Matthew 3 – Brood of Vipers – The Gospels

Gospel of Matthew OnlineAbout that time, John the Baptist first appeared, proclaiming in the wilderness of Judea: 2 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. 3 This is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, when he says: ‘The voice of one crying aloud in the wilderness: Make ready the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.’“

4 John wore clothing made of camels’ hair, with a belt of leather round his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5 At that time Jerusalem and all Judea, as well as the whole district of the Jordan, went out to him, 6 And were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

7 When, however, John saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to receive his baptism, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who has prompted you to seek refuge from the coming judgment? 8 Let your life then prove your repentance; 9 And do not think that you can say among yourselves, ‘Abraham is our ancestor,’ for I tell you that out of these very stones God is able to raise descendants for Abraham!

10 Already the axe is lying at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that fails to bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. 11 I indeed baptize you with water to teach repentance; but He who is coming after me is more powerful than I, and I am not fit even to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12 His winnowing–fan is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing–floor and store his grain in the barn, but the chaff he will burn with inextinguishable fire.”

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to see John and be baptized by him. 14 But John tried to prevent him. “It is I,” he said, “who need to be baptized by you; and yet you come to me?” 15 “Suffer it be so for the present,” Jesus answered, “since it is fitting for us thus to satisfy every claim of religion.”1 Upon hearing this, John consented.

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16 After the baptism of Jesus, and just as he came up from the water, the heavens opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending, like a dove, and settled upon him, 17 And from the heavens there came a voice which said: “This is my beloved Son in whom I delight.”


To read Chapter 4 of the Gospel of Matthew, please go to: I Will Make You Fishers of Men.

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Browse the entire Gospel of Matthew here: Gospel of Matthew.

  1. Read Bible commentary of this Gospel of Matthew passage at And Forgive Us Our Trespasses, including what Jesus means by saying that he and John must satisfy every claim of religion. []