By Arla, Jun 18 2019 01:00AM
While Jesus is gone to the wilderness, John is drawn back to study the prophecies in Isaiah. His own words "Lamb of God" had surprised him, and had put new meaning on Messiah's work, and while he still doesn't understand that the Christ's suffering ministry precedes a later conquering one, he knows there is more than he realized.
The Jewish leaders study scripture, too, and they know Messiah's time is near. Some remember Zacharias' vision and the birth of John, but things get lost in 30 years. Humans forget.
The people wonder, Is John the Messiah? His geographic position is near sites where God had worked miracles of deliverance in their history, helping to revive interest in the Messiah.
The Sanhedrin, the Jews' religious governing body, feel they have to make some statement about John. So they send examiners to question him.
John says clearly, "I am not the Christ...or Elijah...or Moses..."
"Then who are you? And why are you baptizing?"
"I am the one Isaiah spoke of 'preparing the way of the Lord.' I baptize with water," mid-sentence, John stops, sees Jesus again in the crowd, and announces the Messiah to his questioners, "but among you is the One who comes after me..."
But they can't receive it.
Most of those who had seen Jesus baptized couldn't hear the voice or see the Spirit given. Now they look around but can't recognize Him; He is poor and not what they want, so they don't "get it." Spiritual things are discerned through a connection with God and they aren't connected.*
John 1:19-27, *1John 5:20