And it came to pass when Jesus had finished commanding his twelve disciples, he departed from there to teach and preach in their cities.
Jesus talks about John the Baptist
2 Now when John heard about the works of the Christ while in prison, he sent word by his disciples 3 and said to him: Are you he that comes, or look we for another? 4 And Jesus answered and said to them: Go and tell John the things which you hear and see. 5 The blind receive their sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear and the dead are raised up; and the poor have good tidings preached to them. 6 And blessed is he, whoever shall find no cause to stumble over me.
7 And as these went their way, Jesus began to say to the crowds concerning John: What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 8 But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Those that wear soft garments are in king's houses. 9 But what did you go out to see? To see a prophet? Yes! And I say to you, much more than a prophet! 10 This is he, of whom it is written: Listen, I send my messenger before your face; he shall prepare your way before you. 11 Truly I say to you, among those that are born of women there has not arisen a greater than John the Baptist. Yet he that is the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence and men of violence take it by force. 13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 14 And if you are willing to receive it, this was Elijah that has to come. 15 He that has ears to hear, let him hear.
16 But unto what shall I liken this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces, who call to their fellows 17 and say: We piped to you and you did not dance. We wailed and you did not mourn. 18 For John came neither eating nor drinking and they say he has a demon. 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they say, Look, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners! But wisdom is justified by her children.
Jesus reproves towns who fail to respond
20 Then he began to chastise the cities wherein most of his mighty works had been done, because they had not repented. 21 Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon which were done in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I say to you, it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. 23 And you Capernaum, shall you be exalted to heaven? You shall go down to Hades, for if the mighty works had been done in Sodom which were done in you, it would have remained until this day. 24 But I say to you, that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you.
Jesus prays and appeals to his followers
25 At that time Jesus answered and said: I thank you, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You did hide these things from the wise and prudent, and did reveal them to babes. 26 Yes Father, for so it was well-pleasing in Your sight. 27 All things have been delivered to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son save the Father. Neither does anyone know the Father, save the Son and to whomsoever the Son wishes to reveal Him.
28 Come to me all you that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
11:1 Their cities- Jesus encouraged people to preach to their network of friends and relatives, in their home areas; He visited those places to back up their witness. Witnessing to friends and family is the most difficult yet most important witness we make.
11:11 Whoever is least in the Kingdom of God in the future will be greater, spiritually, than John the Baptist was in his human life. We learn from this that there will be degrees of reward in God’s Kingdom- one star will shine brighter than another (1 Cor. 15:41), some will rule over ten cities, others over five (Lk. 19:17-19). Do we have the spiritual ambition to want to shine then as much as possible? If we love and seek God’s glory, then we will want to extend it as far as possible, reflecting it as far as we can.
11:12 Men of violence – The image is of commandos storming a city. Whatever our position in life, we now have a cause to totally give ourselves to- to enter and take the Kingdom of God for ourselves.
11:27 Reading the Bible alone will not reveal the Father to us. There’s also an element of grace- Jesus reveals His Father to those whom He chooses.
11:30 The heavy weight remains, but Jesus is a yoke, binding us together with many others, and so the weight seems far lighter to us. The purpose of the body and person of Christ is to bind us together with other believers- with all the personal problems and conflicts this can create. Christianity isn’t intended to be lived in isolation from others.