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Matthew 11English Standard Version (ESV)

Messengers from John the Baptist

11 When Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in their cities.

Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers[a] are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? A man[b] dressed in soft clothing? Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in kings' houses. What then did you go out to see? A prophet?[c] Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10 This is he of whom it is written,

“‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
    who will prepare your way before you.’

11 Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence,[d] and the violent take it by force. 13 For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John, 14 and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. 15 He who has ears to hear,[e] let him hear.

16 “But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their playmates,

17 “‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
    we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’

18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.”[f]

Woe to Unrepentant Cities

20 Then he began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. 21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I tell you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24 But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you.”

Come to Me, and I Will Give You Rest

25 At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; 26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.[g] 27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 11:5 Leprosy was a term for several skin diseases; see Leviticus 13
  2. Matthew 11:8 Or Why then did you go out? To see a man…
  3. Matthew 11:9 Some manuscripts Why then did you go out? To see a prophet?
  4. Matthew 11:12 Or has been coming violently
  5. Matthew 11:15 Some manuscripts omit to hear
  6. Matthew 11:19 Some manuscripts children (compare Luke 7:35)
  7. Matthew 11:26 Or for so it pleased you well
English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Matthew 11New International Version (NIV)

Jesus and John the Baptist

11 After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee.[a]

When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”

Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy[b] are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”

As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces. Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10 This is the one about whom it is written:

“‘I will send my messenger ahead of you,
    who will prepare your way before you.’[c]

11 Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence,[d] and violent people have been raiding it. 13 For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. 14 And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. 15 Whoever has ears, let them hear.

16 “To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others:

17 “‘We played the pipe for you,
    and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge,
    and you did not mourn.’

18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.”

Woe on Unrepentant Towns

20 Then Jesus began to denounce the towns in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent. 21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades.[e] For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. 24 But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

The Father Revealed in the Son

25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26 Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.

27 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. 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 you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 11:1 Greek in their towns
  2. Matthew 11:5 The Greek word traditionally translated leprosy was used for various diseases affecting the skin.
  3. Matthew 11:10 Mal. 3:1
  4. Matthew 11:12 Or been forcefully advancing
  5. Matthew 11:23 That is, the realm of the dead
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Matthew 11The Voice (VOICE)

11 With that, Jesus finished instructing His disciples, and He went on to preach and teach in the towns of Galilee. John, meanwhile, was still in prison. But stories about the Anointed One’s teachings and healing reached him.

Quite frankly, John is perplexed. He has been awaiting the Anointed, but he believes that person will be a great political ruler, a king, or a military hero. Jesus seems to be all about healing people and insisting that the poor and the meek are blessed.

So John sent his followers to question Jesus.

John’s Followers: Are You the One we have been expecting as Savior for so long? Are You the One Scripture promised would come? Or should we expect someone else?

Jesus: Go back and tell John the things you have heard and the things you have seen. Tell him you have seen the blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers cured, the deaf hear, the dead raised, and the good news preached to the poor. Blessed are those who understand what is afoot and stay on My narrow path.

John’s disciples left, and Jesus began to speak to a crowd about John.

Jesus: What did you go into the desert to see? Did you expect to see a reed blowing around in the wind? No? Were you expecting to see a man dressed in the finest silks? No, of course not—you find silk in the sitting rooms of palaces and mansions, not in the middle of the wilderness. So what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes. Yes, a prophet and more than a prophet. 10 When you saw John, you saw the one whom the prophet Malachi envisioned when he said,

    I will send My messenger ahead of You,
        and he will prepare the way for You.[a]

11 This is the truth: no one who has ever been born to a woman is greater than John the Baptist.[b] And yet the most insignificant person in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12-13 All of the prophets of old, all of the law—that was all prophecy leading up to the coming of John. Now, that sort of prepares us for this very point, right here and now. When John the Baptist[c] came, the kingdom of heaven began to break in upon us, and those in power are trying to clamp down on it—why do you think John is in jail? 14 If only you could see it—John is the Elijah, the prophet we were promised would come and prepare the way. 15 He who has ears for the truth, let him hear.

In this way, Jesus invites His followers to understand who John is, and, in turn, who He must be.

16 What is this generation like? You are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out, 17 “When we played the flute, you did not dance; and when we sang a dirge, you did not mourn.” 18 What I mean is this: When John came, he dressed in the clothes of a prophet, and he did not eat and drink like others but lived on honey and wild locusts. And people wondered if he was crazy, if he had been possessed by a demon. 19 Then the Son of Man appeared—He didn’t fast, as John had, but ate with sinners and drank wine. And the people said, “This man is a glutton! He’s a drunk! And He hangs around with tax collectors and sinners, to boot.” Well, Wisdom will be vindicated by her actions—not by your opinions.

20 Then Jesus began to preach about the towns He’d visited. He’d performed some of His most fantastic miracles in places like Chorazin and Bethsaida, but still the people in those places hadn’t turned to God.

Jesus: 21 Woe to you, Chorazin! And woe to you, Bethsaida! Had I gone to Tyre and Sidon and performed miracles there, they would have repented immediately, taking on sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I tell you this: the people from Tyre and Sidon will fare better on the day of judgment than you will. 23 And Capernaum! Do you think you will reign exalted in heaven? No, you’ll rot in hell. Had I gone to Sodom and worked miracles there, the people would have repented, and Sodom would still be standing, thriving, bustling. 24 Well, you know what happened to Sodom. But know this—the people from Sodom will fare better on the day of judgment than you will.

25 And then Jesus began to pray:

Jesus: I praise You, Father—Lord of heaven and earth. You have revealed Your truths to the lowly and the ignorant, the children and the crippled, the lame and the mute. You have hidden wisdom from those who pride themselves on being so wise and learned. 26 You did this, simply, because it pleased You. 27 The Father has handed over everything to My care. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son—and those to whom the Son wishes to reveal the Father. 28 Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Put My yoke upon your shoulders—it might appear heavy at first, but it is perfectly fitted to your curves. Learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble of heart. When you are yoked to Me, your weary souls will find rest. 30 For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.

Footnotes:

  1. 11:10 Malachi 3:1
  2. 11:11 Literally, John who immersed, to show repentance
  3. 11:12-13 Literally, John who immersed, to show repentance
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

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