Matthew Chapter Three - Poem by Day Williams
1 In those days John the Baptist came and preached
In the Judaean Desert,2 and his theme
Was, "Turn away from sin and turn to God
For Heaven's Kingdom has arrived." 3 This is
The one of whom Isaiah prophesied:
"A voice calls in the wilderness, ‘Prepare
The highway for the Lord, and straighten paths
For him.'" 4 John's clothes were made of
He wore a leather belt around his waist
His food was locusts and wild honey.5 People
Went to him from Jerusalem and all
Judea and the Jordan district.6 When
They had confessed their sins, he baptized them
Within the Jordan River,7 but when he
Saw many Pharisees and Sadducees
Coming for baptism, he said to them:
"You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee
The coming wrath? 8 Prove you have turned from sin
By doing worthy deeds,9 and do not think
That you can get by, thinking, ‘Abraham's
Our father.' I tell you that God can make
Children for Abraham out of these stones;
10 The ax is poised at the root of the trees,
And every tree that fails to bear good fruit
Will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
11 I baptize you with water for repentance.
But after me will come one who's far greater
Than I, so great I am not worthy to
Carry his sandals. He will baptize you
With the Holy Spirit and fire.12 He will
Separate chaff from grain, and burn the chaff
With never-ending fire, and store away
The grain, " 13 then Jesus came from Galilee
Down to the Jordan to be baptized there
By John,14 but John attempted to deter
"I need for you to baptize me, yet do
You come to me? " 15 But Jesus answered, "Let
It be so now; it's right for us to do
This to fulfill all righteousness." Then John
Consented.16 After he was baptized, Jesus
Went up out of the water. Suddenly
The heavens opened, and he saw the Spirit
Of God descend and light upon him like
A dove.17 "This is my Son I love so dearly, "
A voice from heaven said, "with Him
Called Peter and his brother Andrew. They
Were casting nets into the lake, for they
Were fishermen.19 "Come, follow me, "
"And I will show you how to fish for souls
Of men." 20 At once they left their nets and went
With him.21 As he went on from there, he saw
Two other brothers, James and John, the sons
Of Zebedee, who sat inside a boat
With Zebedee, their father, mending nets.
22 Jesus called them, and instantly they left
Their father and the boat, and followed him.
23 Jesus went everywhere in Galilee,
Taught in their synagogues and preached the good
News of the kingdom, healing all diseases
And sicknesses among the people.24 News
About him spread all over Syria,
And people brought to him all who were sick
From various diseases, those who had
Intense distress, those whom the demons had
Possessed, those having seizures, and those who
Were paralyzed, and he healed them.
From Galilee, Jerusalem, the Ten
Cities, Judea and the farther ground
Across the Jordan followed him around.
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