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Matthew  ◦   Chapter 11

1 When Jesus finished giving these instructions to his twelve disciples, they went to the towns of Galilee to preach and teach the people.

2 When John the Baptist, who was in prison, heard what Jesus was doing, he sent his students3 to ask Jesus, "Are you the promised Messiah we have been waiting for, or should we look for someone else?"

4 Jesus replied: "Stay with me today and watch what happens, and then go and tell John what you see:5 The blind receive their sight, the paralyzed can walk, those with leprosy are healed, the deaf can hear, the dead are brought back to life, and the Remedy is given freely to the poor.6 Happy and healthy is the one who doesn't reject me."

7 John's disciples turned to leave, and Jesus began speaking to the crowd about John: "Why did you go out into the desert? Did you go to see a stand-up comic blowing around from one thought to the next?8 Or did you go to see a fashion show? No! Those who are preoccupied with the latest fashions are found living in palaces.9 Then what did you go out to the desert to see? A spokesman of God? Certainly, but I tell you plainly, he wasn't just any spokesman of God.10 This is the spokesman of whom God foretold in the Scripture: 'I will send my messenger ahead of you to prepare the hearts and minds of the people for your arrival.'

11 "Let me tell you what all this means: No one born on earth prior to John has had a more important role in God's plan to save humanity than John the Baptist. Yet, even those with the least role on earth, but who are in the kingdom of heaven, will be greater than he is here.12 From the time John started preaching in the desert until this very moment, the kingdom of love and truth has been forcefully advancing against lies and selfishness; and those who earnestly embrace love and truth take hold of it.13 The entire Old Testament Scripture proclaimed God's kingdom of love and truth — right up until John came.14 If you are a lover of truth, you will understand that John was the Elijah who the Old Testament foretold would come to open the way for the kingdom of God.15 Those whose ears are open to hear the truth, let them hear.

16 "How can I describe what the people living today are like? They are like children who sit around and find fault with one another.17 If one child plays a happy song, the others make fun and refuse to join in harmony. If the child plays a sad song, the others call them weak and refuse to mourn.

18 "Likewise, John lived very strictly — he fasted and drank no wine — and the religious leaders mocked him, calling him a fanatic.19 And when the Son of Man came — spending time with people, socializing, eating and celebrating — the religious leaders say, that he is a glutton, a drunk, and a friend of apostates and addicts. But God's wisdom is proved to be right by its own results."

20 Because the people in the cities where Jesus performed most of his miracles refused to turn away from selfishness and accept the Remedy, he pronounced the unavoidable result:21 "Korazin, your suffering will be great, and Bethsaida, your agony will be horrible! If the evidence and miracles that were presented to you would have been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have humbled themselves, rejected selfishness, accepted the Remedy, and been restored to love.22 On the day each person faces ultimate truth, Tyre and Sidon will have less guilt and agony to bear than you.23 And you, people of Capernaum, will you soar into heaven? Oh no! You will shrivel up and decay into the depths. If the miracles performed in you were done in Sodom, that city would still be here today.24 On the day each person faces ultimate truth, Sodom will have less guilt and agony to bear than you."

25 Then Jesus turned his face toward heaven and said: "Father, Lord of heaven and earth, I thank you that your ways of love are so straightforward and easy to understand that the honest-hearted know your methods while the conniving and sophisticated do not comprehend.26 Truly, Father, you are pleased to keep the truth plain and easy to understand.

27 "Everything necessary to rid the universe from sin and restore mankind to perfection, the Father has entrusted to me. The Father and Son are intimately united in heart and mind, and no one knows the Son like the Father, nor does anyone know the Father like the Son and those who learn of the Father from the Son.

28 "So come to me, all who are tired, worn down and exhausted from fear, selfishness, and fighting to survive on your own, and I will give you rest.29 Join up with me and learn my methods–the principles upon which life is built to operate–for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find healing and rest for your souls.30 For joining up with me and living in harmony with the way life is designed to operate is what makes life easy and lightens life's burdens."