Matthew 11:20 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 11:20, NIV: Then Jesus began to denounce the towns in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent.

Matthew 11:20, ESV: Then he began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent.

Matthew 11:20, KJV: Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not:

Matthew 11:20, NASB: Then He began to reprimand the cities in which most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent.

Matthew 11:20, NLT: Then Jesus began to denounce the towns where he had done so many of his miracles, because they hadn't repented of their sins and turned to God.

Matthew 11:20, CSB: Then he proceeded to denounce the towns where most of his miracles were done, because they did not repent:

What does Matthew 11:20 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In the previous verses, Jesus compared the Israelites of His generation with complaining children (Matthew 11:16–19). Instead of hearing and repenting, the people of Israel have mostly accused John the Baptist of having a demon and Jesus Himself of being a glutton and a drunkard.

Jesus will be very specific about who has rejected His central message to "repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near" (Matthew 4:17 NIV). He will call out specific cities in Galilee by name. The people in these cities witnessed Jesus' powerful miracles but still refused to repent.

The word "repent" means to change one's mind. In the Bible, it typically means feeling sorry for sin and choosing to stop and instead, go in a new direction. When Jesus uses the word "repent," He is calling people to stop sinning but likely also to recognize Him as the Messiah, the one who will reign over the kingdom of heaven.