When John became a man, God led him into the wilderness. He wore clothes made of camel hair, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He preached that people should repent from their sins and turn from their wicked acts. He told them, “Don’t rely on being children of Abraham. God can make children of Abraham from rocks.” He then baptized those who wanted to live for God.
Some religious leaders asked him, “Are you the Messiah?”
He said, “No, I’m not the Christ. I was sent to prepare the way for him. He’ll come after me. I’m not even worthy to untie his shoes.”
The next day, John was baptizing at the Jordan River, when he saw Jesus coming toward him. John shouted to the crowd, “Behold, here comes the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world! This is the Son of God.”
Jesus walked into the water and asked John to baptize him. John said, “No, I should be baptized by you.”
Jesus said, “Allow this to be. It’s God’s will.”
So John baptized Jesus in front of all the people. When he came up out of the water, the sky suddenly opened and the Spirit of God, like a dove, came down on him. Then a voice said, “You’re my Son! I’m pleased with you.”
After the baptism, the Spirit of God led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted for forty days and forty nights. After that, hunger gripped his entire body.
Suddenly the tempter was by his side, “If you are the Son of God, turn these stones into bread so you can have something to eat.”
Jesus said, “God’s word says ‘Man is not to live by bread alone, but by every word that comes out of mouth of God.’ ”
The devil took him to Jerusalem—onto the highest point of the temple wall. Jesus looked down at the rocks far below. The devil said, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down off of this wall. God’s word says there are angels taking care of you. They’ll keep you from hitting those rocks below. You won’t even stub your toe on them.”
Jesus said, “Yes, but God’s word also says, ‘You’re not to tempt God and put him to the test!’ ”
The devil then took Jesus to a very high mountain. He caused the kingdoms of the earth, in all their glory, to appear before them. He turned to Jesus and said, “I’ll give you everything you see. All you have to do is bow down and worship me.”
Jesus turned and looked at him. “Leave me, Satan! God’s word says, ‘He’s the only one to be worshiped. God is the only one to be served.’ ”
With that, the devil left him. Soon angels came to Jesus and cared for his needs.