The start of the good news
1 This is the start of the good news about Jesus Christ. He is the Son of God. 2 The prophet Isaiah wrote this message from God in his book:
‘Listen! I will send someone to go in front of you.
He will speak my message.
He will prepare a way for you.
3 Someone's voice is shouting in the wilderness:
“The Lord will come soon, so prepare a way for him.
Make the paths straight for him.” ’
1:3Isaiah was telling people about a man called John. John will say to the people that they should prepare themselves for the Messiah. They must stop doing wrong things. People mended the roads before a king travelled along them. Isaiah is using this like a picture in words. This helps the people to understand how to prepare for the Messiah.
4 So John went to a place in the wilderness. He baptized people and spoke a message from God. He said to people, ‘You have done many wrong things. You must turn away from them and change how you live. Then God will forgive you and I will baptize you.’
1:4Baptism showed that a person wanted to change. They would tell God that they were sorry for the wrong things that they had done. Now they would obey God.
5 Many people who lived in Jerusalem city and in the country called Judea went to listen to John. The people told God about all the wrong things that they had done. Then John baptized them in the Jordan river. 6 John wore clothes made from the hair of a camel. He also wore a belt made from leather. His usual food was large insects and honey from the wilderness.
1:5Judea was part of Israel and Jerusalem was the capital city.
7 John said to the people, ‘Another person will come soon. He is much greater than I am. I am not good enough even to undo his shoes for him. 8 I have baptized you with water. But this other person will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’