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John the Baptist Tells People About Jesus(A)

19 Here is the ·truth John told [testimony John gave; witness of John; 1:6] when the ·leaders [Jewish leadership; L Jews; C John often uses the term “Jews” to refer to the religious leaders in opposition to Jesus, rather than to the Jewish people generally] in Jerusalem sent ·priests and Levites [C the religious authorities; priests oversaw temple worship; Levites were members of the tribe of Levi who assisted them; 1 Chr. 23:24–32] to ask him, “Who are you?”

20 John ·spoke freely [confessed] and did not ·refuse to answer [deny it]. He said, “I am not the ·Christ [Messiah].”

21 So they asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?” [C Elijah, an OT prophet, was expected to come back before the Messiah; 1 Kin. 17—2 Kin. 2; Mal. 4:5–6.]

He answered, “No, I am not.”

“Are you the Prophet?” [C the Prophet like Moses predicted in Deut. 18:15–19] they asked.

He answered, “No.”

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