the high priests. During this time, John, the son of Zechariah, was living in the desert, and he received a message from God. So he went through the whole area around the Jordan River and told the people God’s message. He told them to be baptized to show that they wanted to change their lives, and then their sins would be forgiven. This is like the words written in the book of Isaiah the prophet:

“There is someone shouting in the desert:
‘Prepare the way for the Lord.
    Make the road straight for him.
Every valley will be filled,
    and every mountain and hill will be made flat.
Crooked roads will be made straight,
    and rough roads will be made smooth.
Then everyone will see
    how God will save his people!’”

Crowds of people came to be baptized by John. But he said to them, “You are all snakes! Who warned you to run from God’s judgment that is coming? Change your hearts! And show by your lives that you have changed. I know what you are about to say—‘but Abraham is our father!’ That means nothing. I tell you that God can make children for Abraham from these rocks! The ax is now ready to cut down the trees.[a] Every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”

Footnotes:

  1. Luke 3:9 trees Meaning the people who don’t obey God. They are like “trees” that will be cut down.
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International

Luke 3:15-17 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

15 Everyone was hoping for the Messiah to come, and they wondered about John. They thought, “Maybe he is the Messiah.”

16 John’s answer to this was, “I baptize you in water, but there is someone coming later who is able to do more than I can. I am not good enough to be the slave who unties his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 17 He will come ready to clean the grain.[a] He will separate the good grain from the straw, and he will put the good part into his barn. Then he will burn the useless part with a fire that cannot be stopped.”

Footnotes:

  1. Luke 3:17 clean the grain Meaning that Jesus will separate the good people from those who are bad.
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International

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