Here is John’s testimony; he cried aloud, “This is the man I meant when I said, ‘He comes after me, but takes rank before me;’ for before I was born, he already was.”
Out of his full store we have all received grace after grace; for while the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but the only one, the one nearest to the Father’s heart, has made him known.
This is the testimony which John gave when the Jews of Jerusalem sent a deputation of priests and Levites to ask him who he was. He confessed without reserve and avowed, “I am not the Messiah.”
“What, then? Are you Elijah?”
“No,” he replied.
“Are you the prophet we await?”
He answered, “No.”
“Then who are you?” They asked. “We must give an answer to those who sent us. What account do you give of yourself?”
He answered in the words of the prophet Isaiah, “I am a voice crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make the Lord’s highway straight.’ “
Some Pharisees who were in the delegation asked him, “If you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet, why then are you baptising?”
“I baptise in water,” John replied, “but among you, though you do not know him, stands the one who is to come after me. I am not good enough to unfasten his shoes.” This took place at Bethany beyond Jordan, where John was baptising.