Looked at in this way, John is the 'Elijah' you've all been expecting to arrive and introduce the Messiah.
"Are you listening to me? Really listening?
"How can I account for this generation? The people have been like spoiled children whining to their parents,
'We wanted to skip rope, and you were always too tired; we wanted to talk, but you were always too busy.'
John came fasting and they called him crazy.
I came feasting and they called me a lush, a friend of the riff-raff. Opinion polls don't count for much, do they? The proof of the pudding is in the eating."
Next Jesus let fly on the cities where he had worked the hardest but whose people had responded the least, shrugging their shoulders and going their own way.
"Doom to you, Chorazin! Doom, Bethsaida! If Tyre and Sidon had seen half of the powerful miracles you have seen, they would have been on their knees in a minute.
At Judgment Day they'll get off easy compared to you.
And Capernaum! With all your peacock strutting, you are going to end up in the abyss. If the people of Sodom had had your chances, the city would still be around.
At Judgment Day they'll get off easy compared to you."
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)