While they were going away, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? What did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Look, those who wear soft clothing are in the palaces of kings! What did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet! This is the one about whom it is written: ‘Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’
“I tell you the truth, among those born of women, no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he is! From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and forceful people lay hold of it. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John appeared. And if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah, who is to come. The one who has ears had better listen!
“To what should I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces who call out to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, yet you did not dance; we wailed in mourning, yet you did not weep.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon!’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him, a glutton and a drunk, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”
Then Jesus began to criticize openly the cities in which he had done many of his miracles, because they did not repent. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you! And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will be thrown down to Hades! For if the miracles done among you had been done in Sodom, it would have continued to this day. But I tell you, it will be more bearable for the region of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you!”
At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent, and have revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son decides to reveal him. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke on you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and my load is not hard to carry.”
The Scriptures quoted are from the NET Bible® http://netbible.com copyright ©1996, 2019 used with permission from Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. All rights reserved.
COMMENT & QUESTIONS
Jesus addresses the crowds. He criticises those who do not receive His words. What are some of the reasons why people don’t agree with Jesus? What reasons do people give today for not listening to Jesus?
Jesus gives us a way of life that excludes other ways. His teaching do not come as recommendations, but as authoritative statements on how life ought to be lived. For someone to accept the teachings of Jesus, they need to be willing to change their way of thinking, and their habits and behaviour. People today reject Jesus' message as culturally specific to the Jews and not relevant today.
Jesus says that His message has been hidden from the ‘wise and intelligent’ and revealed to ‘little children’. Why do supposedly ‘wise and intelligent’ people often reject the words of Jesus?
The statements of Jesus need to be received with a humble heart. Nobody who listens to Jesus with pride and arrogance can accept his sayings and accept Him as their Master. That is why many wise and intelligent people struggle o humble themselves before Jesus.
Pray for those who reject the words of Christ Pray for those who are ‘weary and burdened’, that they will find rest Thanks for the rest that Christ has given to us