As John's1 disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: "What did you go out into the desert2 to see? A reed swayed by the wind?8If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings' palaces.9Then what did you go out to see? A prophet?3 Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.10This is the one about whom it is written: " 'I will send my messenger ahead of you,4 who will prepare your way before you.'a511I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.12From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.13For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John.614And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come.715He who has ears, let him hear.816"To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others:17" 'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.'