15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”)16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given.17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and[a] is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.
John the Baptist Denies Being the Messiah
19 Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders[b] in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was.20 He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.”
21 They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?”
He said, “I am not.”
“Are you the Prophet?”
He answered, “No.”
22 Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
23 John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’”[c]
24 Now the Pharisees who had been sent25 questioned him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”
26 “I baptize with[d] water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know.27 He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.”
28 This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
John 1:19The Greek term traditionally translated the Jews (hoi Ioudaioi) refers here and elsewhere in John’s Gospel to those Jewish leaders who opposed Jesus; also in 5:10, 15, 16; 7:1, 11, 13; 9:22; 18:14, 28, 36; 19:7, 12, 31, 38; 20:19.
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