The Jewish authorities in Jerusalem sent some priests and Levites to John to ask him, "Who are you?"
John did not refuse to answer, but spoke out openly and clearly, saying: "I am not the Messiah."
"Who are you, then?" they asked. "Are you Elijah?" 1 "No, I am not," John answered. "Are you the Prophet?" they asked. "No," he replied.
"Then tell us who you are," they said. "We have to take an answer back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?"
John answered by quoting the prophet Isaiah: 2 "I am "the voice of someone shouting in the desert: Make a straight path for the Lord to travel!' "
The messengers, who had been sent by the Pharisees,
then asked John, "If you are not the Messiah nor Elijah nor the Prophet, why do you baptize?"
John answered, "I baptize with water, but among you stands the one you do not know.
He is coming after me, but I am not good enough even to untie his sandals."
All this happened in Bethany on the east side of the Jordan River, where John was baptizing.