About this time, John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the Judean wilderness,
This was John's testimony when the Jewish leaders sent priests and descendants of Levi to him from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?"
"Who are you?" they asked him. "We must give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?"
Now the people were filled with expectation, and all of them were wondering if John was perhaps the Messiah.
He spoke openly and, remaining true to himself, admitted, "I am not the Messiah."
You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, "I am not the Messiah, but I have been sent ahead of him.'
When John was finishing his work, he said, "Who do you think I am? I'm not the Messiah. No, but he is coming after me, and I'm not worthy to untie the sandals on his feet.'
So they asked him, "Well then, are you Elijah?" John said, "I am not." "Are you the Prophet?" He answered, "No."
If you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come.
But I tell you that Elijah has already come, yet people did not recognize him and treated him just as they pleased. In the same way, the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands."
But I tell you that Elijah has come, yet people treated him just as they pleased, as it is written about him."
John was not the light, but he came to testify about the light.
This is the man about whom it is written, "See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.'
They asked him, "Why, then, are you baptizing if you are not the Messiah, or Elijah, or the Prophet?"