35 The wilderness and the desert will be glad, And the [a]Arabah will rejoice and blossom; Like the crocus 2 It will blossom profusely And rejoice with rejoicing and shout of joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, The majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They will see the glory of the Lord, The majesty of our God. 3 Encourage the [b]exhausted, and strengthen the [c]feeble. 4 Say to those with anxious heart, “Take courage, fear not. Behold, your God will come withvengeance; The recompense of God will come, But He will save you.” 5 Then the eyes of the blind will be opened And the ears of the deaf will be unstopped. 6 Then the lame will leap like a deer, And the tongue of the mute will shout for joy. For waters will break forth in the wilderness And streams in the [d]Arabah. 7 The [e]scorched land will become a pool And the thirsty ground springs of water; In the haunt of jackals, its resting place, Grass becomes reeds and rushes. 8 A highway will be there, a roadway, And it will be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean will not travel on it, But it will be for him who walks that way, And fools will not wander on it. 9 No lion will be there, Nor will any vicious beast go up on it; [f]These will not be found there. But the redeemed will walk there, 10 And the ransomed of the Lord will return And come with joyful shouting to Zion, With everlasting joy upon their heads. They will [g]find gladness and joy, And sorrow and sighing will flee away.
2 Now when John, [a]while imprisoned, heard of the works of Christ, he sent word by his disciples3 and said to Him, “Are You the [b]Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?”4 Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you hear and see:5 theblind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and thepoor have the[c]gospel preached to them.6 And blessed is he [d]who does not [e]take offense at Me.”
Jesus’ Tribute to John
7 As these men were going away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John, “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?8 [f]But what did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ [g]palaces!9 [h]But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and one who is more than a prophet.10 This is the one about whom it [i]is written,
‘Behold, I send My messenger[j]ahead of You, Who will prepare Your way before You.’
11 Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist! Yet the one who is [k]least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
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