The apostle John introduced Jesus as the One who created life and light, the promised Messiah in whom believers place their trust, the Lord of all creation and the divine Redeemer. Then, John described how Jesus came to life, whom he calls “the Word” which is symbolic of the truth that flowed through Him, and the apostle calls the Christ full of divine grace as the Savior of man is brought to life in the flesh.
Next, the apostle writes about John the Baptist and shares the preacher’s foretelling of Jesus’ coming and deity.
“19 Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”” (John 1:19)
John the Baptist was a Jew who belonged to the tribe of Levi, and when he was approximately 30 years old, he answered God’s calling for his life and he started preaching and baptizing, leading believers to repentance and preparing them for the coming of Christ.
The preacher became well known in the region, which prompted Jewish leaders to approach him and find out more about a man who was becoming very popular among the Hebrew nation.
“20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.”” (John 1:20)
When they asked him who he was, John the Baptist confirmed he was not the Christ, which had become a rumor that was spreading throughout the Jordan Valley where John conducted water baptisms and furthered God’s kingdom.
“21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.”” (John 1:21)
Since John’s answer did not satisfy their curiosity, the leaders asked him if he had anything to do with the coming of the Messiah, the next question in line would then involve Elijah, the promised prophet who would be sent by God to prepare the way for the Christ.
Although John the Baptist did embody the spirit of the prophet Elijah, he was not him in the flesh. Rather John was chosen by God to fulfill the promise made in scripture as he spread the news about the coming of the Messiah, and led sinners to repentance.
“22 Then they said to him, “Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said: “I am ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Make straight the way of the Lord,”’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” (John 1:22-23)
The priests and Levites made their intention very clear when they continued to interrogate John, that they were required to find out who he was and in which capacity he presented himself so they could report back to the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem.
“24 Now those who were sent were from the Pharisees. 25 And they asked him, saying, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” (John 1:24-25)
The Jewish leaders became concerned with John because he was announcing the coming of the Lord, and baptizing in the wilderness, outside the realm of the sanctuary and far outside their control. Surely, they thought, if this preacher claimed to be Elijah, he would know the identity of the Messiah and when asked, reveal who the Christ was.
“26 John answered them, saying, “I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know. 27 It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.”” (John 1:26-27)
John the Baptist then revealed that the Messiah was already here, but that He remained unknown since Jesus had not yet started His ministry. The prophet also calls himself unworthy of even unlacing His sandals, quite a statement that would stir up members of the Sanhedrin back in Jerusalem.
“28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.” (John 1:28)
Lastly, the apostle John shares the location where this interrogation took place as being in Bethabara, which means “house of the desert” which comes as no surprise since John the Baptist was known to be a vagabond who lived & preached in the desert. Let’s pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives,
We praise you Lord for the wisdom found through the gospel of John,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to live out the apostle’s writings
As we continue to learn more about you through your word.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through the truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of Christian faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and our place with you in Heaven
According to your ways, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre