3In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler* of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler* of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler* of Abilene,
2during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness.
3He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins,
4as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah,
The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.
5 Every valley shall be filled,
and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
and the crooked shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth;
6 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.
7 John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, We have Abraham as our ancestor; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. 9Even now the axe is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
10 And the crowds asked him, What then should we do? 11In reply he said to them, Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise. 12Even tax-collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, Teacher, what should we do? 13He said to them, Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you. 14Soldiers also asked him, And we, what should we do? He said to them, Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.
15 As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah,* 16John answered all of them by saying, I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with* the Holy Spirit and fire. 17His winnowing-fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing-floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.
18 So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people. 19But Herod the ruler,* who had been rebuked by him because of Herodias, his brothers wife, and because of all the evil things that Herod had done, 20added to them all by shutting up John in prison.
21 Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened,
22and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, You are my Son, the Beloved;* with you I am well pleased.*
23 Jesus was about thirty years old when he began his work. He was the son (as was thought) of Joseph son of Heli,
24son of Matthat, son of Levi, son of Melchi, son of Jannai, son of Joseph,
25son of Mattathias, son of Amos, son of Nahum, son of Esli, son of Naggai,
26son of Maath, son of Mattathias, son of Semein, son of Josech, son of Joda,
27son of Joanan, son of Rhesa, son of Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel,* son of Neri,
28son of Melchi, son of Addi, son of Cosam, son of Elmadam, son of Er,
29son of Joshua, son of Eliezer, son of Jorim, son of Matthat, son of Levi,
30son of Simeon, son of Judah, son of Joseph, son of Jonam, son of Eliakim,
31son of Melea, son of Menna, son of Mattatha, son of Nathan, son of David,
32son of Jesse, son of Obed, son of Boaz, son of Sala,* son of Nahshon,
33son of Amminadab, son of Admin, son of Arni,* son of Hezron, son of Perez, son of Judah,
34son of Jacob, son of Isaac, son of Abraham, son of Terah, son of Nahor,
35son of Serug, son of Reu, son of Peleg, son of Eber, son of Shelah,
36son of Cainan, son of Arphaxad, son of Shem, son of Noah, son of Lamech,
37son of Methuselah, son of Enoch, son of Jared, son of Mahalaleel, son of Cainan,
38son of Enos, son of Seth, son of Adam, son of God.
4Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, 2where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished. 3The devil said to him, If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread. 4Jesus answered him, It is written, One does not live by bread alone.
5 Then the devil* led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world.
6And the devil* said to him, To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please.
7If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.
8Jesus answered him, It is written,
Worship the Lord your God,
and serve only him.
9 Then the devil* took him to Jerusalem, and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here,
10for it is written,
He will command his angels concerning you,
to protect you,
On their hands they will bear you up,
so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.
12Jesus answered him, It is said, Do not put the Lord your God to the test. 13When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time.
14 Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. 15He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.
16 When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read,
17and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:
18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lords favour.
20And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21Then he began to say to them, Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing. 22All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, Is not this Josephs son? 23He said to them, Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, Doctor, cure yourself! And you will say, Do here also in your home town the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum. 24And he said, Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophets home town. 25But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up for three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; 26yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. 27There were also many lepers* in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian. 28When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. 29They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff. 30But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way.
17Now Elijah the Tishbite, of Tishbe* in Gilead, said to Ahab, As the Lord the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word. 2The word of the Lord came to him, saying, 3Go from here and turn eastwards, and hide yourself by the Wadi Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. 4You shall drink from the wadi, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there. 5So he went and did according to the word of the Lord; he went and lived by the Wadi Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. 6The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the wadi.
5Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Aram, was a great man and in high favour with his master, because by him the Lord had given victory to Aram. The man, though a mighty warrior, suffered from leprosy.* 2Now the Arameans on one of their raids had taken a young girl captive from the land of Israel, and she served Naamans wife. 3She said to her mistress, If only my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.* 4So Naaman* went in and told his lord just what the girl from the land of Israel had said. 5And the king of Aram said, Go then, and I will send along a letter to the king of Israel.
He went, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten sets of garments. 6He brought the letter to the king of Israel, which read, When this letter reaches you, know that I have sent to you my servant Naaman, that you may cure him of his leprosy.* 7When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, Am I God, to give death or life, that this man sends word to me to cure a man of his leprosy?* Just look and see how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me.
8 But when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent a message to the king, Why have you torn your clothes? Let him come to me, that he may learn that there is a prophet in Israel. 9So Naaman came with his horses and chariots, and halted at the entrance of Elishas house. 10Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, Go, wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored and you shall be clean. 11But Naaman became angry and went away, saying, I thought that for me he would surely come out, and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and would wave his hand over the spot, and cure the leprosy!* 12Are not Abana* and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them, and be clean? He turned and went away in a rage. 13But his servants approached and said to him, Father, if the prophet had commanded you to do something difficult, would you not have done it? How much more, when all he said to you was, Wash, and be clean? 14So he went down and immersed himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God; his flesh was restored like the flesh of a young boy, and he was clean.
3 A voice cries out:
In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
5 Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all people shall see it together,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
6 Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of injustice,
to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
61The spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me;
he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,
to bind up the broken-hearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and release to the prisoners;
2 to proclaim the year of the Lords favour,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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10 February 2011