John 1:19-34

John the Baptist is not the Messiah

19 The Jewish leaders sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask John, ‘Who are you?’ 20 John did not refuse to answer. He said, ‘I am not the Messiah.’ 21 So they asked him, ‘So who are you? Are you Elijah?’ John said, ‘No, I am not.’ They asked, ‘Are you the Prophet?’ John answered, ‘No.’

1:19Israel's people believed that God would send his prophet Elijah and at least one other great prophet to them. They believed that these prophets must come before God would send his Messiah.

22 Then they said, ‘Tell us who you are. We must say something to the people who sent us. What do you say about yourself?’ 23 He said, ‘I am the voice of somebody shouting in the wilderness:

“The Lord will come soon.

Make a straight path for him to follow.”

That is what the prophet Isaiah said a long time ago.’

1:23See Isaiah 40:3.

24 The men who came to ask these questions were Pharisees. 25 They said to John, ‘You say that you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet. So, why do you baptize people?’ 26 John replied, ‘I baptize people with water. But there is someone here among you that you do not know. 27 He is the one who comes after me. I am not good enough even to undo his shoes for him.’

28 All these things happened at a place east from the Jordan river. It was a village called Bethany. John was baptizing people there.

29 The next day, John saw Jesus, who was coming towards him. John said, ‘Look! Here is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of people in the world. 30 This is the man that I told you about. I told you, “He comes after me, but he is greater than I am. He was already there before I was born.” 31 I did not know him. But I had to show Israel's people who he was. That is why I am baptizing people with water.’

1:29John the Baptist called Jesus ‘God's Lamb’. Then the people would remember the lambs that they killed for the Passover meal. Jesus Christ was God's Lamb, who came to die on our behalf. He came to save us from sin.

32 Then John told them, ‘I saw God's Spirit come down from heaven. He came down like a dove and he stayed on Jesus. 33 I would not have known who Jesus was. But God had sent me to baptize people with water. And God told me, “You will see the Spirit come down. He will stay on someone. That is the person who will baptize people with my Holy Spirit.” 34 Now I have seen this. So, I can tell you that this is God's Son.’