[L But] What did you go out to see? A man dressed in ·fine [expensive; L soft] clothes? No, people who have ·fine [glorious; splendid] clothes and much ·wealth [luxury] ·live [are] in ·kings’ palaces [royal courts].
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.
What were you looking for? A man in expensive clothing? Look, if you were looking for fancy clothes and luxurious living, you went to the wrong place—you should have gone to the kings’ courts, not to the wilderness!
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