The Jewish authorities in Jerusalem sent a number of Pharisees, priests and their assistants to John, the Baptist, to ask him who he was.
John replied, “I am not the Messiah. I want to emphasize this: I am not the Messiah. Most definitely not!”
“Who are you then? Are you Elijah?”
“I am not.”
“Are you then the Prophet foretold in Scripture?”
“Then who are you? We have to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
“I’m a voice crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the path of the Lord!’ I quote the prophet, Isaiah.”
“Who gave you authority to baptize people, if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor even a prophet?” the Pharisees asked.
“I baptize with water. Yet there is a certain person already among you whom you don’t know [who’ll baptize with the Holy Spirit]. He will soon take my place. As for me, I’m not even fit to kneel down and loosen the strap of His sandal.”
This event occurred at Beth-abara [the place of crossing over or the ford] where John was baptizing people in the River Jordan.
On the following day, John saw Jesus coming towards him. “Look!” John exclaimed. “Here is the Lamb of God who wipes away the sins of the whole world! This is the very man of whom I spoke yesterday—the man who ranks far above me because He existed before time began. I myself had never seen Him before yesterday, but I came here to baptize people in the river so that He might be revealed to all Israel. I didn’t know Him until yesterday. But God Himself said to me, at the time when He sent me here to Beth-abara to baptize people in water: ‘The Man on whom you see the Holy Spirit of Wisdom (in the likeness of a dove) come down from heaven and remain upon, is He who will baptize in the Holy Spirit.’ Yesterday, I saw this very thing happen right before my eyes; and now I bear witness that this Man indeed is the Son of God.”
The next day, John was again at Beth-abara. When he saw Jesus passing by—this was around three o’clock in the afternoon—he said to two of his disciples, “There goes the Lamb of God!”
When they heard this, the two disciples left John and followed Jesus. Turning around, Jesus asked them why they were following Him. “What do you want?” He asked.
“To know where You’re staying, Rabbi.”
“Come with Me and find out.”
So Andrew (Simon Peter’s brother) and the other man went with Jesus. When they arrived at Bethsaida (the place where He was staying), they remained with Him.
Next morning, the first thing Andrew did was to tell his brother, Simon, “We have found the Messiah!”
Andrew brought Simon to Jesus who looked at him and said, “You are Simon, the son of John, but I will call you Peter.”
The three men stayed with Jesus for the rest of that day.
The next day, Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. On their way out of the town, they met Philip. Jesus said to him, “Follow Me!”
Philip went to look for his friend, Nathanael, whom he found sitting under a fig tree, praising God. Philip exclaimed, “We’ve found the Man that Moses and the prophets wrote about in the Law—Joseph’s son, Jesus of Nazareth!”
“Can anything good come from a place like Nazareth?”
“Come and see for yourself.”
When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, He said, “Here comes a true Israelite! A completely honest man! Straight-forward! Nothing false or equivocating about him at all!”
“How do you know me?” Nathanael asked.
“I saw you when you were praying, as you sat under under that fig tree, before Philip called on you.”
“Rabbi, you are indeed the Son of God, the King of Israel!” Nathanael declared.
“Surely you don’t believe in Me simply because I told you I saw you sitting under that fig tree? You’ll see much greater things than that! In truth, I tell all of you for a positive fact you shall see the heavens open wide and the angels of God coming and going to serve the Son of Man.”