The Prologue of John's Gospel states: 'A man came, sent by God. His name was John. He came as a witness.... to speak for the light' Jn 1,6. The evangelist introduced John, who was sent by God to be a witness, and a speaker for 'the light'. God had chosen John for a specific mission; to go before 'the light', announcing to the people, that 'the light' is coming. Those who lived in darkness and wanted to see 'the light' must accept both John's message, and the evangelist. Denying John's mission meant denying the evangelist's message. Believing in John's message meant believing, that John himself, and his message, both came from God. John announced no more than what had been revealed to him. A witness is required when there is a dispute. In a court situation, a witness is called to testify what s/he had perceived with her/his senses. In John's case, there was no dispute, John served as a witness for 'the light', and through him, people came to know, and believed in 'the light'. The evangelist introduced John as a speaker for 'the light'. John himself affirmed the evangelist's message by quoting what the prophet had prophesized about him. He replied to people who questioned who he was. John told them: I am as Isaiah prophesised: a voice that cries in the wilderness: Make a straight way for the Lord. Jn 1,23.
Both the evangelist and Isaiah revealed the same message. John the Baptist was God's messenger who spoke for 'the light'. In order to speak, one needs voice, and a voice can't communicate its message without a speaker. John's double roles were both the voice, and the speaker. His voice revealed that 'the light' was no one else, but the Lord, and that his mission was calling people to move out of darkness, and come to 'the light' to receive eternal life. In his public ministry, John spoke for 'the light'. In his dark cell prison, John died for 'the light'.
When his mother, Elizabeth, heard Mary's greeting, John jumped for joy in his mother's womb Luke 1,41. As Jesus' cousin, John knew the man, Jesus, from childhood, but couldn't figure out who Jesus really was John spoke about 'the light'. He spoke so well that the crowds misunderstood his identity, believing that he was the Messiah. John made correction, telling them that, he was not the Christ, but only a speaker for 'the light'.
There was another party being sent to find out more about John's identity. The priests and the Levites sent the Pharisees to find out about John. Their primary focus was not on God, but on John. John told them not to focuse on him, but rather on God. They refused, insisting that their mission was to learn more about John. The priests and the Levites were more interested on John's identification, rather than John's message. John could not figure out who Jesus was. The priests and the Levites couldn't figure out who John was. John in his openness knew Jesus was 'the light', the Messiah, at Jesus' Baptism. The priests and the Levites continued searching because they were searching for faith with only their heads, not their hearts. Their knowledge had deceived them. Faith is the matter of a heart, not a commitment of a head.
We pray for the grace not to rely on our own wisdom and knowledge, but rather to trust Jesus' word and make His voice know to the world.