This was the testimony of John when the Jewish leaders sent priests and Temple assistants from Jerusalem to ask John whether he claimed to be the Messiah.
He flatly denied it. "I am not the Messiah," he said.
"Well then, who are you?" they asked. "Are you Elijah?" "No," he replied. "Are you the Prophet?" "No."
"Then who are you? Tell us, so we can give an answer to those who sent us. What do you have to say about yourself?"
John replied in the words of Isaiah: "I am a voice shouting in the wilderness, 'Prepare a straight pathway for the Lord's coming!'"
Then those who were sent by the Pharisees
asked him, "If you aren't the Messiah or Elijah or the Prophet, what right do you have to baptize?"
John told them, "I baptize with water, but right here in the crowd is someone you do not know,
who will soon begin his ministry. I am not even worthy to be his slave."
This incident took place at Bethany, a village east of the Jordan River, where John was baptizing.