Third Day of Theophany
 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea,
 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.”
 Now John wore a garment of camel’s hair, and a leather girdle around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey.
 Then went out to him Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan,
 and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.
 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sad’ducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
 Bear fruit that befits repentance,
 and 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.
 Even now the axe 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.
 “I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the granary, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him.
 John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfil all righteousness.” Then he consented.
 And when Jesus was baptized, he went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on him;
 and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
 And he fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterward he was hungry.
 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”
 But he answered, “It is written, `Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”
 Then the devil took him to the holy city, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple,
 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, `He will give his angels charge of you,’
and `On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”
 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, `You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’”
 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them;
 and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”
 Then Jesus said to him, “Begone, Satan! for it is written, `You shall worship the Lord your God
and him only shall you serve.’”
 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and ministered to him.
 In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets;
 but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.
 He reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature, upholding the universe by his word of power. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has obtained is more excellent than theirs.
 For to what angel did God ever say,
“Thou art my Son,
today I have begotten thee”?
Or again, “I will be to him a father,
and he shall be to me a son”?
 And again, when he brings the first-born into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.”
 Of the angels he says, “Who makes his angels winds,
and his servants flames of fire.”
 But of the Son he says,
“Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever,
the righteous scepter is the scepter of thy kingdom.
 Thou hast loved righteousness and hated lawlessness;
therefore God, thy God, has anointed thee
with the oil of gladness beyond thy comrades.”
 And, “Thou, Lord, didst found the earth in the beginning,
and the heavens are the work of thy hands;
 they will perish, but thou remainest;
they will all grow old like a garment,
 like a mantle thou wilt roll them up,
and they will be changed.
But thou art the same,
and thy years will never end.”
 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.”
 And he rose and took the child and his mother by night, and departed to Egypt,
 and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt have I called my son.”
 Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, was in a furious rage, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time which he had ascertained from the wise men.
 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:
 “A voice was heard in Ramah,
wailing and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
she refused to be consoled,
because they were no more.”
 But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying,
 “Rise, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.”
 And he rose and took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel.
 But when he heard that Archelaus reigned over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee.
 And he went and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, “He shall be called a Nazarene.”
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America