When Jesus had concluded His instructions to His twelve disciples, He left in order to teach and to proclaim His Message in the neighbouring towns.
Now John had heard in prison about the Christ's doings, and he sent some of his disciples to inquire:
"Are you the Coming One, or is it a different person that we are to expect?"
"Go and report to John what you see and hear," replied Jesus;
"blind eyes receive sight, and cripples walk; lepers are cleansed, and deaf ears hear; the dead are raised to life, and the poor have the Good News proclaimed to them;
and blessed is every one who does not stumble and fall because of my claims."
When the messengers had taken their leave, Jesus proceeded to say to the multitude concerning John, "What did you go out into the Desert to gaze at? A reed waving in the wind?
But what did you go out to see? A man luxuriously dressed? Those who wear luxurious clothes are to be found in kings' palaces.
But why did you go out? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and far more than a prophet.
This is he of whom it is written, "`See I am sending My messenger before Thy face, and he will make Thy road ready before Thee.'
"I solemnly tell you that among all of woman born no greater has ever been raised up than John the Baptist; yet one who is of lower rank in the Kingdom of the Heavens is greater than he.
But from the time of John the Baptist till now, the Kingdom of the Heavens has been suffering violent assault, and the violent have been seizing it by force.
For all the Prophets and the Law taught until John.
And (if you are willing to receive it) he is the Elijah who was to come.
Listen, every one who has ears!
"But to what shall I compare the present generation? It is like children sitting in the open places, who call to their playmates.
"`We have played the flute to you,' they say, `and you have not danced: we have sung dirges, and you have not beaten your breasts.'
"For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, `He has a demon.'
The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they exclaim, `See this man! --given to gluttony and tippling, and a friend of tax-gatherers and notorious sinners!' And yet Wisdom is vindicated by her actions."
Then began He to upbraid the towns where most of His mighty works had been done--because they had not repented.
"Alas for thee, Chorazin!" He cried. "Alas for thee, Bethsaida! For had the mighty works been done in Tyre and Sidon which have been done in both of you, they would long ere now have repented, covered with sackcloth and ashes.
Only I tell you that it will be more endurable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of Judgement than for you.
And thou, Capernaum, shalt thou be exalted even to Heaven? Even to Hades shalt thou descend. For had the mighty works been done in Sodom which have been done in thee, it would have remained until now.
Only I tell you all, that it will be more endurable for the land of Sodom on the day of Judgement than for thee."
About that time Jesus exclaimed, "I heartily praise Thee, Father, Lord of Heaven and of earth, that Thou hast hidden these things from sages and men of discernment, and hast unveiled them to babes.
Yes, Father, for such has been Thy gracious will.
"All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one fully knows the Son except the Father, nor does any one fully know the Father except the Son and all to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.
"Come to me, all you toiling and burdened ones, and *I* will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
For it is good to bear my yoke, and my burden is light."