John 1:19-23 – John the Baptist stirred up a nation with messianic fervor, prompting the Jewish leaders to send a delegation to ask “Who are you?” John’s response pointed only to Christ, and teaches us that we, like the Jewish delegates, easily place our hope on lesser messiahs, mere shadows, and miss the One whom the entire Old Testament proclaims.
19 And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” 21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” 22 So they said to him, “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” (ESV)