3 “Behold, I am sending My messenger, and he will clear a way before Me. And the Lord, whom you are seeking, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the Lord of armies. 2 “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire, and like launderer’s soap. 3 And He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the Lord offerings in righteousness. 4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old, and as in former years.
68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
For He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people,
69 And has raised up a horn of salvation for us
In the house of His servant David—
70 Just as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient times—
71 Salvation from our enemies,
And from the hand of all who hate us;
72 To show mercy to our fathers,
And to remember His holy covenant,
73 The oath which He swore to our father Abraham,
74 To grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies,
Would serve Him without fear,
75 In holiness and righteousness before Him all our days.
76 And you, child, also will be called the prophet of the Most High;
For you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways;
77 To give His people the knowledge of salvation
By the forgiveness of their sins,
78 Because of the tender mercy of our God,
With which the Sunrise from on high will visit us,
79 To shine on those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
To guide our feet into the way of peace.”
3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, 5 in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work among you will complete it by the day of Christ Jesus. 7 For it is only right for me to feel this way about you all, because I have you in my heart, since both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of grace with me. 8 For God is my witness, how I long for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9 And this I pray, that your love may overflow still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may discover the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and blameless for the day of Christ; 11 having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, for the glory and praise of God.
3 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee and his brother Philip was tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene, 2 in the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John, the son of Zechariah, in the wilderness. 3 And he came into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins; 4 as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:
“The voice of one calling out in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
Make His paths straight!
5 Every ravine will be filled,
And every mountain and hill will be lowered;
The crooked will become straight,
And the rough roads smooth;
6 And all flesh will see the salvation of God!’”