Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders 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.’”
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 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.
The Testimony of John The Baptist
John the Baptist is a central character in John’s Gospel because of the unique role he played in the history of redemption. John straddled the Old and New Testaments, like a redemptive bridge. He was the last of the Old Testament prophets, and at the same time he was the first herald of the arrival of God’s promised kingdom in Jesus (Isa. 40:3).
Elijah is mentioned by John not only because Israel expected someone to come in the “spirit of Elijah” before the day of the Lord (Mal. 4:5), but also because he is representative of all of Israel’s prophets. This is why Moses and Elijah appeared together with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt. 17:1–5). The whole Old Testament (the Law, represented by Moses, and the Prophets, represented by Elijah) points toward and is fulfilled by Jesus.
*These devos are taken from Crossway's, ESV Gospel Transformation Bible.