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11 When Jesus had finished giving his twelve disciples these instructions he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns in which they lived.

John enquires about Christ: Christ speaks about John

2-3 John the Baptist was in prison when he heard what Christ was doing, and he sent a message through his own disciples asking the question, “Are you the one who was to come or are we to look for somebody else?”

4-6 Jesus gave them this reply, “Go and tell John what you see and her—that blind men are recovering their sight, cripples are walking, lepers being healed, the deaf hearing, the dead being brought to life and the good news is being given to those in need. And happy is the man who never loses faith in me.”

7-10 As John’s disciples were going away Jesus began talking to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the desert to look at? A reed waving in the breeze? No? Then what was it you went out to see?—a man dressed in fine clothes? But the men who wear fine clothes live in the courts of kings! But what did you really go to see—a prophet? Yes, I tell you, a prophet and far more than a prophet! This is the man of whom the scripture says—‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you’.

11 “Believe me, no one greater than John the Baptist has ever been born of all mankind, and yet a humble member of the kingdom of Heaven is greater than he.

12-15 “From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of Heaven has been taken by storm and eager men are forcing their way into it. For the Law and all the prophets foretold it till the time of John and—if you can believe it—John himself is the ‘Elijah’ who must come before the kingdom. The man who has ears to hear must use them.

16-19 “But how can I show what the people of this generation are like? They are like children sitting in the market-place calling out to their friends, ‘We played at weddings for you but you wouldn’t dance, and we played at funerals and you wouldn’t cry!’ For John came in the strictest austerity and people say, ‘He’s crazy!’ Then the Son of Man came, enjoying life, and people say, ‘Look, a drunkard and a glutton—the bosom-friend of the tax-collector and the sinner.’ Ah, well, wisdom stands or falls by her own actions.”

Jesus denounces apathy—and thanks God that simple men understand his message

20 Then Jesus began reproaching the towns where most of his miracles had taken place because their hearts were unchanged.

21-22 “Alas for you, Chorazin! Alas for you, Bethsaida! For if Tyre and Sidon had seen the demonstrations of God’s power which you have seen they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. Yet I tell you this, that it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you.

23-24 “And as for you, Capernaum, are you on your way up to Heaven? I tell you will go hurtling down among the dead! If Sodom had seen the miracles that you have seen, Sodom would be standing today. Yet I tell you now that it will be more bearable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you.”

25-26 At this same time Jesus said, “O Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, I thank you for hiding these things from the clever and intelligent and for showing them to mere children. Yes, I thank you, Father, that this was your will.”

27 Then he said: “Everything has been put in my hands by my Father, and nobody knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son—and the man to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

28-30 “Come to me, all of you who are weary and over-burdened, and I will give you rest! Put on my yoke and learn from me. For I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”