New International Reader's Version
John the Baptist Says That He Is Not the Messiah
19 The Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask John who he was. John spoke the truth to them. 20 He did not try to hide the truth. He spoke to them openly. He said, “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 we’ve been expecting?” they asked.
“No,” he answered.
22 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?”
23 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)
24 The Pharisees who had been sent 25 asked him, “If you are not the Messiah, why are you baptizing people? Why are you doing that if you aren’t Elijah or the Prophet we’ve been expecting?”
26 “I baptize people with water,” John replied. “But someone is standing among you whom you do not know. 27 He is the one who comes after me. I am not good enough to untie his sandals.”
28 This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan River. That was where John was baptizing.
What John Says About Jesus
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him. John said, “Look! The Lamb of God! He takes away the sin of the world! 30 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.’ 31 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.”
32 Then John told them, “I saw the Holy Spirit come down from heaven like a dove. The Spirit remained on Jesus. 33 I myself did not know 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.’ 34 I have seen it happen. I am a witness that this is God’s Chosen One.”
John’s Disciples Follow Jesus
35 The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36 He saw Jesus walking by. John said, “Look! The Lamb of God!”
37 The two disciples heard him say this. So they followed Jesus. 38 Then Jesus turned around and saw them following. He asked, “What do you want?”
They said, “Rabbi, where are you staying?” Rabbi means Teacher.
39 “Come,” he replied. “You will see.”
So they went and saw where he was staying. They spent the rest of the day with him. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon.
40 Andrew was Simon Peter’s brother. Andrew was one of the two disciples who heard what John had said. He had also followed Jesus. 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon. He told him, “We have found the Messiah.” Messiah means Christ. 42 And he brought Simon to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon, son of John. You will be called Cephas.” Cephas means Peter, or Rock.
Jesus Chooses Philip and Nathanael
43 The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.”
44 Philip was from the town of Bethsaida. So were Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one whom Moses wrote about in the Law. The prophets also wrote about him. He is Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
46 “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.
“Come and see,” said Philip.
47 Jesus saw Nathanael approaching. Here is what Jesus said about him. “He is a true Israelite. Nothing about him is false.”
48 “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked.
Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree. I saw you there before Philip called you.”
49 Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God. You are the king of Israel.”
50 Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.”Read full chapter