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PUBLIC MINISTRY OF JOHN THE BAPTIST.
John bare witness of Him, and cried, saying, This was He of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me : for He was before me.
And of His fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. No man hath seen God at any time ; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Ilim.
The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; as it is written in the prophets, Behold I send My messenger before Thy face, which shall prepare Thy way before Thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight. Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Cæsar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judæa, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituræa and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness. In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judæa. John did baptise in the wilderness. And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins ; saying, Repent ye : for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth ; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God. And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.
And there went out unto him all the land of Judæa, and they of Jerusalem, and all the region round about Jordan, and were all baptised of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, to the multitude that came forth to be baptised of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come ? Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father : for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees : every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then ? He
JESUS BAPTISED BY JOHN THE BAPTIST.
answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.
Then came also publicans to be baptised, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do? And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you.
And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely ; and be content with your wages.
And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ or not; John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptise you with water unto repentance: but there cometh One mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. I indeed have baptised you with water : but He shall baptise you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: whose fan is in His hand, and He will throughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner ; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people. But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his brother Philip's wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done, added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison.
8.-Baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist.
ST MATT. 3. 1-17; ST MARK 1. 9-11; ST LUKE 3. 21-23.
And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptised of him. But John forbad Him, saying, I have need to be baptised of Thee, and comest Thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now : for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered Him. Now when all the people were baptised, it came to pass, that Jesus, also being baptised, went up straightway out of the water : and praying, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon Him, and there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And Jesus Himself began to be about thirty years of age.
JESUS TEMPTED BY THE DEVIL.
9.-Temptation of Jesus. Sr Matt. 4. 1-11 ; ST MARK 1. 12, 13; Sr LUKE 4. 1-13. Wilderness S. and E. of Jordan–Jerusalem-An high mountain
North of Jericho. And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, to be tempted of the devil. And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan ; and was with the wild beasts. And in those days He did eat nothing. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was afterward an hungered.
And when the tempter came to Him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. And Jesus answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Then the devil taketh Him up into the holy city, and setteth Him on a pinnacle of the temple, and saith unto Him, If Thou be the Son of God, cast Thyself down from hence: for it is written, He shall give His angels charge concerning Thee, to keep Thee : and in their hands they shall bear Thee up, lest at any time Thou dash Thy foot against a stone. And Jesus answering said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
Again, the devil taketh Him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, in a moment of time. And the devil said unto Him, All this power will I give Thee, and the glory of them : for that is delivered unto me ; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If Thou therefore wilt fall down and worship me, all shall be Thine. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind Me, Satan : for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.
And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from Him for a season ; and, behold, angels came and ministered unto Him. 10.--The Witness of John the Baptist to Jesus.
St John 1, 19-51.
Bethany or Bethabara-Galilee. And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou ? And he confessed, and denied not ; but confessed, I am not the Christ. And they asked
JOHN THE BAPTIST'S TESTIMONY TO JESUS.
him, What then ? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself ? He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias. And they which were sent were of the Pharisees. And they asked him, and said unio him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet ? John answered them, saying, I baptise with water : but there standeth One among you, whom ye know not ; He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose. These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptising.
The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is He of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me : for He was before me. And I knew Him not: but that He should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptising with water. And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon Him. And I knew Him not : but He that sent me to baptise with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, the same is He which baptiseth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.
Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; and looking upon Jesus as He walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God ! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto Him, Rabbi (which is to say, being intei preted, Master,) where dwellest Thou? He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where He dwelt, and abode with Him that day, for it was about the tenth hour.
One of the two which heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreied, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, He said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona : thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.
The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow Me Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.
MIRACLE OF TURNING WATER INTO WINE.
Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found Him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth ? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.
Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile ! Nathanael saith unto Him, Whence knowest Thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. Nathanael answered and saith unto Him, Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God ; Thou art the King of Israel. Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou ? thou shalt see greater things than these. And He saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.
11.-Jesus' First Miracle.
St John 2. 1-12.
Cana of Galilee—Capernaum. And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee ; and the mother of Jesus was there : and both Jesus was called, and His disciple; , to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto Him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And He saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was : (but the servants which drew the water knew ;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, and saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine ; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse : but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth His glory ; and His disciples believed on Him.
After this He went down to Capernaum, He, and His mother, and His brethren, and His disciples ; and they continued there not many days.