13. John’s Teachings
19The Jews sent priests and Levitesa from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”
22They said to him then, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
23He said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight a highway for our God,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” 28This took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan where John was baptizing.
7But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadduceesb come for baptism, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8Bring forth fruit that befits repentance. 9And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. 10Even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
10And the multitudes asked him, “What then shall we do?”
11And he answered them, “He who has two coats let him share with him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise.”
12Tax collectors also came to be baptized, and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?”
13And he said to them, “Collect no more than is appointed you.”
14Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?”
And he said unto them: “Rob no one by violence or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.”
(Jn. 1:19, 22, 23, 28; Mt. 3:7–10; Lk. 3:10–14) (continued)
a “Levites”—The descendants of Levi who maintained the temple and provided the temple music. They were also in charge of providing the money changing that took place in the temple courts.
b “Pharisees and Sadducees"—The scribes and rabbis taken together formed a religious party known as the Pharisees. Although they were sticklers for living according to the “law,” they were more progressive than the other Jewish religious groups. They held many beliefs not clearly taught in the Hebrew Scripture, such as belief in the resurrection of the dead—a doctrine only mentioned by the later prophet Daniel.
The Sadducees were composed of the priests and certain wealthy Jews. They were a Jewish religious party that dominated Judea’s highest ruling body—the Sanhedrin. It was principally the Sadducees who plotted and brought about the death of Jesus.
Jn. 1:19 The / And this is the testimony of John when the (RSV)
Jn. 1:23 Isaiah 40:3 • wilderness, ‘Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight a highway for our God,’ as (Is. 40:3) / wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as (RSV)
Mt. 3:8 Bring forth fruit (NAS) / Bear fruit (RSV) (135:6/1502–3)