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Matthew 11:16-30 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

16 “To what shall I compare this generation?[a] It is like children who sit in marketplaces and call to one another, 17 ‘We played the flute for you, but you did not dance, we sang a dirge but you did not mourn.’ 18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they said, ‘He is possessed by a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said, ‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is vindicated by her works.”

Reproaches to Unrepentant Towns. 20 Then he began to reproach the towns where most of his mighty deeds had been done, since they had not repented. 21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon,[b] they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. 23 [c]And as for you, Capernaum:

‘Will you be exalted to heaven?
    You will go down to the netherworld.’

For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24 But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

The Praise of the Father. 25 At that time Jesus said in reply,[d] “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. 26 Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. 27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.

The Gentle Mastery of Christ. 28 [e]“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,[f] and I will give you rest. 29 [g]Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

Footnotes:

  1. 11:16–19 See Lk 7:31–35. The meaning of the parable (Mt 11:16–17) and its explanation (Mt 11:18–19b) is much disputed. A plausible view is that the children of the parable are two groups, one of which proposes different entertainments to the other that will not agree with either proposal. The first represents John, Jesus, and their disciples; the second those who reject John for his asceticism and Jesus for his table association with those despised by the religiously observant. Mt 11:19c (her works) forms an inclusion with Mt 11:2 (“the works of the Messiah”). The original form of the saying is better preserved in Lk 7:35 “…wisdom is vindicated by all her children.” There John and Jesus are the children of Wisdom; here the works of Jesus the Messiah are those of divine Wisdom, of which he is the embodiment. Some important textual witnesses, however, have essentially the same reading as in Luke.
  2. 11:21 Tyre and Sidon were pagan cities denounced for their wickedness in the Old Testament; cf. Jl 4:4–7.
  3. 11:23 Capernaum’s pride and punishment are described in language taken from the taunt song against the king of Babylon (Is 14:13–15).
  4. 11:25–27 This Q saying, identical with Lk 10:21–22 except for minor variations, introduces a joyous note into this section, so dominated by the theme of unbelief. While the wise and the learned, the scribes and Pharisees, have rejected Jesus’ preaching and the significance of his mighty deeds, the childlike have accepted them. Acceptance depends upon the Father’s revelation, but this is granted to those who are open to receive it and refused to the arrogant. Jesus can speak of all mysteries because he is the Son and there is perfect reciprocity of knowledge between him and the Father; what has been handed over to him is revealed only to those whom he wishes.
  5. 11:28–29 These verses are peculiar to Matthew and are similar to Ben Sirach’s invitation to learn wisdom and submit to her yoke (Sir 51:23, 26).
  6. 11:28 Who labor and are burdened: burdened by the law as expounded by the scribes and Pharisees (Mt 23:4).
  7. 11:29 In place of the yoke of the law, complicated by scribal interpretation, Jesus invites the burdened to take the yoke of obedience to his word, under which they will find rest; cf. Jer 6:16.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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