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Matthew 11

11
Jesus and John the Baptist
1After Jesus had finished teaching his 12 disciples, he went on to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee.
2John the Baptist was in prison, and when he heard about what the Messiah was doing, he sent his disciples 3to ask Jesus, “Are you the one who is supposed to come? Or should we look for someone else?”
4Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see. 5Those who are blind are receiving their sight, those who are disabled are walking, those with skin diseases are being made clean, those who are deaf are hearing, and the dead are being raised to life. And the good news is preached to those who are poor. 6Blessed is anyone who doesn’t give up their faith because of the way I do things.”
7As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John. “What did you go out into the desert to see?” he asked. “Tall grass waving in the wind? No? 8Then what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, people who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces. 9Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10John is the one written about in Scripture, where it says,
“ ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you,
and he will prepare your way for you.’
11Truly I tell you, no one greater than John the Baptist has ever been born in this world. But the one who’s least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he is. 12From the time of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been under attack, and violent people have been raiding it. 13All the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John came. 14If you’re willing to accept it, John is the Elijah who was supposed to come. 15Whoever is able to understand should pay attention.
16“What can I compare this generation to? They’re like children sitting in the markets and calling out to their friends,
17“ ‘We played the flute for you,
but you didn’t dance.
We sang a funeral song,
but you didn’t become sad.’
18When John came, he didn’t eat or drink the way most people do, so you said, ‘He has a demon.’ 19But when the Son of Man came, he did eat and drink the way most people do, and you said, ‘He’s always eating and drinking too much. He’s a friend of tax collectors and “sinners.” ’ But wisdom is proved right by its own actions.”
Towns That Do Not Turn Away From Sin
20Jesus then began to speak against the towns where he’d done most of his miracles, because the people there hadn’t turned away from their sins. 21“Woe to you, Chorazin!” he said. “Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles that I did in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have turned away from their sins long ago. They would have put on mourning clothes and sat down in ashes. 22But I tell you this, on judgment day it will be better for Tyre and Sidon than for you. 23And what about you, Capernaum? Will you be lifted up to the heavens? No! You’ll go down to the place of the dead. If the miracles that I did in you had been done in Sodom, it would still be here today. 24I tell you, on judgment day it will be better for Sodom than for you.”
Rest for All Who Are Tired
25At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you’ve hidden these things from wise and educated people and shown them to little children. 26Yes, Father, you’ve done what you wanted to do.
27“My Father has given everything to me. No one knows the Son except the Father. No one knows the Father except the Son—and anyone the Son chooses to show the Father to.
28“Come to me, all you who are tired and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. 29Become my servants and learn from me. I’m gentle and humble, and you’ll find rest for your souls. 30My requirements are compassionate, and my load is light.”
11
John’s Questions
1When Jesus had finished giving instructions to His twelve disciples, He went on from there to teach and to preach in their [Galilean] cities.
2Now when #John and Jesus were about the same age and were related through their mothers, Elizabeth and Mary (Luke 1:36).John [the Baptist] in prison heard about the activities of Christ, he sent word by his disciples 3and asked Him, “Are You the Expected One (the Messiah), or should we look for someone else [who will be the promised One]?” 4Jesus answered, “Go and report to John what you hear and see: 5the blind receive [their] sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed [by healing] and the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. 6And blessed [joyful, favored by God] is he who does not take offense at Me [accepting Me as the Messiah and trusting confidently in My message of salvation].”
Jesus’ Tribute to John
7As these men were going away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: “What did you go out in the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind [which is commonplace]? 8What did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing [entirely unsuited for the harsh desert]? Those who wear soft clothing are in the palaces of kings! 9But what did you [really] go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and one [more eminent, more remarkable, and] #John was unique among the prophets because he was sent to prepare the hearts of the people for the immediate disclosure of their Messiah.far more than a prophet [who foretells the future]. 10This is the one of whom it is written [by the prophet Malachi],
‘Behold, I send My messenger ahead of You,
Who will prepare Your way before You.’
11 I assure you and most solemnly say to you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater [in privilege] than he. 12From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violent assault, and violent men seize it by force [as a precious prize]. 13For all the prophets and the Law prophesied up until John. 14And if you are willing to accept it, John himself is [the fulfillment of] Elijah [as the messenger] who was to come [before the kingdom]. 15He who has ears to hear, let him hear and heed My words.
16 “But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like little children sitting in the market places, who call to the others, 17and say ‘We piped the flute for you [playing wedding], and you did not dance; we wailed sad dirges [playing funeral], and you did not mourn and cry aloud.’ 18For John came neither eating nor drinking [with others], and they say, ‘He has a demon!’ 19The Son of Man came eating and drinking [with others], and they say, ‘Look! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners [including non-observant Jews]!’ Yet wisdom is justified and vindicated by her deeds [in the lives of those who respond to Me].”
The Unrepenting Cities
20Then He began to denounce [the people in] the cities in which most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent [and change their hearts and lives]. 21“Woe (judgment is coming) to you, #A city near Capernaum, where Jesus later made His home. They would have heard His teachings many times.Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon [cities of the Gentiles], they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes [their hearts would have been changed and they would have expressed sorrow for their sin and rebellion against God]. 22Nevertheless I say to you, it will be more tolerable for [the pagan cities of] Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. 23And you, Capernaum, are you to be exalted to heaven [for your apathy and unresponsiveness]? You will descend to Hades (the realm of the dead); for if the miracles done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment, than for you.”
Come to Me
25At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth [I openly and joyfully acknowledge Your great wisdom], that You have hidden these things [these spiritual truths] from the wise and intelligent and revealed them to infants [to new believers, to those seeking God’s will and purpose]. 26Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. 27All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one fully knows and accurately understands the Son except the Father; and no one fully knows and accurately understands the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son [deliberately] wills to reveal Him.
28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavily burdened [by religious rituals that provide no peace], and I will give you rest [refreshing your souls with salvation]. 29Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me [following Me as My disciple], for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest (renewal, blessed quiet) for your souls. 30For My yoke is easy [to bear] and My burden is light.”