Summary: The testimony of John the Baptist about who Jesus was and what He came to do.
The Testimony of John
I. The Question (19-22)
• Vv. 19-20 John the Baptist’s voice breaks 400 years of silence.
• “The Jews” is used by John to describe many groups within the Jewish community; here it is referring particularly to the Pharisees.
• Background on the Pharisees: 3 Groups: 1. Zealots 2. Essenes 3. Pharisees
• The priests and the Levites are sent out because they thought John could be the Messiah. Were they sent to anoint the King?
• John replied and told them who he was, indeed the Baptist was a great prophet sent from God, but he was not the Christ.
• Vs. 21 Why would they assume he was Elijah? What was the significance surrounding Elijah?
• Are you the Prophet? (Deut. 18:15,18)
• 2 Witnesses from Rev. 11
• Vs. 22 If you are not either one of these two, then exactly who are you?
II. The Answer (23)
• Vs. 23 John replies that he is the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah 40:3
• John’s voice was to call the people to repentance so that their hearts would be ready to receive the words that Christ was about to bring to them. Because a person needs to realize he is drowning before he is able to be saved.
• God still uses the voice of His humble servants to prepare the hearts of those whom call is calling unto salvation.
III. The Baptism (24-26)
• Vv. 24-25 Because they were sent by the Pharisees they went deeper with their questions; if you are not Elijah or the Prophet then why are you baptizing?
• Vs. 26 John says that he baptizes with water, indicating there would soon be another type of baptism, of the Spirit.
• The Baptism of John was done for several reasons:
1. It was not Christian baptism.
2. It had nothing to do with salvation.
3. It contrasted ceremonial cleansing.
4. It was done as a sign of repentance, and was done to both Jew and Gentile.
• Why does John tell the priests and Levites the very one they are looking for they do not know? Did they not know all the prophecies about the coming Messiah?
• “know” could also be translated comprehend, understand, or acknowledge. U.S. and Russia
IV. The Humility (27-28)
• Vs. 27 We see the humility of John knowing that anything he was doing, no matter how important it was, was nothing compared to who Christ is and what He was about to do.