Jesus talked about John the Baptiser
Jesus finished talking to his 12 special workers, then he went around the towns in Galilee country. He talked to people and taught them more about God.
At that time, John the Baptiser was in jail. But people told him about all the things that Jesus was doing. So John sent some of his own followers to ask Jesus some questions. They went to Jesus and said to him, “John the Baptiser has sent us to you. He wants us to ask you, ‘Are you the special man that God has sent to us? Or do we have to start looking around for somebody else?’ ”
Jesus said, “Go back and tell John what you see here. Some people were blind, but now they can see. Some people were crippled, but now they can walk. Some people had a bad skin sickness, but now their skin is good again. Some people were deaf, but now they can hear. Some people were dead, but now they are alive again. And tell John that you heard us telling the good news to poor people.* Maybe I’m not the sort of person you thought God would send, but just trust me anyway, and God will make you happy.”
Then the followers of John went away, and Jesus started to talk to all the people. He talked to them about John. He said, “You know, you went out into the bush to see John. What sort of man did you think you would see? You didn’t go out there to see a man that is weak, like grass that goes any way the wind pushes it. And you didn’t go out there to see a man wearing pretty clothes. No, men that wear pretty clothes live in the town, in good big houses. Did you go out there to see a man that tells people God’s messages? Yes, John the Baptiser told you God’s message, and he did something even more important than that. 10 You see, a long time ago, God got one of his men to write about somebody that will get everything ready. God’s man wrote about John the Baptiser. We can read it in God’s book. This is what it says,
God will send a man to get everything ready for God’s special person.
That man will talk about God’s special person, and he will make a way for people to listen to him.’ ”*
11 Then Jesus said, “Listen. John the Baptiser is a very important man. He is greater than any other man that ever lived. But everyone in God’s family is more important than John the Baptiser. 12 You know, John started to teach some time ago, and from that time until now, God’s family has been getting bigger. There are people that really want to be friends with God, and they have been trying hard to get into his family. 13 You see, before John came, God told his words and his laws to his men, and they wrote them in God’s book. And you know, that was a long time ago, but they wrote about the things that will happen now, at this time.* 14 Look. Try to believe this. They wrote about John, but they didn’t use that name for him. They called him Elijah.”*
15 And Jesus said, “You’ve got ears, so you have to listen to me properly, and take notice of my words.”
16 Then Jesus said, “Now I’ll talk about you people that are alive today and I’ll tell you what you are like. You are like kids that are playing in the street. Some kids say to the other kids, 17 We played happy music for you, but you didn’t dance. So we sang a sad song, but you didn’t cry. No matter what we do, you say we are wrong.’ 18 Those kids are a picture of you mob. You are just like those kids. You rubbish Gods people no matter what they do. You see, John the Baptiser didn’t go to parties and eat lots of good food, and he didn’t drink wine. But you rubbished him and said, ‘Hes got a bad spirit living inside him.’ 19 But sometimes I go to parties and eat good food, and sometimes I drink wine, and even though I’m God’s special man from heaven, you rubbish me too. You say, ‘He eats too much, and he drinks too much. He’s a friend of those bad men that get tax money from people and give it to the Roman government, and he’s a friend of other bad people that don’t follow the law properly.’ But really, John and me, we are both wise. And you can know if somebody is wise or not. Just look at what they do, and see if they do good things or not.”
(We have not yet translated 11:20-24. You can read that message in Luke 10:13-15.)
God shows things to people that know they are not smart
25 At that time, Jesus prayed to God. He said, “Father, you are the biggest boss. You are the boss over everything in the sky and everything on the earth. There are some people here that reckon they are smart, and they reckon they understand everything. And there are other people that are just like little kids. They know that they are not smart. Thank you for showing what your message means to those people that are like kids. And thank you for not showing it to those people that reckon they are smart. 26 Yes, Father, that is how you wanted to do it.”
27 Then Jesus told the people, “God, my father, gave me everything, so I can teach people all about him. You see, I am God’s son, and my father knows me properly. Nobody else knows me properly. And I know my father properly. I pick some people, and I show them what my father is like, but nobody else knows God properly.”*
Jesus is good to his workers
28 Then Jesus said to the people, “Come to me, all of you mob that are tired. You did a lot of ceremony things to get God to save you, but that is not the right way. It’s like you worked hard, and you carried a lot of heavy things, and then you got too tired. Look, instead of that, just come and work for me, and I will let you rest really good. 29 Be my follower and work for me. Listen to the things I teach you, and you will feel good inside yourselves, like your spirit is resting. You see, I am not a big tough boss. I will be easy on you.* 30 I will never ask you to do things that are too hard for you.”
* 11:5 Isaiah 35:5-6; 61:1 * 11:10 Malachi 3:1 * 11:13 Luke 16:16 * 11:14 Malachi 4:5; Matthew 17:10-13; Mark 9:11-13 * 11:27 John 3:35; 1:18; 10:15 * 11:29 Jeremiah 6:16