John's1 disciples2 told him about all these things. Calling two of them,
he sent them to the Lord to ask, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?"
When the men came to Jesus, they said, "John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, 'Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?' "
At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses3 and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind.
So he replied to the messengers, "Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.4
Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me."
After John's messengers left, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: "What did you go out into the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind?
If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear expensive clothes and indulge in luxury are in palaces.
But what did you go out to see? A prophet?5 Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
This is the one about whom it is written: " 'I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.'6
I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God7 is greater than he."
(All the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus' words, acknowledged that God's way was right, because they had been baptized by John.8
But the Pharisees and experts in the law9 rejected God's purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John.)
"To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like?
They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other: " 'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not cry.'
For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine,10 and you say, 'He has a demon.'
The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners." '11
But wisdom is proved right by all her children."
Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table.
When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume,
and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet,12 he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is--that she is a sinner."
Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have something to tell you." "Tell me, teacher," he said.
"Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.
Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?"
Simon replied, "I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled." "You have judged correctly," Jesus said.
Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet,13 but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.
You did not give me a kiss,14 but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet.
You did not put oil on my head,15 but she has poured perfume on my feet.
Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven--for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little."
Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."16
The other guests began to say among themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?"
Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you;17 go in peace."18