John answered them, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know . . .
The Pharisees had sent messengers to find out who John the Baptist was. After denying that he was the Christ, or Elijah, or one of the Old Testament Prophets, he stated that he was “the voice of one crying out in the wilderness,” quoting from Isaiah, who had foretold his coming.
Today we see that John didn’t want to linger on who he was, but for Whom he had come. Yes, he acknowledged his ministry—baptizing with water—but he quickly turned all attention to the coming King, whom they didn’t know.
As His forerunner, John’s mandate and mission was to announce the arrival of the King and clear His way. He did so by crying out: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 3:1). That was exactly the same message as Jesus: “From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand’” (Matt. 4:17). Therefore, to be a true witness for Jesus, we are to direct all attention to Him and proclaim His message.
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The Devotional Writer
Author of “An Unfathomable Gift!“