Yesterday, John was asked by some of the Jerusalem hierarchy who he was. He emphatically told them that he wasn’t the Messiah. Nor was he Elijah (an expected forerunner of the kingdom) or the prophet like Moses (from Deut 18:18). So if he wasn’t one of those figures, what right did he have to go around baptising?
John hinted at the answer, by talking about one who was coming after him – someone who was greater than him. But that’s where he left it. We pick up the story the next day.