See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and
the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The
messenger of the covenant in whom you delight--indeed, he is
coming, says the LORD of hosts.
But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when
he appears? For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers'
he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will
purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and
silver, until they present offerings to the LORD in
Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the
LORD as in the days of old and as in former years.
"Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has looked
favorably on his people and redeemed them.
He has raised up a mighty savior for us in the house of his
as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all
who hate us.
Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors, and has
remembered his holy covenant,
the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham, to grant us
that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies, might
serve him without fear,
in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for
you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness
of their sins.
By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of
death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."
I thank my God every time I remember you,
constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all
because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until
I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among
you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.
It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because
you hold me in your heart, for all of you share in God's grace
with me, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and
confirmation of the gospel.
For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the
compassion of Christ Jesus.
And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more
with knowledge and full insight
to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of
Christ you may be pure and blameless,
having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through
Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.
In 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,
during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of
God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness.
He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a
baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins,
as 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.
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;
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'"