When Jesus had finished giving instructions to his twelve disciples, he left to go and teach and speak publicly in the nearby towns. While John was in prison he heard what the Messiah was doing, so he sent his disciples to ask on his behalf, “Are you the one we were expecting to come, or should we continue to look for someone else?”
Jesus answered them, “Go back and tell John what you hear and what you see. The blind can see, the crippled can walk, the lepers are healed, the deaf can hear, the dead are resurrected, and the poor hear the good news. Blessed are those who don't reject me!”
As they left, Jesus began to talk to the crowds about John. “What were you expecting to see when you went out into the desert? A reed tossed about by the wind? So what did you go to see? A man dressed in fancy clothes? People dressed like that live in kings' palaces. So what did you go to see then? A prophet? Yes, and I tell you he is much more than a prophet! 10 He's the one this Scripture was written about: ‘I'm sending my messenger on ahead of you. He will prepare your way for you.’* 11 I tell you the truth, that among humanity there's no one greater than John the Baptist, but even the least important in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he is. 12 From the time of John the Baptist up till now the kingdom of heaven continues to be under attack and violent people are trying to seize it by force. 13 For all the prophets and the law spoke for God until John came. 14 If you're prepared to believe it, he is Elijah, the one who was expected to come.§ 15 Anybody with ears should be listening!
16 What shall I compare this generation to? It's like children sitting in the market places shouting to each other, 17 We played the flute for you and you didn't dance; we sang sad songs and you didn't cry.’ 18 John didn't come feasting and drinking, so people say, ‘He's devil-possessed!’ 19 On the other hand the Son of man came and did feast and drink, and people say, ‘Look, he's greedy and drinks too much; he's a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is shown to be right by what it does…”
20 Then he began to reprimand the towns where he'd done most of his miracles because they had not repented. 21 “Shame on you, Korazin! Shame on you, Bethsaida! If the miracles had been performed in Tyre and Sidon which happened among you, they would have repented in sackcloth and ashes long ago. 22 But I tell you that on the Day of Judgment it will be better for Tyre and Sidon than it will for you! 23 And what about you, Capernaum? Will you be exalted to heaven? No, you'll go down to Hades! If the miracles had been performed in Sodom which happened among you, Sodom would still be here today. 24 But I tell you that on the Day of Judgment it will be better for Sodom than it will for you!”
25 Then Jesus prayed, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for you've hidden these things from the clever and sophisticated. Instead you've revealed them to ordinary people.* 26 Yes, Father, you were pleased to do this! 27 Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father, and no one really understands the Son, except the Father, and no one really understands the Father, except the Son, and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 28 Come to me, all of you who struggle and who are burdened down. I will give you rest. 29 Accept my yoke, and learn from me. For I am kind and I have a humble heart, and in me you will find the rest you need. 30 For my yoke is gentle, and my burden is light.”
* 11:10 Quoting Malachi 3:1. 11:11 Literally, “among those who are born of women.” 11:13 Referring to the message of the Old Testament. § 11:14 See Malachi 4:5. * 11:25 Literally, “infants.”