Matthew 3 Expanded Bible (EXB)
The Work of John the Baptist
3 ·About that time [In the course of time; L In those days] John the Baptist began preaching in the ·desert area [wilderness] of Judea. 2 John said, “·Change your hearts and lives [Repent] because the kingdom of heaven ·is near [has drawn near; is at hand].” 3 ·John the Baptist [L For this] is the one Isaiah the prophet was talking about when he said:
“This is a voice of one
4 John’s clothes were made from camel’s hair, and he wore a leather belt around his waist [C reminiscent of the prophet Elijah; 2 Kin. 1:8]. For food, he ate locusts and wild honey [C signifies living off the land]. 5 Many people came from Jerusalem and Judea and all the ·area [region] around the Jordan River to hear John. 6 They confessed their sins, and he baptized them in the Jordan River.
7 Many of the Pharisees and Sadducees came to the place where John was baptizing people. When John saw them, he said, “You ·are snakes [T brood/offspring of vipers]! Who warned you to ·run [slither; L flee] away from God’s coming ·punishment [wrath; retribution]? 8 ·Do the things [L Produce the fruit] ·that show you really have changed your hearts and lives [that prove your repentance; L of repentance]. 9 And don’t ·think you can [presume to] say to yourselves, ‘Abraham is our father [C a claim to be God’s special people].’ [L For] I tell you that God could ·make [create; L raise up] children for Abraham from these rocks. 10 The ax ·is now ready to cut down [already lies at the root of] the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire [C a metaphor for judgment].
John Preaches About the Christ
11 “I baptize you with water ·to show that your hearts and lives have changed [for repentence]. But there is one coming after me who is ·greater [mightier; more powerful] than I am, whose sandals I am not ·good enough [fit; qualified] to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 ·He will come ready [L The winnowing fork is in his hand] to clean the grain, ·separating the good grain from the chaff [L to clear his threshing floor]. He will put ·the good part of the grain [L the grain/wheat] into his barn, but he will burn the chaff with ·a fire that cannot be put out [never-ending/unquenchable fire; C a metaphor for judgment, when Jesus will separate the righteous from the wicked].”
Jesus Is Baptized by John
13 ·At that time [Then] Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan River ·and wanted John to baptize him [L to be baptized by John]. 14 But John tried to ·stop [deter; dissuade; prevent] him, saying, “·Why do [Do] you come to me to be baptized? I need to be baptized by you!”
15 Jesus answered, “Let it ·be this way for [happen] now. ·We should do all things that are God’s will [or In this way we will do what God requires; L For thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness].” So John ·agreed to baptize Jesus [gave in; consented; allowed it].
16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he came up out of the water. Then ·heaven [the sky/heavens] opened, and he saw God’s Spirit ·coming down [descending and lighting/settling] on him like a dove [C either in the form of a dove, or in bird-like descent]. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my ·Son, whom I love [dearly beloved Son; Ps. 2:7; Gen. 22:2], and I am ·very [well] pleased with him [Is. 42:1].”
Matthew 3 New International Version (NIV)
John the Baptist Prepares the Way
3 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” 3 This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:
“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
4 John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. 5 People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. 6 Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. 9 And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
11 “I baptize you with[b] water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with[c] the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
The Baptism of Jesus
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.
16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”