And as John was finishing his course [of ministry], he kept saying, ‘What or who do you think that I am? I am not He [the Christ]; but be aware, One is coming after me whose sandals I am not worthy to untie [even as His slave]!’
And as John was ending his course, he asked, What orwho do you secretly think that I am? I am not He [the Christ. No], but note that after me One is coming, the sandals of Whose feet I am not worthy to untie!
When he was finishing his ·work [race; course; mission], he said, ‘Who do you think I am? I am not ·the Christ [the Messiah; L he; C the anointed king from David’s line]. He is coming later, and I am not worthy to untie his sandals [C a gesture of subservience fit for a slave].’
And as John was about to finish his mission, he said to the people, ‘Who do you think I am? I am not the one you are waiting for. But listen! He is coming after me, and I am not good enough to take his sandals off his feet.’
From the descendants of this man, according to his promise, God has brought Jesus to Israel to be their saviour. John came before him to prepare his way preaching the baptism of repentance for all the people of Israel. Indeed, as John reached the end of his time he said these words: ‘What do you think I am? I am not he. But know this, someone comes after me whose shoe-lace I am not fit to untie!’ .
“From out of David’s descendants God produced a Savior for Israel, Jesus, exactly as he promised—but only after John had thoroughly alerted the people to his arrival by preparing them for a total life-change. As John was finishing up his work, he said, ‘Did you think I was the One? No, I’m not the One. But the One you’ve been waiting for all these years is just around the corner, about to appear. And I’m about to disappear.’
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