This also is John's testimony, when the Jews sent to him a deputation of Priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him who he was.
He avowed--he did not conceal the truth, but avowed, "I am not the Christ."
"What then?" they inquired; "are you Elijah?" "I am not," he said. "Are you the Prophet?" "No," he answered.
So they pressed the question. "Who are you?" they said--"that we may take an answer to those who sent us. What account do you give of yourself?"
"I am the voice," he replied, "of one crying aloud, `Make straight the Lord's way in the Desert,' fulfilling the words of the Prophet Isaiah."
They were Pharisees who had been sent.
Again they questioned him. "Why then do you baptize," they said, "if you are neither the Christ nor Elijah nor the Prophet?"
"I baptize in water only," John answered, "but in your midst stands One whom you do not know--
He who is to come after me, and whose sandal-strap I am not worthy to unfasten."
This conversation took place at Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
The next day John saw Jesus coming towards him and exclaimed, "Look, that is the Lamb of God who is to take away the sin of the world!
This is He about whom I said, `After me is to come One who has been put before me, because He was before me.'
I did not yet know Him; but that He may be openly shown to Israel is the reason why I have come baptizing in water."
John also gave testimony by stating: "I have seen the Spirit coming down like a dove out of Heaven; and it remained upon Him.
I did not yet know Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, "`The One on whom you see the Spirit coming down, and remaining, He it is who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.'
"This I have seen, and I have become a witness that He is the Son of God."