Seen and heard

When Jesus had finished giving his instructions to the twelve disciples, he set out to teach and preach in the cities of Galilee.

Then John the Baptist, while he was in prison, heard about the things that Jesus had been doing and sent disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we carry on looking for somebody else?”

“Go back to John,” said Jesus, “and tell him everything you’ve seen and heard – the blind receive their sight, the lame can walk, the lepers are healed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and good news is given to the poor. And blessed is the man who isn’t offended by me.’”

As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak about him to the crowd. “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? Or did you go expecting to see a man wearing expensive clothes? No, men who wear expensive clothes are living in palaces. So, what did you go to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, but John’s much more than a prophet. This is the man about whom it was written: ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who shall prepare the way before you.’

“I can assure you that among those born of women there has never arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist. Yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven has greater privileges than him. For, from the time John the Baptist began preaching until now, the kingdom of heaven has been taken by force and forceful people are entering it. The Prophets and the Law prophesied until John arrived. But now, if you’ll accept it, he’s the Elijah who was to come. So whoever hears this should take it in!

“To what can I compare this generation? It is like children playing in the market-place and calling out to their friends: ‘We played the pipes, but you didn’t dance. So we sang a lament, but you didn’t mourn.’ For John came neither eating or drinking, and people said, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and people said, ‘He’s a glutton and a drunkard; a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom’s shown to be right by results.”

Then Jesus began to denounce the towns where he’d performed so many miracles, because they hadn’t repented. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that you’ve seen had taken place in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. I’m warning you – it’s going to be better for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you.

“And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to heaven? No, you’ll go down to Hades. For if the miracles that you’ve seen had taken place in Sodom, the city would still be here today. I’m warning you – it’s going to be better for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

About that time Jesus prayed said, “Thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you’ve hidden these things from the wise and the clever, and revealed them to those who are childlike. You’ve done this, Father, because that’s how you want  it.

He added: “Everything’s been entrusted to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son, and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

“Come to me, anyone who’s tired and exhausted, and I’ll give you rest. Take my yoke on your shoulders and learn from me, because I’m humble and gentle at heart, and you’ll find rest for your souls. For my yoke’s comfortable and my burden’s light.”

Matthew

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