11 Jesus finished teaching his 12 disciples. Then he went on to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee.
2John was in prison. When he heard what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples to him. 3They asked Jesus, “Are you the one who was supposed to come? Or should we look for someone else?”
4Jesus replied, “Go back to John. Report to him what you hear and see. 5Blind people receive sight. Disabled people walk. Those who have skin diseases are healed. Deaf people hear. Those who are dead are raised to life. And the good news is preached to those who are poor. 6Blessed are those who do not give up their faith because of me.”
7As 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? 8If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No. People who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces. 9Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10He 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. 12Since the days of John the Baptist, the kingdom of heaven has been advancing with force. And forceful people are taking hold of it. 13All the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John came. 14If you are willing to accept it, John is the Elijah who was supposed to come. 15Those who have ears should listen.
16“What can I compare today’s people to? They are like children sitting in the market places 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.’
18When John came, he didn’t eat or drink as you do. And people say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19But 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.” ’ Those who act wisely prove that wisdom is right.”
Cities That Do Not Turn Away From Sin
20Jesus began to speak against the cities 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, Korazin! 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 black clothes. They would have sat down in ashes. 22But 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 up to heaven? 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. 24But I tell you this. On judgment day it will be easier for Sodom than for you.”
25At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father. You are Lord of heaven and earth. You have hidden these things from the wise and educated. But you have shown them to little children. 26Yes, Father. This is what you wanted.
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 of you who are tired and are carrying heavy loads. I will give you rest. 29Become my servants and learn from me. I am gentle and free of pride. You will find rest for your souls. 30Serving me is easy, and my load is light.”
About New International Reader’s Version (1998)
The New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) was developed to help early readers understand the Bible. Begun in 1992, the NIrV is a simplification of the New International Version (NIV). The NIrV uses shorter words and sentences so that those with a typical fourth grade reading level can comprehend what they are reading. The chapters have been separated into shorter sections and most have titles that clearly indicate what the section is all about. The NIrV will be a valuable translation to those for whom English is a second language. The NIrV still relies on the best and oldest copies of the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts for its translation, guaranteeing that those who read it are getting the actual Word of God.
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