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When Jesus had finished instructing us twelve disciples about what we should do, he sent us to various Israelite towns. Then he went to teach and preach in other Israelite towns in that area.
Jesus showed the messengers from John the Baptizer that he was the Messiah, and he told the people that John was the man like Elijah who was to prepare the way for the Messiah.
Matthew 11:2-15
While John the Baptizer was in prison, he heard what Jesus, the man whom he thought was the Messiah, was doing. So he sent some of his disciples to him in order to ask him, “Are you the Messiah who the prophets prophesied would come, or is it someone else that we should expect to come?” After they asked Jesus that question, he answered them, “Go back and report to John what you hear me telling people and what you see me doing. I am enabling blind people to see and lame people to walk. I am healing people who have leprosy. I am enabling deaf people to hear and dead people to become alive again. I am telling poor people God's good message. Also tell John that God is pleased with people who do not stop believing in me because what I do is not what they expected the Messiah to do.”
When John's disciples had gone away, Jesus began to talk to the crowd of people about John. He said to them, “ Think about what sort of person you went to see in the desolate area when you went there to see John. ◄ You did not go there to listen to a man who constantly changed his message, like a reed that is blown {blows} back and forth in the wind [MET]!/Did you go there to listen to a man whose message changes continually like long grass that is blown {blows} back and forth in the wind changes its direction?► [MET, RHQ] Then what kind of person did you go there to see [RHQ]? ◄ You did not go there to see a man who was wearing expensive clothes. /Did you go there to see a man who was wearing expensive clothes?► [RHQ] No! You know very well that people who wear beautiful clothes reside in kings' palaces and not in desolate areas. Then what kind of person did you go to see [RHQ]? Did you go there [RHQ] to see John because he was ◄a prophet/a person who speaks what God tells him to say►? Yes! But I will tell you that John is more important than an ordinary prophet. 10 He is the one to whom God was referring when he said to the Messiah these words that are written {about whom the prophet Malachi wrote} in the Scriptures:
Listen! I am going to send my messenger to go before you [SYN] to prepare the people [MET] for your coming.
11 Note this: Of all the people who have ever lived, God does not consider that any of them are greater than John the Baptizer. However, God considers that all those people who have let God rule their lives are greater than John, even if they are insignificant people. 12 From the time that John the Baptizer preached until now, other people have violently attacked the people who have allowed God [MTY/EUP] to rule their lives, and they have suffered (OR, people have very eagerly been asking God to take control of their lives, OR, Israelite people who have thought that I would become their king have been extremely eager to be included in my kingdom) (OR, have been violently attacked and made to suffer). 13  All this that I am saying about John is confirmed by the fact that all the men who wrote the Scriptures [MTY, SYN] foretold about God ruling people's lives, until John the Baptizer came. 14  Even though most of you are unwilling to believe what I am saying, I will tell this truth to anyone who is willing to believe it: John is the man who is like Elijah [MET]. He is the one who one of the prophets said would come in order to prepare the people to welcome the Messiah. 15 If you want to understand this, you must think carefully [MTY] about what I have just said [MTY].”
Jesus rebuked the people who refused to believe both him and John the Baptizer.
Matthew 11:16-19
16 “◄I will illustrate what you people who have heard what John the Baptizer and I have taught are like./Do you know what you people who have heard what John and I have taught are like?► [RHQ] You are like children who are playing games in an open area. Some of the children are calling to the others, saying, 17 ‘We played happy music on the flute for you, but you did not dance! Then we sang sad funeral songs for you, but you did not cry [MET]!’ 18  Similarly, you are dissatisfied with both John and me! When John came and preached to you, he did not eat good food and did not drink wine, like most people do. But you rejected him saying, ‘A demon is controlling him!’ 19  In contrast, I, the one who came from heaven, eat the same food and drink wine as other people do. But you reject me, saying, ‘Look! This man eats too much food and drinks too much wine, and he associates with tax collectors and other sinners!’ But people who really think about what John and I have done will realize that what we do is truly wise [MET, PRS].”
Jesus explained why the people of Corazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum would be punished more severely than the people of Tyre, Sidon, and Sodom.
Matthew 11:20-24
20  The people who lived in the towns [MTY] in the area where Jesus was saw him perform many miracles. But they did not turn away from their sinful behavior. So Jesus began to reproach them by saying to them, 21 “You people who live in Chorazin city [MTY] and you people who live in Bethsaida city [MTY] will suffer terribly in hell! I did great miracles in your cities, but you did not turn from your sinful behavior. If the miracles that I performed in your cities had been done in the ancient cities of Tyre and Sidon, the wicked people who lived there long ago would have sat in ashes, wearing coarse cloth to show that they were sorry for their sins. 22 So note this: God will punish the wicked people who lived in the cities of Tyre and Sidon [MTY], but he will punish you even more severely on the final day when he judges all people. 23 I also have something to say to you people who live in Capernaum city [MTY]. ◄Do not think that you will be honored {that God will honor you} in heaven!/Do you think that you will be honored {that God will honor you} in heaven?► [RHQ] That will not happen! On the contrary, after you die, you will be sent { God will send you} down into the place where sinful people will be punished {he will punish sinful people} forever. God destroyed the ancient city of Sodom because the people who lived in that city were extremely wicked. If I had performed in Sodom the miracles that I performed in your city, the people there would have turned away from their wicked behavior and their city [MET] would still exist now [MTY]. But you, although I did miracles in your city, you did not turn from your wicked behavior. 24 So note this: God will punish the people who lived in Sodom city [MTY], but he will punish you even more severely on the final day when he judges all people.”
Jesus thanked God for revealing his truth to uneducated people, and he urged the people to come to him to get rid of the burden of trying to obey religious laws.
Matthew 11:25-30
25 At that time Jesus prayed, “Father, you rule over everything in heaven and on the earth. I thank you that you have prevented people who think that they are wise [IRO] because they are well-educated, from knowing these things. Instead, you have revealed them to people who accept your truth as readily as little children [MET] do. 26 Yes, Father, you have done that because it seemed good to you to do so.”
27  Then Jesus said to the people there who wanted him to teach them, “ God, my Father, has revealed to me all the things that I need to know in order to do my work. Only my Father knows who I really am. Furthermore, only I and those people to whom I wish to reveal him know what God my Father is like. 28 Come to me, all you people who are very weary of trying to obey all the many laws that your religious teachers tell you to obey [MET]. I will enable you to quit trying to obey all those laws. 29-30 Let me help you carry those loads, just like two oxen who have a yoke on their necks [MET, DOU] help each other pull a heavy load. It will not be difficult for you to do the things that I ask you to do for me [DOU]. Because I am gentle and humble [DOU], accept what I teach about what God wants you to do. And as a result, you will quit worrying about obeying all the religious laws, and your spirits will be at peace.”