The Message

Matthew 11

John the Baptizer

1When Jesus finished placing this charge before his twelve disciples, he went on to teach and preach in their villages.

2-3 John, meanwhile, had been locked up in prison. When he got wind of what Jesus was doing, he sent his own disciples to ask, “Are you the One we’ve been expecting, or are we still waiting?”

4-6 Jesus told them, “Go back and tell John what’s going on:

The blind see,
The lame walk,
Lepers are cleansed,
The deaf hear,
The dead are raised,
The wretched of the earth learn that God is on their side.

“Is this what you were expecting? Then count yourselves most blessed!”

7-10 When John’s disciples left to report, Jesus started talking to the crowd about John. “What did you expect when you went out to see him in the wild? A weekend camper? Hardly. What then? A sheik in silk pajamas? Not in the wilderness, not by a long shot. What then? A prophet? That’s right, a prophet! Probably the best prophet you’ll ever hear. He is the prophet that Malachi announced when he wrote, ‘I’m sending my prophet ahead of you, to make the road smooth for you.’

11-14 “Let me tell you what’s going on here: No one in history surpasses John the Baptizer; but in the kingdom he prepared you for, the lowliest person is ahead of him. For a long time now people have tried to force themselves into God’s kingdom. But if you read the books of the Prophets and God’s Law closely, you will see them culminate in John, teaming up with him in preparing the way for the Messiah of the kingdom. Looked at in this way, John is the ‘Elijah’ you’ve all been expecting to arrive and introduce the Messiah.

15 “Are you listening to me? Really listening?

16-19 “How can I account for this generation? The people have been like spoiled children whining to their parents, ‘We wanted to skip rope, and you were always too tired; we wanted to talk, but you were always too busy.’ John came fasting and they called him crazy. I came feasting and they called me a lush, a friend of the riffraff. Opinion polls don’t count for much, do they? The proof of the pudding is in the eating.”

The Unforced Rhythms of Grace

20 Next Jesus let fly on the cities where he had worked the hardest but whose people had responded the least, shrugging their shoulders and going their own way.

21-24 “Doom to you, Chorazin! Doom, Bethsaida! If Tyre and Sidon had seen half of the powerful miracles you have seen, they would have been on their knees in a minute. At Judgment Day they’ll get off easy compared to you. And Capernaum! With all your peacock strutting, you are going to end up in the abyss. If the people of Sodom had had your chances, the city would still be around. At Judgment Day they’ll get off easy compared to you.”

25-26 Abruptly Jesus broke into prayer: “Thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth. You’ve concealed your ways from sophisticates and know-it-alls, but spelled them out clearly to ordinary people. Yes, Father, that’s the way you like to work.”

27 Jesus resumed talking to the people, but now tenderly. “The Father has given me all these things to do and say. This is a unique Father-Son operation, coming out of Father and Son intimacies and knowledge. No one knows the Son the way the Father does, nor the Father the way the Son does. But I’m not keeping it to myself; I’m ready to go over it line by line with anyone willing to listen.

28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Chinese Contemporary Bible (Traditional)

馬太福音 11

耶穌和施洗者約翰

1耶穌囑咐完十二個門徒,就離開那裡,到附近的城鎮傳道和教導人。

約翰在監獄中聽到基督所做的事,就差兩個門徒去問祂: 「你就是那位我們所等候的救主嗎?還是我們要等別人呢?」

耶穌回答說:「你們回去把所見所聞告訴約翰, 就是瞎子看見,瘸子走路,痲瘋病人得潔淨,聾子聽見,死人復活,窮人聽到福音。 凡對我沒有失去信心的人有福了!」

他們離開後,耶穌對眾人談起約翰,說:「你們從前去曠野要看什麼呢?看隨風搖動的蘆葦嗎? 如果不是,你們到底想看什麼?是看穿綾羅綢緞的人嗎?那些穿綾羅綢緞的人生活在王宮裡。 你們究竟想看什麼?看先知嗎?是的,我告訴你們,他不只是先知。 10 聖經上說,『看啊,我要差遣我的使者在你前面為你預備道路』,這裡所指的就是約翰。 11 我實在告訴你們,凡婦人所生的,沒有一個興起來比施洗者約翰大,然而天國裡最微不足道的也比他大。

12 「從施洗者約翰到現在,天國一直在強勁地擴展著,強勁的人要抓住它。 13 因為到約翰為止,所有的先知和律法都在預言天國的事。 14 如果你們願意接受,約翰就是那要來的以利亞。 15 有耳可聽的都應該留心聽。

16 「這個世代的人好像什麼呢?他們好像一群在街上玩耍的兒童對別的孩子說,

17 『我們吹娶親的樂曲,
你們不跳舞;
我們唱送葬的哀歌,
你們不悲傷。』

18 約翰來了,也不吃也不喝,他們就說他被鬼附身。 19 人子來了,又吃又喝,他們就說祂是貪吃好酒之徒,與稅吏和罪人為友。然而智慧會在她的作為上得到驗證。」

不肯悔改的城

20 那時,耶穌開始責備一些城鎮,因為祂在那裡行了許多神蹟,當地的居民仍不肯悔改。 21 祂說:「哥拉汛啊,你大禍臨頭了!伯賽大啊,你大禍臨頭了!我在你們當中所行的神蹟,如果行在泰爾和西頓,那裡的人早就身披麻衣,頭蒙灰塵,悔改了。 22 所以我告訴你們,在審判之日,你們將比泰爾和西頓受更重的刑罰!

23 「迦百農啊,你將被提升到天上嗎?不!你將被打落到陰間。因為若把在你那裡所行的神蹟行在所多瑪,它肯定會存留到今天。 24 所以我告訴你們,在審判之日,你們將比所多瑪受更重的刑罰!」

勞苦者得安息

25 那時,耶穌說:「父啊,天地的主,我頌讚你,因為你把這些事向聰明、有學問的人隱藏起來,卻啟示給像孩童一般的人。 26 父啊,是的,這正是你的美意。 27 我父將一切交給了我。除了父,沒有人認識子;除了子和受子啟示的人,沒有人認識父。

28 「所有勞苦困乏、背負重擔的人啊,到我這裡來吧!我要賜給你們安息。 29 我心柔和謙卑,你們要負我的軛,向我學習,這樣你們的心靈必得享安息。 30 因為我的軛容易負,我的擔子很輕省。」