The Good News of Deliverance61 The spirit of the Lord God is upon me,because the Lord has anointed me;he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,to bind up the brokenhearted,to proclaim liberty to the captives,and release to the prisoners;2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,and the day of vengeance of our God;to comfort all who mourn;3 to provide for those who mourn in Zion—to give them a garland instead of ashes,the oil of gladness instead of mourning,the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit.They will be called oaks of righteousness,the planting of the Lord, to display his glory.4 They shall build up the ancient ruins,they shall raise up the former devastations;they shall repair the ruined cities,the devastations of many generations.5 Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks,foreigners shall till your land and dress your vines;6 but you shall be called priests of the Lord,you shall be named ministers of our God;you shall enjoy the wealth of the nations,and in their riches you shall glory.7 Because theira shame was double,and dishonor was proclaimed as their lot,therefore they shall possess a double portion;everlasting joy shall be theirs.8 For I the Lord love justice,I hate robbery and wrongdoing;bI will faithfully give them their recompense,and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.9 Their descendants shall be known among the nations,and their offspring among the peoples;all who see them shall acknowledgethat they are a people whom the Lord has blessed.10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,my whole being shall exult in my God;for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation,he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland,and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.11 For as the earth brings forth its shoots,and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up,so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praiseto spring up before all the nations.
"6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. 12 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. 15 (John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’ ”) 16 From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.
The Testimony of John the Baptist
(Mt 3:1–12; Mk 1:1–8; Lk 3:1–20)19 This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, “I am not the Messiah.” 21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” He answered, “No.” 22 Then they said to him, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said,
“I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness,
‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ ”
as the prophet Isaiah said.
24 Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. 25 They asked him, “Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?” 26 John answered them, “I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, 27 the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.” 28 This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing.