Summary: The Testimony of John the Baptist reveals that he has the privilege of announcing the Preeminent One at the commencement of Jesus' Ministry.
The Testimony of John the Baptist Concerning Himself: John 1:19-28
We looked at verse 18 last week, and saw that Jesus is the only one who has ever seen the Father, and He is the witness of the fullness of the Father’s character and essence, having always existed with Him. Since ONLY God is eternal, and Jesus existed eternally with the Father, and that He and the Father are ONE, the Father and the Son exist as God, along with the Spirit of God. If you want to know God, listen to the revelation about the Father from the Word and Life of the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Today we pick up at John 1: 19-21 ESV, examining the witness of John the Baptist concerning himself: “This is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent to him priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?" 20 And he confessed and did not deny, but confessed, "I am not the Christ." 21 They asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" And he said, "I am not." "Are you the Prophet?" And he answered, "No."
Negative answers to a very pointed question: “Who are you?”
In today’s passage, John, the writer of the Gospel, begins to relate the first week in the ministry of Jesus through chapter 2:11 (It resembles the beginning of Genesis, which narrates the first week of Creation) and the apostle begins by turning his attention to the testimony of John the Baptist, who was born into a priestly family. (His father, Zechariah, was a priest, belonging to the tribe of Levi, and the Baptist was the cousin of Jesus. Both John the Baptist and Jesus were “miracle babies”, babies of promise, born six months apart; Both died in their early 30’s: John’s parents, Zechariah and Elizabeth, like Abraham and Sarah, were older and had never had children; Mary was a virgin and conceived the Son of God miraculously by the Holy Spirit.)
The “Jews from Jerusalem”, here mentioned, most likely refer to the Jewish religious leadership in general, which no doubt included the Pharisees as mentioned in verse 24. They sent representatives to ask “John the Baptist”, who was a very “stand out figure” a very pointed question: “You’re certainly not like the everyday son of a Levite: you’re a non-conformist who teaches and preaches in the desert, you dress like a prophet, you sound like a prophet (you’re baptizing, rebuking and exhorting), and you’re very influential, attracting large crowds wherever you go. WHO ARE YOU? ”
The nation of Israel was longing for liberation from the Romans, and so the leadership, no doubt thought: Maybe this Baptist guy, dressed like a prophet, is the one who will free God’s people, redeem the land and Israel from the Romans. And so they ask John: Who are you? And he immediately admits openly and frankly: I am DEFINITELY NOT the Christ. (Literally, It is NOT I who am the Christ!) With the longing for freedom and the high Messianic expectations that were in the air, John immediately confesses that he is not the long-promised Messiah. the Redeemer of Israel.