1When Jesus had finished giving these instructions to his twelve disciples, he went out to teach and preach in towns throughout the region.
2John the Baptist, who was in prison, heard about all the things the Messiah was doing. So he sent his disciples to ask Jesus,
3"Are you the Messiah we've been expecting,* or should we keep looking for someone else?"
4Jesus told them, "Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen—
5the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor.
6And tell him, `God blesses those who do not turn away because of me.*'"
7As John's disciples were leaving, Jesus began talking about him to the crowds. "What kind of man did you go into the wilderness to see? Was he a weak reed, swayed by every breath of wind?
8Or were you expecting to see a man dressed in expensive clothes? No, people with expensive clothes live in palaces.
9Were you looking for a prophet? Yes, and he is more than a prophet.
10John is the man to whom the Scriptures refer when they say,
`Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
and he will prepare your way before you.'*
11"I tell you the truth, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John the Baptist. Yet even the least person in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he is!
12And from the time John the Baptist began preaching until now, the Kingdom of Heaven has been forcefully advancing,* and violent people are attacking it.
13For before John came, all the prophets and the law of Moses looked forward to this present time.
14And if you are willing to accept what I say, he is Elijah, the one the prophets said would come.*
15Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!
16"To what can I compare this generation? It is like children playing a game in the public square. They complain to their friends,
17`We played wedding songs,
and you didn't dance,
so we played funeral songs,
and you didn't mourn.'
18For John didn't spend his time eating and drinking, and you say, `He's possessed by a demon.'
19The Son of Man,* on the other hand, feasts and drinks, and you say, `He's a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of tax collectors and other sinners!' But wisdom is shown to be right by its results."
20Then Jesus began to denounce the towns where he had done so many of his miracles, because they hadn't repented of their sins and turned to God.
21"What sorrow awaits you, Korazin and Bethsaida! For if the miracles I did in you had been done in wicked Tyre and Sidon, their people would have repented of their sins long ago, clothing themselves in burlap and throwing ashes on their heads to show their remorse.
22I tell you, Tyre and Sidon will be better off on judgment day than you.
23"And you people of Capernaum, will you be honored in heaven? No, you will go down to the place of the dead.* For if the miracles I did for you had been done in wicked Sodom, it would still be here today.
24I tell you, even Sodom will be better off on judgment day than you."
25At that time Jesus prayed this prayer: "O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike.
26Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way!
27"My Father has entrusted everything to me. No one truly knows the Son except the Father, and no one truly knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him."
28Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.
29Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light."