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Jesus and John the Baptist(A)

11 After Jesus finished ·telling these things to [instructing; see 7:28] his twelve ·followers [disciples], he left there and went to ·the towns in Galilee [L their towns] to teach and preach.

John the Baptist was in prison, but he heard about ·what Christ was doing [or the deeds/actions of the Messiah]. So John sent some of his ·followers [disciples] to Jesus. They asked him, “Are you the ·One who is to come [Expected One; C the Messiah], or should we ·wait for [look for; expect] someone else?”

Jesus answered them, “Go ·tell [report to] John what you hear and see: The blind can see, the ·crippled [lame] can walk, and ·people with skin diseases [T lepers; see 8:2] are ·healed [L cleansed]. The deaf can hear, the dead are raised to life, and the ·Good News [Gospel] is preached to the poor [C signs of God’s restoration of creation, predicted by the prophet Isaiah; Is. 29:18–19; 35:5–6; 61:1–2]. Those who ·do not stumble in their faith [are not offended] because of me are blessed.”

As ·John’s followers [L they] were leaving, Jesus began talking to the ·people [crowds] about John. Jesus said, “What did you go out into the ·desert [wilderness] to see? A reed ·blown by [shaken by; swaying in] the wind [C a metaphor for something weak or wavering]? What did you go out to see? A man dressed in ·fine [expensive] clothes? No, those who wear ·fine [expensive; L soft] clothes ·live [are found] in kings’ ·palaces [houses]. So why did you go out? To see a prophet? Yes, and I tell you, John is more than a prophet. 10 This was written about him:

[L Look; T Behold] I will send my messenger ahead of you,
    who will prepare ·the [your] way ·for [before; in front of] you [Mal. 3:1].’

11 I tell you the truth, John the Baptist is greater than any other person ·ever born [L born to women], but even the least important person in the kingdom of heaven is greater than John [C because John prepares for, but does not fully participate in the blessings of the kingdom]. 12 ·Since the time [L From the days] John the Baptist came until now, the kingdom of heaven has been ·going forward in strength [advancing forcefully; or subject to violence; suffering violent attacks], and ·forceful [or violent] people have been trying to ·take it by force [lay hold of it; or attack it]. 13 All the prophets and the law of Moses ·told about what would happen [L prophesied] until ·the time John came [L John]. 14 And if you ·will believe what they said, you will believe that John is Elijah [L are willing to accept it, he is Elijah], whom they said would come. 15 ·Let those with ears use them and listen[L The one who has ears to hear, let him hear]!

16 “·What can I say about the people of this time? What are they like? [L To what shall I compare this generation?] They are like children sitting in the marketplace, who call out to each other,

17 ‘We played ·music [L the pipe/flute] for you, but you did not dance;
    we sang a ·sad song [funeral song; dirge], but you did not ·cry [weep].’ [C The religious leaders wanted John to “dance” (lighten up his severe message) and wanted Jesus to “mourn” (follow their restrictive lifestyle).]

18 [L For] John came and did not eat or drink like other people. So people say, ‘He ·has [is possessed by] a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came, eating and drinking, and people say, ‘Look at him! ·He eats too much and drinks too much wine [L He’s a glutton and a drunkard], and he is a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is ·proved to be right [vindicated] by ·what she does [or its deeds/actions/results; C Wisdom is personified as a woman (Prov. 8), her “children” being those who respond favorably to the message of John and Jesus].”

Jesus Warns Unbelievers(B)

20 Then Jesus began to ·criticize [denounce; reproach] the cities where he did ·most [so many] of his ·miracles [powerful deeds], because the people did not ·change their lives and stop sinning [repent]. 21 He said, “·How terrible for [L Woe to] you, Korazin! ·How terrible for [L Woe to] you, Bethsaida! If the same ·miracles [powerful deeds] ·I did [L that occurred] in you had happened in Tyre and Sidon [C cities in Phoenicia notorious for their wickedness], those people would have ·changed their lives [repented] a long time ago. ·They would have worn rough cloth and put ashes on themselves to show they had changed [L …in sackcloth/burlap and ashes; C signs of sorrow and deep remorse]. 22 But I tell you, on the judgment day it will be ·better [more bearable/tolerable] for Tyre and Sidon than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum [C a town in Galilee where Jesus lived and ministered], will you be ·lifted up to [honored/exalted in] heaven? No! you will be thrown down to ·the depths [the place of the dead; L Hades; Is. 14:13, 15]. If the ·miracles [powerful deeds] ·I did [L that occurred] in you had happened in Sodom [C a city God destroyed because the people were so evil; Gen. 19], it would ·still be a city [L have remained until] today [C because its people would have repented and judgment averted]. 24 But I tell you, on the judgment day it will be ·better [more bearable/tolerable] for [L the region/land of] Sodom than for you.”

Jesus Offers Rest to People(C)

25 At that time Jesus said, “I ·praise [bless; thank; acknowledge] you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the people who are wise and ·smart [learned; intelligent]. But you have ·shown [revealed] them to ·those who are like little children [L little children; infants; C those with a childlike faith]. 26 Yes, Father, [L because] this is what ·you really wanted [pleased you].

27 “My Father has ·given [entrusted/committed to] me all things. No one knows the Son, except the Father. And no one knows the Father, except the Son and those whom the Son ·chooses [desires; intends] to ·tell [reveal it].

28 “Come to me, all of you who are ·tired [weary] and ·have heavy loads [overburdened; T heavy-laden] and I will give you rest. 29 ·Accept my teachings [L Take my yoke upon you] and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in ·spirit [heart], and you will find rest for your ·lives [souls; Jer. 6:16]. 30 ·The burden that I ask you to accept [L …because my yoke] is easy; ·the load I give you to carry [L and my burden] is light.”