He (Christ) was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him. He came to that which was His own [that which belonged to Him—His world, His creation, His possession], and those who were His own [people—the Jewish nation] did not receive and welcome Him. But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the right [the authority, the privilege] to become children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name— who were born, not of blood [natural conception], nor of the will of the flesh [physical impulse], nor of the will of man [that of a natural father], but of God [that is, a divine and supernatural birth—they are born of God—spiritually transformed, renewed, sanctified].
And the Word (Christ) became flesh, and lived among us; and we [actually] saw His glory, glory as belongs to the [One and] only begotten Son of the Father, [the Son who is truly unique, the only One of His kind, who is] full of grace and truth (absolutely free of deception). John testified [repeatedly] about Him and has cried out [testifying officially for the record, with validity and relevance], “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I and has priority over me, for He existed before me.’ ” For out of His fullness [the superabundance of His grace and truth] we have all received grace upon grace [spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing, favor upon favor, and gift heaped upon gift]. For the Law was given through Moses, but grace [the unearned, undeserved favor of God] and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God [His essence, His divine nature] at any time; the [One and] only begotten God [that is, the unique Son] who is in the intimate presence of the Father, He has explained Him [and interpreted and revealed the awesome wonder of the Father].
This is the testimony of John [the Baptist] when the Jews sent priests and Levites to him from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” And he confessed [truthfully] and did not deny [that he was only a man], but acknowledged, “I am not the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed)!” They asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” And he said, “I am not.” “Are you the [promised] Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” Then they said to him, “Who are you? Tell us, so that we may give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” He said, “I am THE VOICE OF ONE SHOUTING IN THE WILDERNESS, ‘MAKE STRAIGHT THE WAY OF THE LORD,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”
Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, “Why then are you baptizing, if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” John answered them, “I baptize [only] in water, but among you there stands One whom you do not recognize and of whom you know nothing. It is He [the preeminent One] who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie [even as His slave].” These things occurred in Bethany across the Jordan [at the Jordan River crossing], where John was baptizing.
The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I and has priority over me, for He existed before me.’