Matthew 11:2-11 New International Version (NIV)
2 When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples 3 to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”
4 Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy[a] are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 6 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”
7 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? 8 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. 9 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,
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.
Matthew 11:2-14 The Message (MSG)
2-3 John, meanwhile, had been locked up in prison. When he got wind of what Jesus was doing, he sent his own disciples to ask, “Are you the One we’ve been expecting, or are we still waiting?”
4-6 Jesus told them, “Go back and tell John what’s going on:
The blind see,
“Is this what you were expecting? Then count yourselves most blessed!”
7-10 When John’s disciples left to report, Jesus started talking to the crowd about John. “What did you expect when you went out to see him in the wild? A weekend camper? Hardly. What then? A sheik in silk pajamas? Not in the wilderness, not by a long shot. What then? A prophet? That’s right, a prophet! Probably the best prophet you’ll ever hear. He is the prophet that Malachi announced when he wrote, ‘I’m sending my prophet ahead of you, to make the road smooth for you.’
11-14 “Let me tell you what’s going on here: No one in history surpasses John the Baptizer; but in the kingdom he prepared you for, the lowliest person is ahead of him. For a long time now people have tried to force themselves into God’s kingdom. But if you read the books of the Prophets and God’s Law closely, you will see them culminate in John, teaming up with him in preparing the way for the Messiah of the kingdom. Looked at in this way, John is the ‘Elijah’ you’ve all been expecting to arrive and introduce the Messiah.
Matthew 11:2-11 The Voice (VOICE)
2 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 3 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: 4 Go back and tell John the things you have heard and the things you have seen. 5 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. 6 Blessed are those who understand what is afoot and stay on My narrow path.
7 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? 8 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. 9 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,
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.
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