While resting by the Jordan River, the Bible Jumpers meet a man named Andrew who takes them to see John the Baptist.
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“What a crowd!” exclaimed Zach.
Along the river bank of the Jordan, there stood rows upon rows of people. Each person was looking at a man that was waist deep in the water.
Andrew pointed at the man, “That is my master.”
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near!” shouted John the Baptist to the crowd.
As the Bible Jumpers got closer, some of the people from the crowd stepped forward towards the river bank.
“What should we do then?” asked one of the people.
“The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and one who has food should do the same,” said the Baptist.
“Teacher, what should we do?” asked a group of men who wore very expensive clothes.
“Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he answered.
“Who are those guys?” asked Simon.
“Those are tax collectors,” said Andrew.
“And what should we do?” asked a group of soldiers.
“Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely, be content with your pay,” answered the Baptist.
Each person who came to the shore entered the river. As soon as they confessed their sins, John the Baptist dunked them into the water. When they surfaced, they let out a shout of joy and headed back to shore.
Andrew led the Bible Jumpers to where the crowd ended. “This is as far as we can go,” he said, “Unless you too want to be baptized.”
“Let’s listen to what he has to say first,” said Zach.
“As you wish,” said Andrew.
“Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand,” repeated the Baptist.
John nudged Zach. “He looks like a wild man, doesn’t he?”
The Baptist’s hair was long and unkempt. His beard covered his entire face. From head to toe, he was dressed in some kind of animal skin which was tied together with a leather belt.
Zach shrugged, “I don’t know, he kind of looks like you in twenty years.”
“Hey, I’m not that bad,” said John mocking protest.
“Quiet you two,” said Simon, “I’m trying to listen to what he’s saying.”
John the Baptist looked up at the crowd and pointed. “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not think you can say to yourselves, we have Abraham as our father.” The Baptist reached his hand into the water and pulled out three large rocks. “I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees and every tree that does not produce fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”
“That’s harsh,” said Carrie, “Who is he speaking that to? Is he talking about us?”
Andrew shook his head, “No, to them.” He pointed out three men that were standing on a small cliff overlooking the Jordan.