Matthew 3:1-12 (idiomatic translation)

In those days John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea. He said: Repent with a heart desirous of Holy, the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.

The prophets had seen John in visions. A long time ago Isaiah spoke of a voice crying out in the desert, telling us to prepare a path for the Lord and helping us build it. John was wild and wiry and driven. He had clear, bright eyes that searched the landscape; he was a seeker. His clothes were coarse camel hair tied with uncut leather; he survived on locusts, wild honey.

At that time Jerusalem, all of Judea, the whole region around the Jordan River traveled to John to be baptized by him in the water. They had honest and vulnerable hearts that admitted to sin; in the waters of the Jordan John would support them through a ceremony of rebirth in the Lord.

But John would judge the hearts of those who came to him. He was under obligation to meet the standards of the Lord made flesh, who had not yet been born. Hypocrites came to John at the river and he said to them: show me the good fruit of your lives that you consider yourselves worthy men. I know you; you are devious and secretive and trying to get away with a privilege you do nothing to earn. You rely too much on your legacy as sons of Abraham, you do no bright work in your own lives.

John said: I tell you. God can make anyone holy, he can raise up children to Abraham from stones. But there is an axe now in the world at the root of every tree, and those that bear no good fruit will be cut down for kindling.

John said: look. I baptize you with water, to repair you of sins. But there is one coming with more power than I, who will baptize you in fire and in the Holy Spirit. I am unworthy even as his servant. He will make a harvest of the world, he will clear the threshing floor and gather wheat to his barn made of light, and the dead casings of seeds he will discard into darkness.