God knew Jesus’ arrival was critical. God had prepared John the Baptist to change the hearts and thoughts of the people so that they would be ready for Jesus’ coming. There had been no written prophecy and no prophetic leadership in Israel for several hundred years, and the people needed to be ready for the heart change that God had in mind. God sent John the Baptist to remind the people to turn their lives around and repent from a life of independence from the Lord.
The people were ready to hear the truth and came out in droves to change their lives and be baptized in repentance for their sin. This caused a major stir in the religious community and so they wanted to stop John from claiming the place of Messiah. What is ironic, however, is that John was clear in his message that he was not the Messiah but the one to prepare the way for the Messiah. This drove the leaders crazy. As John’s crowds grew and the people’s hearts were ready; It was then time for Jesus appearance on the scene.
Jesus was now 30 and ready for Rabbinical service, and So He came to John to be baptized and when that occurred, God said let the games begin! We will never know the impact John’s preaching had on the people of Israel. We know that many of the disciples had been John’s followers prior to Jesus’ ministry. We do know that John never needed to be the center of attention. He simply needed to prepare the way for Jesus to take center stage. John did so without question and will be remembered as one of God’s great ones because he did!
God Bless You
19 Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders[c] in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20 He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “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?”
He answered, “No.”
22 Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
23 John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’”[d]
24 Now the Pharisees who had been sent 25 questioned him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”
26 “I baptize with[e] water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. 27 He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.”
28 This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
John Testifies About Jesus
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”
32 Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33 And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.”[f]