When John’s ·followers [L messengers] left, Jesus began talking to the ·people [crowds] about John: “What did you go out into the ·desert [wilderness] to see? A reed ·blown by [shaken by; swaying in] the wind [C something fragile and easily swept away]?
When these messengers had gone back, Jesus began to talk to the crowd about John. “What did you go out into the desert to look at? Was it a reed waving in the breeze? Well, what was it you went out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? But the men who wear fine clothes live luxuriously in palaces. 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’.
After John’s messengers left to make their report, Jesus said more about John to the crowd of people. “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 messenger from God? That’s right, a messenger! Probably the greatest messenger you’ll ever hear. He is the messenger Malachi announced when he wrote, I’m sending my messenger on ahead To make the road smooth for you.
After John’s messengers departed, Jesus spoke about John to the audience crowded around him, saying, “What kind of man did you expect to see out in the wilderness? Did you expect to see a man who would be easily influenced and shaken by the shifting opinions of others?
And when the messengers of John were gone forth [And when the messengers of John had gone away], he began to say of John to the people, What went ye out into desert to see? a reed wagged with the wind [a reed waved with the wind]?
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