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Jesus and John the Baptist(A)

11 After Jesus finished ·telling these things to [instructing; see 7:28] his twelve ·followers [disciples], he left there and went to ·the towns in Galilee [L their towns] to teach and preach.

John the Baptist was in prison, but he heard about ·what Christ was doing [or the deeds/actions of the Messiah]. So John sent some of his ·followers [disciples] to Jesus. They asked him, “Are you the ·One who is to come [Expected One; C the Messiah], or should we ·wait for [look for; expect] someone else?”

Jesus answered them, “Go ·tell [report to] John what you hear and see: The blind can see, the ·crippled [lame] can walk, and ·people with skin diseases [T lepers; see 8:2] are ·healed [L cleansed]. The deaf can hear, the dead are raised to life, and the ·Good News [Gospel] is preached to the poor [C signs of God’s restoration of creation, predicted by the prophet Isaiah; Is. 29:18–19; 35:5–6; 61:1–2]. Those who ·do not stumble in their faith [are not offended] because of me are blessed.”

As ·John’s followers [L they] were leaving, Jesus began talking to the ·people [crowds] about John. Jesus said, “What did you go out into the ·desert [wilderness] to see? A reed ·blown by [shaken by; swaying in] the wind [C a metaphor for something weak or wavering]? What did you go out to see? A man dressed in ·fine [expensive] clothes? No, those who wear ·fine [expensive; L soft] clothes ·live [are found] in kings’ ·palaces [houses]. So why did you go out? To see a prophet? Yes, and I tell you, John is more than a prophet. 10 This was written about him:

[L Look; T Behold] I will send my messenger ahead of you,
    who will prepare ·the [your] way ·for [before; in front of] you [Mal. 3:1].’

11 I tell you the truth, John the Baptist is greater than any other person ·ever born [L born to women], but even the least important person in the kingdom of heaven is greater than John [C because John prepares for, but does not fully participate in the blessings of the kingdom]. 12 ·Since the time [L From the days] John the Baptist came until now, the kingdom of heaven has been ·going forward in strength [advancing forcefully; or subject to violence; suffering violent attacks], and ·forceful [or violent] people have been trying to ·take it by force [lay hold of it; or attack it]. 13 All the prophets and the law of Moses ·told about what would happen [L prophesied] until ·the time John came [L John]. 14 And if you ·will believe what they said, you will believe that John is Elijah [L are willing to accept it, he is Elijah], whom they said would come. 15 ·Let those with ears use them and listen[L The one who has ears to hear, let him hear]!

16 “·What can I say about the people of this time? What are they like? [L To what shall I compare this generation?] They are like children sitting in the marketplace, who call out to each other,

17 ‘We played ·music [L the pipe/flute] for you, but you did not dance;
    we sang a ·sad song [funeral song; dirge], but you did not ·cry [weep].’ [C The religious leaders wanted John to “dance” (lighten up his severe message) and wanted Jesus to “mourn” (follow their restrictive lifestyle).]

18 [L For] John came and did not eat or drink like other people. So people say, ‘He ·has [is possessed by] a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came, eating and drinking, and people say, ‘Look at him! ·He eats too much and drinks too much wine [L He’s a glutton and a drunkard], and he is a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is ·proved to be right [vindicated] by ·what she does [or its deeds/actions/results; C Wisdom is personified as a woman (Prov. 8), her “children” being those who respond favorably to the message of John and Jesus].”

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John Asks a Question(A)

18 John’s ·followers [disciples] told him about all these things. He called for two of his ·followers [disciples] 19 and sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the ·One who is to come [the Expected One; C the Messiah], or should we ·wait for [look for; expect] someone else?”

20 When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to you with this question: ‘Are you the ·One who is to come [Expected One], or should we ·wait for [look for; expect] someone else?” 21 At that time, Jesus healed many people of their sicknesses, diseases, and ·evil [defiling; L unclean; 4:33] spirits, and he gave sight to many blind people. 22 Then Jesus answered John’s ·followers [disciples], “Go tell John what you saw and heard here. The blind can see, the ·crippled [lame] can walk, and ·people with skin diseases [T lepers; see 5:12] are ·healed [L cleansed]. The deaf can hear, the dead are raised to life, and the ·Good News [Gospel] is ·preached [announced; proclaimed] to the poor [C signs of God’s restoration of creation, predicted by the prophet Isaiah; Is. 29:18–19; 35:5–6; 61:1–2]. 23 Those who ·do not stumble in their faith [are not offended] because of me are blessed.”

Jesus Comments on John(B)

24 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]? 25 [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]. 26 But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, and I tell you, ·John is [L one who is] more than a prophet. 27 This was written about him:

[L Look; T Behold] I will send my messenger ahead of you,
    who will prepare ·the [your] way ·for [before; in front of] you
    [Mal. 3:1].’

28 I tell you, John is greater than any other person ·ever born [L born to women], but even the least important person in the kingdom of God is greater than John [C because John was part of the old age of preparation, those in the new kingdom age have greater blessings and status].”

29 (When the people, including the tax collectors, heard this, they all agreed that God’s ·teaching was good [way was right/just], because they had been baptized by John. 30 But the Pharisees and experts on the law ·refused to accept [rejected] God’s ·plan [purpose] for themselves; they did not let John baptize them.)

31 Then Jesus said, “·What shall I say about [L To what, therefore, shall I compare] the people of this ·time [L generation]? What are they like? 32 They are like children sitting in the marketplace, calling to one another and saying,

‘We played ·music [L the pipe/flute] for you, but you did not dance;
    we sang a ·sad song [funeral song; dirge], but you did not ·cry [weep].’ [C The religious leaders wanted John to “dance” (lighten up his severe message) and wanted Jesus to “mourn” (follow their restrictive lifestyle).]

33 [L For] John the Baptist came and did not eat bread or drink wine, and you say, ‘He ·has [is possessed by] a demon in him.’ 34 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him! ·He eats too much and drinks too much wine [L A glutton and a drunkard], and he is a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ 35 But wisdom is ·proved to be right [vindicated] by ·what it does [or the behavior of her followers; L all her/its children; C Wisdom is personified as a woman (Prov. 8), her “children” being those who respond favorably to the message of John and Jesus].”

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16 “The law of Moses and the writings of the prophets [C the Old Testament] ·were preached [or were in force; L were] until John [C the Baptist] came [3:1–20; C John is the transitional figure between the age of promise and the age of salvation]. Since then the ·Good News [Gospel] about the kingdom of God is being ·told [preached; proclaimed], and everyone ·tries to enter it by force [or is eager to get into it; or is strongly urged to enter it].

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