7 Crowds of people came out to John to be baptized by him. “You snakes!” he said to them. “Who told you that you could escape from the punishment God is about to send? 8 Do those things that will show that you have turned from your sins. And don't start saying among yourselves that Abraham is your ancestor. I tell you that God can take these rocks and make descendants for Abraham! 9 The ax is ready to cut down the trees at the roots; every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown in the fire.”
10 The people asked him, “What are we to do, then?”
11 He answered, “Whoever has two shirts must give one to the man who has none, and whoever has food must share it.”
12 Some tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, “Teacher, what are we to do?”
13 “Don't collect more than is legal,” he told them.
14 Some soldiers also asked him, “What about us? What are we to do?”
He said to them, “Don't take money from anyone by force or accuse anyone falsely. Be content with your pay.”
15 People's hopes began to rise, and they began to wonder whether John perhaps might be the Messiah. 16 So John said to all of them, “I baptize you with water, but someone is coming who is much greater than I am. I am not good enough even to untie his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 He has his winnowing shovel with him, to thresh out all the grain and gather the wheat into his barn; but he will burn the chaff in a fire that never goes out.”
18 In many different ways John preached the Good News to the people and urged them to change their ways.
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