In Praise of John the Baptist

1 When Jesus had finished giving orders to His 12 disciples, He moved on from there to teach and preach in their towns.(A) 2 When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent a message by his disciples(B) 3 and asked Him, “Are You the One who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”(C)
4 Jesus replied to them, “Go and report to John what you hear and see: 5 the blind see, the lame walk, those with skin diseases are healed,(a) the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor are told the good news.(D) 6 And if anyone is not offended because of Me, he is blessed.”(E)
7 As these men went away, 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?(F) 8 What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothes? Look, those who wear soft clothes are in kings’ palaces. 9 But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and far more than a prophet.(G) 10 This is the one it is written about:

Look, I am sending My messenger ahead of You;(b)
he will prepare Your way before You.(H)(c)
11 “I assure you: Among those born of women no one greater than John the Baptist has appeared,(d) 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,(e) and the violent have been seizing it by force. 13 For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John; 14 if you’re willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who is to come.(I) 15 Anyone who has ears(f) should listen!(J)

An Unresponsive Generation

16 “To what should I compare this generation? It’s like children sitting in the marketplaces who call out to each other:
We played the flute for you,
but you didn’t dance;
we sang a lament,
but you didn’t mourn!(g)
18 For John did not come eating or drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon!’(K) 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard,(L) a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’(M) Yet wisdom is vindicated(h) by her deeds.”(i)
20 Then He proceeded to denounce the towns where most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent: 21 “Woe to you, Chorazin!(N) Woe to you, Bethsaida!(O) For if the miracles that were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon,(P) they would have repented in sackcloth and ashes long ago! 22 But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment(Q) than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will go down to Hades.(R) For if the miracles that were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until today. 24 But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

The Son Gives Knowledge and Rest

25 At that time Jesus said,(S) “I praise(j) You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and learned and revealed them to infants.(T) 26 Yes, Father, because this was Your good pleasure.(k) 27 All things have been entrusted to Me by My Father. No one knows(l) the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son desires(m) to reveal Him.(U)
28 “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.(V) 29 All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me,(W) because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves.(X) 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”


a. Matthew 11:5: Lit cleansed
b. Matthew 11:10: Lit messenger before Your face
d. Matthew 11:11: Lit arisen
e. Matthew 11:12: Or has been forcefully advancing
f. Matthew 11:15: Other mss add to hear
g. Matthew 11:17: Or beat your breasts
h. Matthew 11:19: Or declared right
i. Matthew 11:19: Other mss read children
j. Matthew 11:25: Or thank
k. Matthew 11:26: Lit was well-pleasing in Your sight
l. Matthew 11:27: Or knows exactly
m. Matthew 11:27: Or wills, or chooses

Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers.