Read John 1:19-28
It is no secret that there was a great deal of confusion surrounding John the Baptist. He showed up on the scene, apparently unknown before this time, and started baptizing people. Mark 1:4 says that John was preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sin. Obviously, this piqued the interest of the religious establishment in Jerusalem – who was the man out in the wilderness preaching repentance, forgiveness, and baptizing people? So they sent someone to investigate. When the investigators arrive, they ask John, “Who are you?” (John 1:22) John denies that he is the Christ, Elijah, or a prophet of any kind for that matter, as there were many false prophets and false messiahs in those days and Jesus warns against such in Matthew 7:15-20. What he does tell them is that he is the one the prophets spoke about in Isaiah 40:3. He was the voice calling out in the wilderness preparing the way for the Lord. The investigators did not understand this as they were expecting him to cite some sort of authority. Jesus was asked a similar question about his authority in Matthew 21:23-32 and Jesus asked a question about John’s baptism. It was apparent by this time that the people believed that John was prophet sent from God, but they knew the right answer was the John was sent from heaven and not baptizing in the name of some other man.
The problem with the investigators was that they were looking for something that wasn’t there. They came to John with presumptions and when John answered them it violated these presumptions they were confused. When we come asking questions, do we come asking with presumptions? More often than not, we probably do. This excess baggage can create confusion about how we understand Jesus and his message. Jesus encourages us to turn and become as children with humility and with hearts that will believe and be taught (Matthew 18:1-6) rather than presuming to know the answer. It is much easier to believe the gospel when you don’t presume you already know!
Lord, help me to humble so that I may understand and believe!