ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 328



316
IMMERSE

MESSIAH
2:18–3:11
“A cry was heard in Ramah—
weeping and great mourning.
Rachel weeps for her children,
refusing to be comforted,
for they are dead.”
When Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph
in Egypt. “Get up!” the angel said. “Take the child and his mother back
to the land of Israel, because those who were trying to kill the child are
dead.”
So Joseph got up and returned to the land of Israel with Jesus and his
mother. But when he learned that the new ruler of Judea was Herod’s son
Archelaus, he was afraid to go there. Then, after being warned in a dream,
he left for the region of Galilee. So the family went and lived in a town
called Nazareth. This fulfilled what the prophets had said: “He will be
called a Nazarene.”
In those days John the Baptist came to the Judean wilderness and began
preaching. His message was, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the
Kingdom of Heaven is near.” The prophet Isaiah was speaking about John
when he said,
“He is a voice shouting in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming!
Clear the road for him!’”
John’s clothes were woven from coarse camel hair, and he wore a leather
belt around his waist. For food he ate locusts and wild honey. People from
Jerusalem and from all of Judea and all over the Jordan Valley went out to
see and hear John. And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them
in the Jordan River.
But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to watch him
baptize, he denounced them. “You brood of snakes!” he exclaimed. “Who
warned you to flee the coming wrath? Prove by the way you live that you
have repented of your sins and turned to God. Don’t just say to each other,
‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for
I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones.
Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of
the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped
down and thrown into the fire.
“I baptize with water those who repent of their sins and turn to God.
But someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater
that I’m not worthy even to be his slave and carry his sandals. He will





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