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15 Everyone became excited and wondered, “Could John be the Messiah?”

16 John said, “I am just baptizing with water. But someone more powerful is going to come, and I am not good enough even to untie his sandals.[a] He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 17 His threshing fork[b] is in his hand, and he is ready to separate the wheat from the husks. He will store the wheat in his barn and burn the husks with a fire that never goes out.”

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Footnotes

  1. 3.16 untie his sandals: This was the duty of a slave.
  2. 3.17 threshing fork: After Jewish farmers had trampled out the grain, they used a large fork to pitch the grain and the husks into the air. Wind would blow away the light husks, and the grain would fall back to the ground, where it could be gathered up.

The Baptism of Jesus

21 While everyone else was being baptized, Jesus himself was baptized. Then as he prayed, the sky opened up, 22 and the Holy Spirit came down upon him in the form of a dove. A voice from heaven said, “You are my own dear Son, and I am pleased with you.”

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