The Jews of Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask John who he was. John gave witness to them.
He did not try to hide the truth. He spoke to them openly. He said, "I am not the Christ."
They asked him, "Then who are you? Are you Elijah?" He said, "I am not." "Are you the Prophet we've been expecting?" they asked. "No," he answered.
They asked one last time, "Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?"
John replied, using the words of Isaiah the prophet. John said, "I'm the messenger who is calling out in the desert, 'Make the way for the Lord straight.' "(Isaiah 40:3)
Some Pharisees who had been sent
asked him, "If you are not the Christ, why are you baptizing people? Why are you doing that if you aren't Elijah or the Prophet we've been expecting?"
"I baptize people with water," John replied. "But One is standing among you whom you do not know.
He is the One who comes after me. I am not good enough to untie his sandals."
This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan River. That was where John was baptizing.
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him. John said, "Look! The Lamb of God! He takes away the sin of the world!
This is the One I was talking about. I said, 'A man who comes after me is more important than I am. That's because he existed before I was born.'
I did not know him. But God wants to make it clear to Israel who this person is. That's the reason I came baptizing with water."
Then John told them, "I saw the Holy Spirit come down from heaven like a dove. The Spirit remained on Jesus.
I would not have known him. But the One who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'You will see the Spirit come down and remain on someone. He is the One who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.'
I have seen it happen. I give witness that this is the Son of God."