Now when John heard in prison what the Christ was doing, he sent a message through his disciples(A) and asked him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” (B)

Jesus replied to them, “Go and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, those with leprosy[a] are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor are told the good news,(C) and blessed is the one who isn’t offended by me.”(D)

As these men were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swaying in the wind?(E) What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothes? See, those who wear soft clothes are in royal palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.(F) 10 This is the one about whom it is written:

See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you;
he will prepare your way before you.[b](G)

11 “Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one greater than John the Baptist has appeared,[c] but the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been suffering violence,[d] and the violent have been seizing it by force. 13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 14 And if you’re willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who is to come.(H) 15 Let anyone who has ears[e] listen.(I)

An Unresponsive Generation

16 “To what should I compare this generation? It’s like children sitting in the marketplaces who call out to other children:

17 We played the flute for you,
but you didn’t dance;
we sang a lament,
but you didn’t mourn![f]

18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon!’(J) 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard,(K) a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’(L) Yet wisdom is vindicated[g] by her deeds.”[h]

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Footnotes

  1. 11:5 Gk lepros; a term for various skin diseases; see Lv 13–14
  2. 11:10 Mal 3:1
  3. 11:11 Lit arisen
  4. 11:12 Or has been forcefully advancing
  5. 11:15 Other mss add to hear
  6. 11:17 Or beat your chests in grief
  7. 11:19 Or declared right
  8. 11:19 Other mss read children

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