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Messengers from John the Baptist

Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?”[a] And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is he who takes no offense at me.”

Jesus Praises John the Baptist

As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to behold? A reed shaken by the wind? Why then did you go out? To see a man[b] clothed in soft raiment? Behold, those who wear soft raiment are in kings’ houses. Why 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 thy face,
who shall prepare thy way before thee.’

11 Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has risen no one greater than John the Baptist; yet he 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 men of violence 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 Eli′jah 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 market places and calling to their playmates,

17 ‘We piped to you, and you did not dance;
we wailed, 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, ‘Behold, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.”[f]

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Footnotes

  1. 11.3 The Baptist expected more obvious signs of the Messiah. By quoting the prophet Isaiah, Jesus showed that he was indeed inaugurating the Messianic kingdom—but by doing good rather than by glorious manifestations or sudden punishments.
  2. Matthew 11:8 Or What then did you go out to see? A man . . .
  3. Matthew 11:9 Other ancient authorities read What then did you go out to see? A prophet?
  4. Matthew 11:12 Or has been coming violently
  5. Matthew 11:15 Other ancient authorities omit to hear
  6. Matthew 11:19 Other ancient authorities read children (Lk 7.35)

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