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."
Again the next day John was standing with two of his disciples,
when he saw Jesus passing by, and said, "Look! that is the Lamb of God!"
The two disciples heard his exclamation, and they followed Jesus.
Then Jesus turned round, and seeing them following He asked them, "What is your wish?" "Rabbi," they replied--`Rabbi' means `Teacher' --"where are you staying?"
"Come and you shall see," He said. So they went and saw where He was staying, and they remained and spent that day with Him. It was then about ten o'clock in the morning.
Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, was one of the two who heard John's exclamation and followed Jesus.
He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, "We have found the Messiah!" --that is to say, the Anointed One.
He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, "You are Simon, son of John: you shall be called Cephas" --that is to say, Peter (or `Rock').
The next day, having decided to leave Bethany and go into Galilee, Jesus found Philip, and invited him to follow Him.
(Now Philip came from Bethsaida, the same town as Andrew and Peter.)
Then Philip found Nathanael, and said to him, "We have found him about whom Moses in the Law wrote, as well as the Prophets--Jesus, the son of Joseph, a man of Nazareth."
"Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" replied Nathanael. "Come and see," said Philip.
Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, and said of him, "Look! here is a true Israelite, in whom there is no deceitfulness!"
"How do you know me?" Nathanael asked. "Before Philip called you," said Jesus, "when you were under the fig-tree I saw you."
"Rabbi," cried Nathanael, "you are the Son of God, you are Israel's King!"
"Because I said to you, `I saw you under the fig-tree,'" replied Jesus, "do you believe? You shall see greater things than that."
"I tell you all in most solemn truth," He added, "that you shall see Heaven opened wide, and God's angels going up, and coming down to the Son of Man."