John the Baptist
The Jews were expecting the prophetic appearance of the Messiah. Then "John the Baptist came preaching . . . 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand'" (Mt 3:1-2) and "a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins" (Lk 3:3). He was asked, "'Who are you?'" (Jn 1:19) and answered, "'I am a voice crying in the wilderness'" (:23). Then he elaborated, "'One is coming who is mightier than I . . . [who] will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire'" (Lk 3:16). He explained, "'I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me . . . this is the One'" (Jn 1:33). "The people were in a state of expectation and all were wondering in their hearts about John, as to whether he was the Christ" (Lk 3:15). One day "John was standing with two of his disciples and he looked at Jesus as He walked and said, 'Behold, the Lamb of God!'" (Jn 1:35-36). Those disciples heard, began following Jesus, and Jesus saw them (:37-38). When Jesus spoke, they addressed him as "'Rabbi (which translated means Teacher)" (:38). John the Baptist's disciples even called him "'Rabbi'" (Jn 3:36). One of those disciples was Andrew and the other is assumed to be John, the author of that gospel. "They stayed with Jesus that day" (1:39). This was before Jesus encountered them fishing at the beach. Andrew then located "his own brother Simon and said to him, 'We have found the Messiah'" (:41). Then Jesus went to Galilee and found Philip who was from the same town as Peter and Andrew (:43-44). "Jesus said to him, 'Follow Me.'" (:43) It is as if Jesus is comoleting a small checklist of disciples for his twelve apostles. However, he already had disciples following him as "Jesus Himself was not baptizing, but His disciples were" (Jn 4:2). Nonetheless, "'Of those whom You have given Me I lost not one'" (18:9).