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Today’s Reading: John 1:19-28
19 And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 He confessed, he did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” 21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Eli jah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” And he answered, “No.” 22 They said to him then, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself ?” 23 He said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” 24Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. 25 They asked him, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Eli jah, nor the prophet?” 26 John answered them, “I baptize with water; but among you stands one whom you do not know, 27 even he who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” 28 This took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
I baptize with water: The water baptism of John is merely a sign of the sacramental Baptism of Jesus. The former signified our need for cleansing and renewal; the latter effects this by an infusion of the grace and new life of the Spirit (Acts 2:38; Tit 3:5).