In the first chapter of the Gospel of John, the following account of John the Baptist's introduction of Jesus is given:

29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32 And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33 I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.” John 1:29-34

John specifically states that the one who sent him to baptize with water was the one who informed him that he would be able to recognize the one for whom he himself was the predecessor. The indicator would be that John would see the Spirit come down and remain on him.

So, my question is, "Who was it that sent John to baptize with water and who told him how he would be able to recognize Jesus?" Is there anything in church tradition or elsewhere in the Bible that informs us who this was? An angel? God Himself? Another prophet?

  • I don't think many people would distinguish between "God sent him" and "An angel sent him". If messenger arrives from HQ with an order to advance, the soldiers don't say "a messenger ordered me to advance" they say "HQ ordered me to advance". Commented Jan 20, 2020 at 20:49

4 Answers 4


When the angel came to Zechariah to announce the birth of John, he said that the child would be "filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. (Lk 1:15)" Also, Jesus said of John that "all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. (Mt 11:13)" It seems most reasonable to view him as a prophet like those of the OT, that he was commissioned and sent directly by God, and that he received inspiration and revelation directly from God.


Of course.

John 1:6 (KJV) There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

ἐγένετο ἄνθρωπος ἀπεσταλμένος παρὰ θεοῦ ὄνομα αὐτῷ Ἰωάννης

God the Father sent John.

  • 1
    Fantastic. Thank you for this very clear and concise addition.
    – Sticmann
    Commented Nov 9, 2012 at 22:26

Because the Word says "God sent him" (John 1:6) it must have been The Father by way of the Holy Spirit - God is One manifested in 3. At the time the Son was on earth, the Holy Spirit and The Father was still in heaven, until the baptism of Jesus when the Holy Spirit joined Him. Afterwards on the mount of transfiguration Jesus was seen together with Moses and Elijah and ANOTHER voice spoke - being the Father. Clear description of the Godhead three in one. Therefore it must be the Father who sent John.


Remember John is Jesus's earthly cousin. When Mary went to visit Elisabeth Luke 1:39 it mentions that John leaped in the womb at the sound of Marys voice so basically that was the first sign John was no ordinary man he was of the Heavenly relm.. It also states in Luke Elisabeth found out she would be with child by an Angel as well..so basically what I get from this is Jesus said the only way is to be reborn again through baptism, so in order for Jesus to for fill that God needed to send someone to Baptise Jesus so that way Gods plan can go into play...God is good God knew he would send Jesus thousands of years before he actually did... Jesus is of the same blood line as King David,Noah,Adam even Abraham Matthew 1:2-16


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