The crowds asked John the Baptist, â€˜What then should we do?â€™ In reply he said to them, â€˜Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.â€™ Even tax-collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, â€˜Teacher, what should we do?â€™ He said to them, â€˜Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.â€™ Soldiers also asked him, â€˜And we, what should we do?â€™ He said to them, â€˜Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.â€™
As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, â€˜I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing-fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing-floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.â€™
So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people.
Scripture passage from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright 1989, 1993, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.