New International Reader's Version

Matthew 11

Jesus and John the Baptist

1Jesus finished teaching his 12 disciples. Then he went on to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee.

John the Baptist was in prison. When he heard about the actions of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to him. They asked Jesus, “Are you the one who is supposed to come? Or should we look for someone else?”

Jesus replied, “Go back to John. Report to him what you hear and see. Blind people receive sight. Disabled people walk. Those who have skin diseases are made ‘clean.’ Deaf people hear. Those who are dead are raised to life. And the good news is preached to those who are poor. Blessed is anyone who does not give up their faith because of me.”

As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John. He said, “What did you go out into the desert to see? Tall grass waving in the wind? If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No. People who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces. Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10 He is the one written about in Scripture. It says,

“ ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you.
    He will prepare your way for you.’ (Malachi 3:1)

11 What I’m about to tell you is true. No one more important than John the Baptist has ever been born. But the least important person in the kingdom of heaven is more important than he is. 12 Since the days of John the Baptist, the kingdom of heaven has been under attack. And violent people are taking hold of it. 13 All the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John came. 14 If you are willing to accept it, John is the Elijah who was supposed to come. 15 Whoever has ears should listen.

16 “What can I compare today’s people to? They are like children sitting in the markets and calling out to others. They say,

17 “ ‘We played the flute for you.
    But you didn’t dance.
We sang a funeral song.
    But you didn’t become sad.’

18 When John came, he didn’t eat or drink as you do. And people say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 But when the Son of Man came, he ate and drank as you do. And people say, ‘This fellow is always eating and drinking far too much. He’s a friend of tax collectors and “sinners.” ’ By wise actions wisdom is shown to be right.”

Towns That Do Not Turn Away From Sin

20 Jesus began to speak against the towns where he had done most of his miracles. The people there had not turned away from their sins. So he said, 21 “How terrible it will be for you, Chorazin! How terrible for you, Bethsaida! Suppose the miracles done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon. They would have turned away from their sins long ago. They would have put on clothes for mourning. They would have sat down in ashes. 22 But I tell you this. On judgment day it will be easier for Tyre and Sidon than for you. 23 And what about you, Capernaum? Will you be lifted to the heavens? No! You will go down to the place of the dead. Suppose the miracles done in you had been done in Sodom. It would still be here today. 24 But I tell you this. On judgment day it will be easier for Sodom than for you.”

Rest for All Who Are Tired

25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father. You are Lord of heaven and earth. You have hidden these things from wise and educated people. But you have shown them to little children. 26 Yes, Father. This is what you wanted to do.

27 “My Father has given all things to me. The Father is the only one who knows the Son. And the only ones who know the Father are the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to make him known.

28 “Come to me, all you who are tired and are carrying heavy loads. I will give you rest. 29 Become my servants and learn from me. I am gentle and free of pride. You will find rest for your souls. 30 Serving me is easy, and my load is light.”