Jesus and John the Baptizer
1After Jesus finished giving instructions to his twelve disciples, he went on to minister in different villages throughout the region.
2Now, while John the Baptizer was in prison, he heard about what Christ was doing among the people, so he sent his disciples to ask him this question: 3“Are you really the one prophesied would come, or should we still wait for another?”
4Jesus answered them, “Give John this report: 5‘The blind see again, the crippled walk, lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised back to life, and the poor and broken now hear of the hope of salvation!’ 6And tell John that the blessing of heaven comes upon those who never lose their faith in me—no matter what happens!”
7As they were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John. “What kind of man did you see when you went out into the wilderness? Did you expect to see a man who would be easily intimidated? 8Who was he? Did you expect to see a man decked out in the splendid fashion of the day? Those who wear fancy clothes live like kings in palaces. 9Or did you encounter a true prophet out in the lonely wilderness? Yes, John was a prophet like those of the past, but he is even more than that! 10He was the fulfillment of this Scripture:
See, I am sending my prophetic messenger
who will go ahead of me
and prepare hearts to receive me.
11“For I tell you the truth, throughout history there has never been a man who surpasses John the Baptizer. Yet the least of those who now experience heaven’s kingdom realm will become even greater than he. 12From the moment John stepped onto the scene until now, the realm of heaven’s kingdom is bursting forth, and passionate people have taken hold of its power. 13For all the prophets and the Torah prophesied until John appeared. 14If you can receive this truth, John is the Elijah who was destined to come. 15So listen and understand what I’m telling you.
16“Don’t you understand? How could I describe the people of this generation? You’re like children playing games on the playground, yelling at their playmates, 17‘You don’t like it when we want to play Wedding! And you don’t like it when we want to play Funeral! You will neither dance nor mourn.’ 18Why is it that when John came to you, neither feasting nor drinking wine, you said, ‘He has a demon in him!’? 19Yet when the Son of Man came and went to feasts and drank wine, you said, ‘Look at this Man! He is nothing but a glutton and a drunkard! He spends all his time with tax collectors and other affluent sinners.’ But God’s wisdom will be visibly seen living in those who embrace it.”
Jesus Criticizes Unrepentant Cities
20Then Jesus began to openly denounce the cities where he had done most of his mighty miracles, because the people failed to turn away from sin and return to God. 21He said, “How tragic it will be for the city of Korazin! And how horrible for the city of Bethsaida! For if the powerful miracles that I performed in Korazin and Bethsaida had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have humbled themselves and repented, and turned from their sins. 22Tyre and Sidon will better off on judgment day than you! 23And Capernaum—do you really think you’ll be exalted because of the great miracles I have done there? No! You’ll be brought down to the depths of hell because of your rejection of me. For if the miracles I worked in your streets were done in Sodom, it would still be standing today! 24But I tell you, it will be more bearable for the region of Sodom in the day of judgment than it will be for you.”
Jesus Invites Everyone to Come
25Then Jesus exclaimed, “Father, thank you, for you are Lord, the Supreme Ruler over heaven and earth! And you have hidden the great revelation of your authority from those who are proud and wise in their own eyes. Instead, you have shared it with these who humble themselves. 26Yes, Father, your plan delights your heart, as you’ve chosen this way to extend your kingdom—by giving it to those who have become like trusting children. 27You have entrusted me with all that you are and all that you have. No one fully and intimately knows the Son except the Father. And no one fully and intimately knows the Father except the Son. But the Son is able to unveil the Father to anyone he chooses.
28“Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Then come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis. 29Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me. 30For all that I require of you will be pleasant and easy to bear.”