The Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and temple helpers to ask John who he was. He told them plainly, “I am not the Messiah.” Then when they asked him if he were Elijah, he said, “No, I am not!” And when they asked if he were the Prophet, he also said “No!”
Finally, they said, “Who are you then? We have to give an answer to the ones who sent us. Tell us who you are!”
John answered in the words of the prophet Isaiah, “I am only someone shouting in the desert, ‘Get the road ready for the Lord!’ “
Some Pharisees had also been sent to John. They asked him, “Why are you baptizing people, if you are not the Messiah or Elijah or the Prophet?”
John told them, “I use water to baptize people. But here with you is someone you don’t know. Even though I came first, I am not good enough to untie his sandals.”
John said this as he was baptizing east of the Jordan River in Bethany.
The gospel of the Lord.