The Messengers from John the Baptist
1When Jesus finished giving these instructions to his twelve disciples, he left that place and went off to teach and preach in the towns near there.
2When John the Baptist heard in prison about the things that Christ was doing, he sent some of his disciples to him. 3“Tell us,” they asked Jesus, “are you the one John said was going to come, or should we expect someone else?”
4Jesus answered, “Go back and tell John what you are hearing and seeing: 5#Is 35.5–6; 61.1the blind can see, the lame can walk, those who suffer from dreaded skin diseases are made clean,#11.5 made clean: See 8.2. the deaf hear, the dead are brought back to life, and the Good News is preached to the poor. 6How happy are those who have no doubts about me!”
7While John's disciples were leaving, Jesus spoke about him to the crowds: “When you went out to John in the desert, what did you expect to see? A blade of grass bending in the wind? 8What did you go out to see? A man dressed up in fancy clothes? People who dress like that live in palaces! 9Tell me, what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes indeed, but you saw much more than a prophet. 10#Mal 3.1For John is the one of whom the scripture says: ‘God said, I will send my messenger ahead of you to open the way for you.’ 11I assure you that John the Baptist is greater than anyone who has ever lived. But the one who is least in the Kingdom of heaven is greater than John. 12#Lk 16.16From the time John preached his message until this very day the Kingdom of heaven has suffered violent attacks,#11.12 has suffered violent attacks; or has been coming violently. and violent men try to seize it. 13Until the time of John all the prophets and the Law of Moses spoke about the Kingdom; 14#Mal 4.5; Mt 17.10–13; Mk 9.11–13and if you are willing to believe their message, John is Elijah, whose coming was predicted. 15Listen, then, if you have ears!
16 “Now, to what can I compare the people of this day? They are like children sitting in the market place. One group shouts to the other, 17‘We played wedding music for you, but you wouldn't dance! We sang funeral songs, but you wouldn't cry!’ 18When John came, he fasted and drank no wine, and everyone said, ‘He has a demon in him!’ 19When the Son of Man came, he ate and drank, and everyone said, ‘Look at this man! He is a glutton and a drinker, a friend of tax collectors and other outcasts!’ God's wisdom, however, is shown to be true by its results.”
The Unbelieving Towns
20The people in the towns where Jesus had performed most of his miracles did not turn from their sins, so he reproached those towns. 21#Is 23.1–18; Ezek 26.1—28.26; Joel 3.4–8; Amos 1.9–10; Zech 9.2–4“How terrible it will be for you, Chorazin! How terrible for you too, Bethsaida! If the miracles which were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, the people there would long ago have put on sackcloth and sprinkled ashes on themselves, to show that they had turned from their sins! 22I assure you that on the Judgement Day God will show more mercy to the people of Tyre and Sidon than to you! 23#Is 14.13–15; Gen 19.24–28And as for you, Capernaum! Did you want to lift yourself up to heaven? You will be thrown down to hell! If the miracles which were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would still be in existence today! 24#Mt 10.15; Lk 10.12You can be sure that on the Judgement Day God will show more mercy to Sodom than to you!”
Come to Me and Rest
25At that time Jesus said, “Father, Lord of heaven and earth! I thank you because you have shown to the unlearned what you have hidden from the wise and learned. 26Yes, Father, this was how you wanted it to happen.
27 # Jn 3.35; 1.18; 10.15 “My Father has given me all things. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
28 “Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. 29#Jer 6.16Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and you will find rest. 30For the yoke I will give you is easy, and the load I will put on you is light.”