ADVENT CHALLENGE IN THE YEAR OF THE WORD OF GOD; Day Three
5th December 2019
1 In the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar's reign, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judaea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of the territories of Ituraea and Trachonitis, Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene,
2 and while the high-priesthood was held by Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah, in the desert.
3 He went through the whole Jordan area proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins,
4 as it is written in the book of the sayings of Isaiah the prophet: A voice of one that cries in the desert: Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight!
5 Let every valley be filled in, every mountain and hill be levelled, winding ways be straightened and rough roads made smooth,
6 and all humanity will see the salvation of God.
7 He said, therefore, to the crowds who came to be baptised by him, 'Brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the coming retribution?
8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance, and do not start telling yourselves, "We have Abraham as our father," because, I tell you, God can raise children for Abraham from these stones.
9 Yes, even now the axe is being laid to the root of the trees, so that any tree failing to produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown on the fire.'
10 When all the people asked him, 'What must we do, then?'
11 he answered, 'Anyone who has two tunics must share with the one who has none, and anyone with something to eat must do the same.'
12 There were tax collectors, too, who came for baptism, and these said to him, 'Master, what must we do?'
13 He said to them, 'Exact no more than the appointed rate.'
14 Some soldiers asked him in their turn, 'What about us? What must we do?' He said to them, 'No intimidation! No extortion! Be content with your pay!'
15 A feeling of expectancy had grown among the people, who were beginning to wonder whether John might be the Christ,
16 so John declared before them all, 'I baptise you with water, but someone is coming, who is more powerful than me, and I am not fit to undo the strap of his sandals; he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
17 His winnowing-fan is in his hand, to clear his threshing-floor and to gather the wheat into his barn; but the chaff he will burn in a fire that will never go out.'
18 And he proclaimed the good news to the people with many other exhortations too.
19 But Herod the tetrarch, censured by John for his relations with his brother's wife Herodias and for all the other crimes he had committed,
20 added a further crime to all the rest by shutting John up in prison.
21 Now it happened that when all the people had been baptised and while Jesus after his own baptism was at prayer, heaven opened
22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in a physical form, like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, 'You are my Son; today have I fathered you.'
23 When he began, Jesus was about thirty years old, being the son, as it was thought, of Joseph son of Heli,
24 son of Matthat, son of Levi, son of Melchi, son of Jannai, son of Joseph,
25 son of Mattathias, son of Amos, son of Nahum, son of Esli, son of Naggai,
26 son of Maath, son of Mattathias, son of Semein, son of Josech, son of Joda,
27 son of Joanan, son of Rhesa, son of Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, son of Neri,
28 son of Melchi, son of Addi, son of Cosam, son of Elmadam, son of Er,
29 son of Jesus, son of Eliezer, son of Jorim, son of Matthat, son of Levi,
30 son of Symeon, son of Judah, son of Joseph, son of Jonam, son of Eliakim,
31 son of Melea, son of Menna, son of Mattatha, son of Nathan, son of David,
32 son of Jesse, son of Obed, son of Boaz, son of Sala, son of Nahshon,
33 son of Amminadab, son of Admin, son of Arni, son of Hezron, son of Perez, son of Judah,
34 son of Jacob, son of Isaac, son of Abraham, son of Terah, son of Nahor,
35 son of Serug, son of Reu, son of Peleg, son of Eber, son of Shelah,
36 son of Cainan, son of Arphaxad, son of Shem, son of Noah, son of Lamech,
37 son of Methuselah, son of Enoch, son of Jared, son of Mahalaleel, son of Cainan,
38 son of Enos, son of Seth, son of Adam, son of God.