What Jesus Did! 'Flatly Denied' — John 1:19-21

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent some priests and Levites to John. The Jews sent them to ask, "Who are you?" John spoke freely. John did not refuse to answer. John said clearly, "I am not the Christ. " That is what John told people. The Jews asked John, "Then who are you? Are you Elijah ?" John answered, "No, I am not Elijah." The Jews asked, "Are you the Prophet ?" John answered, "No, I am not the Prophet."
— John 1:19-21
Illustration of John 1:19-21 — "No, I am not the Prophet."

Key Thought

Who are you? What would you do to be viewed as important and significant by others? How much does your acceptance by others matter? I don't know about you, but these are convicting questions. Most of us are not happy just being the shadow of someone important. We want to be viewed as significant. John the Baptist, however, lived a life of importance because he let God determine his role. He realized his value was based upon living out what God wanted him to do and not being valued by the world. That meant denying the rumors about himself. That meant pointing others away from following him. That meant sending his closest followers to someone else. It meant flatly denying that he was the star. It also means that God was pleased. "Well done, good and faithful servant!" May this also be true of us!

Today's Prayer

Almighty God, I ask that you make my role in your Kingdom business clear. I want to not only be faithful, but I also want to be fruitful. Please show me where you want me to serve and empower me to serve with a heart of humility and grace. My prayer is that you will be glorified in my life and that I will be found faithful in your site. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

The Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent some priests and Levites to John. The Jews sent them to ask, "Who are you?" John spoke freely. John did not refuse to answer. John said clearly, "I am not the Christ. " That is what John told people. The Jews asked John, "Then who are you? Are you Elijah ?" John answered, "No, I am not Elijah." The Jews asked, "Are you the Prophet ?" John answered, "No, I am not the Prophet." Then the Jews said, "Who are you? Tell us about yourself. Give us an answer to tell the people who sent us. What do you say about yourself?" John told them the words of the prophet Isaiah: "I am the voice of a person shouting in the desert: 'Make a straight road ready for the Lord.'" These Jews were sent from the Pharisees. These men said to John: "You say you are not the Christ. You say you are not Elijah or the Prophet. Then why do you baptize people?" John answered, "I baptize people with water. But there is a person here with you that you don't know. That person is the One who comes after me. I am not good enough to untie the strings on his shoes." These things all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan River. This is where John was baptizing people. The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him. John said, "Look, the Lamb of God. He takes away the sins of the world! This is the One I was talking about. I said, 'A man will come after me, but he is greater than I am, because he was living before me—{he has always lived}.' Even I did not know who he was. But I came baptizing people with water so that Israel (the Jews) could know that Jesus is {the Christ} ." Then John said, "I also did not know who the Christ was. But God sent me to baptize people with water. And God told me, 'You will see the Spirit. come down and rest on a man. That man is the One who will baptize with the Holy Spirit. '" John said, "I have seen this happen. I saw the Spirit come down from heaven. The Spirit looked like a dove and sat on him (Jesus). So this is what I tellpeople: 'He (Jesus) is the Son of God.'"

John 1:19-34

Related Scripture Readings

Any person that teaches his own ideas is trying to get honor for himself. But a person that tries to bring honor to the one that sent him—that person speaks the truth. There is nothing false in him.

John 7:18

But many people believed in Jesus. Even many of the Jewish leaders believed in Jesus. But they were afraid of the Pharisees. So they did not say openly that they believed. They were afraid that they would be put out of the synagogue. These men loved praise from people more than praise from God.

John 12:42-43

Now do you think I am trying to make people accept me? No! God is the One I am trying to please. Am I trying to please people? If I wanted to please people, I would not be a servant of Jesus Christ.

Galatians 1:10

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.