In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God.
Through him was everything created, and nothing was created without him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.
God sent a man called John to testify concerning the light so that everyone might believe. John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to testify concerning the light.
The true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.
He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are born—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.
So the Word became flesh and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.
John testified about him when he called out, “This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed before me.’”
From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is close to the Father’s heart and he has revealed God to us.
This was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders sent priests and Temple assistants from Jerusalem to ask John, “Who are you?”
He came right out and said, “I am not the Messiah.”
“Well then, who are you?” they asked. “Are you Elijah?”
“No,” he replied.
“Are you the Prophet we are expecting?”
“Then who are you? We need an answer for those who sent us. What do you have to say about yourself?”
John replied in the words of the prophet Isaiah: “I am a voice crying out in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord!’”
Then the Pharisees who had been sent asked him, “If you aren’t the Messiah or Elijah or the Prophet, what right do you have to baptize?”
John told them, “I baptize with water, but right here in the crowd is someone you do not recognize. Though his ministry follows mine, I’m not even worthy to be his servant and untie the straps of his sandal.”
This encounter took place in Bethany, an area east of the Jordan River, where John was baptizing.