A Delegation from John
18 John’s disciples brought word to him [in prison] of all these things.(A) 19 John called two of his disciples and sent them to the Lord, saying, “Are You the [a]Expected One (the Messiah), or should we look for someone else?” 20 So the men came to Jesus and said, “John the Baptist sent us to You to ask, ‘Are You the Expected One (the Messiah), or should we look for someone else?’” 21 At that very hour Jesus healed many people of sicknesses and infirmities and evil spirits; and He gave [the gracious gift of] sight to many who were blind. 22 So He replied to them, “Go and tell John about everything you have seen and heard: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the good news (gospel) preached to them.(B) 23 Blessed [joyful, spiritually favored] is he who does not take offense at Me.”
24 When John’s messengers left, Jesus began speaking to the crowds about John: “What did you go out to the wilderness to see? [b]A reed shaken by the wind? 25 But what did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing [entirely unsuited for the harsh wilderness]? Those who wear splendid clothing and live in luxury are in royal palaces! 26 But what did you [really] go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and one [c]far more [eminent and remarkable] than a prophet [who foretells the future]. 27 This 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.’(C)
28 I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater [in privilege] than he.” 29 All the people and the tax collectors who heard Jesus, acknowledged [the validity of] God’s justice, having been baptized with the baptism of John. 30 But the Pharisees and the lawyers [who were experts in the Mosaic Law] annulled and set aside God’s purpose for themselves, not having been baptized by John.
31 “To what then shall I compare the people of this generation [who set aside God’s plan], and what are they like? 32 They are like children sitting in the market place and calling to one another, and saying, ‘We played the flute for you [pretending to be at a wedding], and you did not dance; we sang a dirge [pretending to be at a funeral], and you did not weep [so nothing we did appealed to you].’ 33 For John the Baptist has come neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon!’ 34 The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a man who is a glutton and a [heavy] wine-drinker, a friend of tax collectors and sinners [including non-observant Jews].’ 35 Yet wisdom is vindicated and shown to be right by all her children [by the lifestyle, moral character, and good deeds of her followers].”Read full chapter