This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from
Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?" He confessed and did not deny it,
but confessed, "I am not the Messiah." John 1:19-20 (NRSV)
We like to place people in pigeon-holes. It's much easier to deal with them if we can reduce them to a one word, one dimensional caricature. Then we can elevate them to godlike status or demean them as low-lives. Simple. Good/Bad. Up/Down. We can see this phenomenon played out large in our current political process.
Religious leaders did not like John horning in on their territory. "Who are you?" I think they already knew. They just wanted to cut him down and dismiss him (for drawing attention from them.) John, not only did not take the bait, he refused to elevate himself. His life pointed to one destination: Christ. He could have developed a cult, had a reality TV show and sold T-shirts. No, he did what he did because of Christ and the people Jesus was to reach. John was grounded in his identity.
Who do you reduce to a caricature? Seek to really know them. Are you grounded in your own identity so that you would be fine being an anonymous servant? God's listening.