Last week I was comparing Matthew 3.1-12, Mark 1.2-8, Luke 3.1-18, and John 1.19-28 wherein John the Baptist is the focus. He speaks of himself in Isaianic terminology as the “voice crying in the wilderness”. In Matthew and Luke he says a bit about God creating children of Abraham from ‘these rocks’ (some consider this a Q source though I’m skeptical). John’s baptism is juxtaposed with the coming Messiah’s–one of water and one of spirit. What caught my eye was the Johannine account.
In John 1.25 the priests and Levites respond to John’s denial that he is Messiah, Elijah, or ‘the Prophet’ with the question: “Then why are you baptizing?”
This question fascinates me. What was it about being either Messiah, the returned Elijah, or the Deuteronomic Prophet that qualified one for baptizing and why did they think John’s baptism was odd considering he did not have these qualifications? Any thoughts?