Acts 13:25

ESV And as John was finishing his course, he said, ‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. No, but behold, after me one is coming, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to untie.’
NIV As John was completing his work, he said: 'Who do you suppose I am? I am not the one you are looking for. But there is one coming after me whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.'
NASB And while John was completing his course, he kept saying, ‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not He. But behold, one is coming after me, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to untie.’
CSB Now as John was completing his mission, he said, 'Who do you think I am? I am not the one. But one is coming after me, and I am not worthy to untie the sandals on his feet.'
NLT As John was finishing his ministry he asked, ‘Do you think I am the Messiah? No, I am not! But he is coming soon — and I’m not even worthy to be his slave and untie the sandals on his feet.’
KJV And as John fulfilled his course, he said, Whom think ye that I am? I am not he. But, behold, there cometh one after me, whose shoes of his feet I am not worthy to loose.

What does Acts 13:25 mean?

Paul and Barnabas are in Antioch of Pisidia, a small district on the west side of the larger Galatian province in the center of modern-day Asia Minor. They are in a synagogue filled with Jews and Gentiles who worship the Jewish God. The synagogue leader has asked them to speak, so Paul takes the opportunity. He wants to tell them about Jesus, but starts by recounting the ways that God has saved the Jews throughout Israel's history using Moses, the judges, the kings Saul and David, and the final Savior He promised would come from David's line (Acts 13:16–24).

Now, Paul has the monumental task of redefining the nature of salvation, for the sake of these people who misunderstand it. As it did throughout the Old Testament, salvation will include political rescue and independence of Israel, but because the Jewish leaders rejected God's Savior, freedom will have to wait. Paul hints that the salvation God presently offers has to do with John the Baptist's exhortation for the people to repent of their sins and the man John promised would follow him.

Although John had died years ago, his teaching of repentance and his reputation has already spread into the region (Acts 18:25; 19:3–4). Paul subtly shows there is more to John's message than repentance: there's the Savior. John, himself, asserted that he wasn't worthy to be the slave that cared for the feet of the Messiah. John said, "I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire" (Luke 3:16).

This is the end of the first of five points Paul makes in his message. Next, he will give Jesus' story, show how Jesus fulfills Jewish prophecy, explain what salvation Jesus is offering, and warn his audience to accept it.
What is the Gospel?
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