This was John's answer when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?"
John didn't refuse to answer. He told them clearly, "I'm not the Messiah."
They asked him, "Well, are you Elijah?" John answered, "No, I'm not." Then they asked, "Are you the prophet?" John replied, "No."
So they asked him, "Who are you? Tell us so that we can take an answer back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?"
John said, "I'm a voice crying out in the desert, 'Make the way for the Lord straight,' as the prophet Isaiah said."
Some of those who had been sent were Pharisees.
They asked John, "Why do you baptize if you're not the Messiah or Elijah or the prophet?"
John answered them, "I baptize with water. Someone you don't know is standing among you.
He's the one who comes after me. I am not worthy to untie his sandal strap."
This happened in Bethany on the east side of the Jordan River, where John was baptizing.
John saw Jesus coming toward him the next day and said, "Look! This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
He is the one I spoke about when I said, 'A man who comes after me was before me because he existed before I did.'
I didn't know who he was. However, I came to baptize with water to show him to the people of Israel."
John said, "I saw the Spirit come down as a dove from heaven and stay on him.
I didn't know who he was. But God, who sent me to baptize with water, had told me, 'When you see the Spirit come down and stay on someone, you'll know that person is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.'
I have seen this and have declared that this is the Son of God."