The chief priests and Levites asked John the Baptist, “If you are not the Christ (Messiah), and not Elijah – are you THAT Prophet?” (Bible – John 1:20).
When the chief priests and Levites asked John the Baptist who he was, they asked him in a very strange way. First they questioned him as to whether or not he was the anticipated “Messiah” [Christ in Koine Greek]. He was not the “Messiah” that had hoped for. Next they asked if he was the prophet Elijah and again he tells them, “No.” Now comes the really strange part. Finally, they asked him if he is “That Prophet?”
Are you Christ? – [No]
Are you Elijah? – [No]
Are you THAT Prophet? – [No]
What did they mean by “That Prophet?” We of course, know who the “Christ” is. After all, Christians should know that “Christ” is merely a shortened form of the Koine Greek word “christos,” intended to mean the Hebrew word “Messiah.”
The Jews of two thousand years ago were definitely looking for the Messiah, who it was foretold in their books, would come and lead them to victory over their oppressors and thus gain for them mastery over this world. They were much oppressed under Roman domination and even their own Jewish kings were seen as nothing more than puppets or agents for the disbelievers. Certainly, they would have been most happy to see someone come on the scene who would defeat their Roman masters and slave drivers.
Then the priests and Levites asked John the Baptist if he might be the prophet Elijah, returning back after hundreds of years being away. There was the notion amongst them that Elijah would come back. But again, John the Baptist is denying he is Elijah.
Then, who is he? They wonder at this man living out in the desert and forsaking wealth and luxury and fasting, avoiding the material attractions of life.
Again, they ask John the Baptist who he is. “Are you THAT Prophet?” And one more time he denies being “THAT Prophet,” but then he does tell them about someone who will come after him soon, whom he claims he is not worthy to even unlace his shoes.
However, this does not answer the question, “Who were they expecting besides the Messiah?” Could it be they were looking for someone like Muhammad? (Could be) .
Who is THAT Prophet? -Keep reading and learn who “That Prophet” is and what other proofs can be discovered within the Holy texts to support this idea.
Prophesies in Other Scriptures:
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him ) has also been prophesied in the Zoroaster, Buddhist and Hindu Scriptures: ‘Bhavishya Purana in the Prati Sarag Parv III Khand 3 Adhay 3 Shloka 5 to 8’; Bhavishya Purana in the Pratisarag Parv III Khand 3 Adhay 3 Shloka 10 to 27; Bhavishya Purana, Parv – III Khand 1 Adhay 3 Shloka 21-23; and Samveda Book II Hymn 6 verse 8.