There were some of the Jewish leaders who sent an entourage of priests and temple servants from Jerusalem to interrogate John. They asked him, “Who are you?”
John answered them directly, saying, “I am not the Messiah!”
“Then who are you?” they asked. “Are you Elijah?”
“No,” John replied.
So they pressed him further, “Are you the prophet Moses said was coming, the one we’re expecting?”
“No,” he replied.
“Then who are you?” they demanded. “We need an answer for those who sent us. Tell us something about yourself — anything!”
So, John answered them, “I am fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy: ‘I am an urgent, thundering voice shouting in the desert — clear the way and prepare your hearts for the coming of the Lord Yahweh!’”
Then some members of the religious sect known as the Separated Ones questioned John, “Why do you baptize the people since you admit you’re not the Christ, Elijah, or the Prophet?”
John answered them, “I baptize in this river, but the One who will take my place is to be more honored than I, but even when he stands among you, you will not recognize or embrace him! I am not worthy enough to stoop down in front of him and untie his sandals!” This all took place at Bethany, where John was baptizing at the place of the crossing of the Jordan River.
The very next day John saw Jesus coming to him to be baptized, and John cried out, “Look! There he is —God’s Lamb! He will take away the sins of the world! I told you that a Mighty One would come who is far greater than I am, because he existed long before I was born! My baptism was for the preparation of his appearing to Israel, even though I’ve yet to experience him.”
Then, as John baptized Jesus he spoke these words: “I saw the Spirit of God appear like a dove descending from the heavenly realm and landing upon him — and it rested upon him from that moment forward! And even though I’ve yet to experience him, when I was commissioned to baptize with water God spoke these words to me, ‘One day you will see the Spirit descend and remain upon a man. He will be the One I have sent to baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ And now I have seen this revelation fulfilled with my own eyes! I can tell you for sure that this man is the Son of God.”