John's disciples reported to him in prison
about all these things.
Calling to him two of his disciples John sent to the Lord.
Coming to him the men said,
"John the Baptist sent us to you asking,
'Are you the coming one, or should we expect another?'"
Jesus answered them,
"Go report to John what you hear and see:
the blind regain sight, and the crippled walk;
lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear;
the dead are raised, and the poor receive the good message;
and blessed is the one who is not offended by me."
As John's messengers were going away,
he began to speak to the crowds about John:
"What did you come out into the desert to see?
A reed shaken by the wind?
But what did you come out to look at?
A person clothed in soft garments?
Look, the ones used to soft garments and luxury
are in the palaces.
But why did you come out?
To look at a prophet?
Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
This is the one about whom it has been written:
Look, I send my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way before you.
"Amen, I tell you,
there has not risen among those born of women
anyone greater than John the Baptist;
but the smallest in the sovereignty of heaven
is greater than he.
From the days of John the Baptist until now
the sovereignty of heaven is forced,
and the forceful seize it.
For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John;
and if you are willing to accept it,
he is Elijah who intended to come.
Let whoever has ears hear."
All the people who heard, even the tax collectors,
acknowledged the justice of God,
having been baptized by John's baptism;
but the Pharisees and the lawyers
rejected the purpose of God for themselves,
not having been baptized by him.
"To what, then, should I compare
the people of this generation?
They are like children sitting in the marketplaces
who call to others,
'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
we sang dirges, and you did not mourn.'
"For John the Baptist came
neither eating bread nor drinking wine,
and you say, 'He has a demon.'
"The human son came eating and drinking,
and you say, 'Look, a gluttonous and wine-drinking person,
a friend of tax collectors and sinners.'
Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds."