John the Baptist

Who was John the Baptist?

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John 1 Bible Study

19-28 John the Baptist

29-34 Lamb of God
35-51 Andrew, Peter, Philip & Nathanael
JOHN 1:19-27  19 Now 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 Then they said to him, "Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?" 23 He said: "I am 'The voice of one crying in the wilderness: "Make straight the way of the Lord,'" as the prophet Isaiah said." 24 Now those who were sent were from the Pharisees. 25 And they asked him, saying, "Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?" 26 John answered them, saying, "I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know. 27 It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose." 28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

Who is "John" (John 1:19 & 26)?
It's John the Baptist. John, the writer of this Gospel, is writing about another John.

What is John the Baptist saying in John 1:23?
He is answering by referring to the prophet Isaiah, who had declared: "'Comfort, yes, comfort My people!' Says your God. 'Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.' The voice of one crying in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God...'” (Isaiah 40:1-3)

What is the context of that declaration?
The book of Isaiah was written for the Jews returning to the promised land from exile. The first 39 chapters of Isaiah emphasize God’s judgment. The passage quoted above (from Isaiah chapter 40) marks the shift to the ‘comfort’ that God will provide and alludes to Jesus' role of opening the way for humanity to return to where we were with God, before the fall in the Garden of Eden.

What is John the Baptist saying about the "sandal strap" (John 1:27)?
In those days, the roads were nothing more than dirt paths littered with animal excrement, and foot coverings were crude sandals. Given how dirty people's feet became from walking through the dust and filth, the job of washing someone else's feet was considered so low that only the lowest slaves were obliged to perform it. John the Baptist is saying that compared to Jesus, he is so worthless that he isn't even worthy to be Jesus' foot washing slave.

JOHN 1:28  28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

What and where are "Bethabara" and "Jordan" (John 1:28)?
Bethabara was a place on the other (east) side of Jordan, which is the river that runs along the eastern border of Israel.

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