John was still baptizing people in Bethany on the east side of the Jordan River (25). The Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent some representatives to ask John, “Who are you?”
John said, “I am not the promised Messiah.” “Then who are you?” they asked. “Are you Elijah? Are you the Prophet?” “No,” replied John. “Then tell us who you are,” they said. “We have to take an answer back to our leaders. What do you have to say for yourself?”
John answered by quoting the prophet Isaiah: “I am the voice of someone shouting in the desert: ‘Make a straight path for the Lord to travel!'”
The representatives of the Jewish leaders didn’t understand. “If you are not the Messiah or Elijah or the Prophet, why are you baptizing people?”
As he had answered all the others, John again said, “When I baptize you with water, it shows that you have turned away from sinning. But there is someone else coming from God — who is already among you & who is much greater than I am. I’m not good enough to carry his sandals.”
The next day, when John saw Jesus coming toward him, he told his friends, “There is the lamb of God, who has come to take away the sin of the world!
“He seems younger than I am, but he’s greater than I am, because he existed before I was born. I didn’t know exactly who he was, but I’ve been baptizing with water in order to announce him to the people of Israel.
“When I baptized him, I saw the Spirit come down upon him, like a dove. This was exactly as God had told me: ‘When you see the Spirit come down & stay upon a man, you’ll know: He is the one who will baptize you with the Holy Spirit & give you strength to live for God!‘
“So this man Jesus is the son of God!”
(25) John 1:19-34