Matthew 11

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John Sends Men to Ask Jesus a Question

(Lk. 7:18-35)

11 <1> When Jesus finished these instructions for his twelve followers, he left there. He went to the towns in Galilee to teach the people and tell them God's message.

<2> When John was in prison, he heard about the things that were happening-things the Christ[152] would do. So he sent some of his followers to Jesus. <3> They asked him, "Are you the one we have been expecting, or should we wait for someone else?"

<4> Jesus answered, "Go tell John what you have heard and seen: <5> The blind can see. The crippled can walk. People with leprosy[153] are healed. The deaf can hear. The dead are brought back to life. And the Good News[154] is being told to the poor. <6> What great blessings there are for those who don't have a problem accepting me."

<7> When John's followers left, Jesus began talking to the people about John. He said, "What did you people go out to the desert to see? Someone who is weak, like a stem of grass[155] blowing in the wind? <8> Really, what did you expect to see? Someone dressed in fine clothes? Of course not. People who wear fine clothes are all in king's palaces. <9> So what did you go out to see? A prophet[156]? Yes, John is a prophet. But I tell you, he is more than that. <10> This Scripture[157] was written about him:

'Listen! I will send my messenger ahead of you.

He will prepare the way for you.'

Malachi 3:1

<11> "The truth is that John the Baptizer[158] is greater than anyone who has ever come into this world. But even the least important person in God's kingdom[159] is greater than John. <12> Since the time John the Baptizer came until now, God's kingdom has been going forward strongly.[160] People have been trying to take control of the kingdom by force. <13> Before John came, the law of Moses[161] and all the prophets told about the things that would happen. <14> And if you believe what they said, then John is Elijah.[162] He is the one they said would come. <15> You people who hear m e, listen!

<16> "What can I say about the people who live today? What are they like? The people today are like children sitting in the marketplace. One group of children calls to the other group,

<17> 'We played flute music for you,

but you did not dance;

we sang a funeral song,

but you were not sad.'

<18> Why do I say people are like that? Because John came, not eating like other people or drinking wine, and people say, 'He has a demon[163] inside him.' <19> The Son of Man[164] came eating and drinking, and people say, 'Look at him! He eats too much and drinks too much wine. He's a friend of tax collectors[165] and other bad people.' But wisdom is shown to be right by what it does."


Jesus Warns People Who Refuse to Believe

(Lk. 10:13-15)

<20> Then Jesus criticized the cities where he did most of his miracles.[166] He criticized these cities because the people there did not change their lives and stop sinning. <21> Jesus said, "It will be bad for you Chorazin[167]! It will be bad for you Bethsaida[168]! I did many miracles in you. If these same miracles had happened in Tyre[169] and Sidon,[170] the people there would have changed their lives a long time ago. They would have worn sackcloth[171] and put ashes on themselves to show that they were sorry for their sins. <22> But I tell you, on the day of judgm ent it will be worse for you than for Tyre and Sidon.

<23> "And you, Capernaum,[172] will you be lifted up to heaven? No! You will be thrown down to the place of death. I did many miracles in you. If these same miracles had happened in Sodom,[173] the people there would have stopped sinning, and it would still be a city today. <24> But I tell you, it will be worse for you in the day of judgment than for Sodom."


Jesus Offers Rest to His People

(Lk. 10:21-22)

<25> Then Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth. I am thankful that you have hidden these things from those who are so wise and so smart. But you have shown them to people who are like little children. <26> Yes, Father, you did this because it's what you really wanted to do.

<27> "My Father has given me everything. No one knows the Son-only the Father knows the Son. And no one knows the Father-only the Son knows the Father. And the only people who will know about the Father are those the Son chooses to tell.

<28> "Come to me all of you who are tired from the heavy burden you have been forced to carry. I will give you rest. <29> Accept my teaching.[174] Learn from me. I am gentle and humble in spirit. And you will be able to get some rest. <30> Yes, the teaching that I ask you to accept is easy. The load I give you to carry is light."