CHOOSE YOUR BIBLE VERSION

Matthew chapter 11

New International Version

1 After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee.
2 When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples 3 to ask him, 'Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?'
4 Jesus replied, 'Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 6 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.'
7 As John's disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: 'What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? 8 If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings' palaces. 9 Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
10 This is the one about whom it is written: ''I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.'
11 Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence, and violent people have been raiding it. 13 For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. 14 And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. 15 Whoever has ears, let them hear.
16 To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others:
17 'We played the pipe for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.'
18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon.' 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.' But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.'
20 Then Jesus began to denounce the towns in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent. 21 Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades. For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. 24 But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.'
25 At that time Jesus said, 'I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26 Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.
27 All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.'
English Standard Version

1 When Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in their cities.
2 Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples 3 and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” 4 And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: 5 the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. 6 And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”
7 As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 8 What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. 9 What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10 This is he of whom it is written, “‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.’
11 Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force. 13 For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John, 14 and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. 15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
16 “But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their playmates,
17 “‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’ 18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.”
20 Then he began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. 21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I tell you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24 But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you.”
25 At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; 26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
King James Version

1 And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities. 2 Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, 3 And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? 4 Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: 5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. 6 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.
7 And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind? 8 But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses. 9 But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. 10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. 11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. 13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. 15 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
16 But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows, 17 And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented. 18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil. 19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children. 20 Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: 21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. 23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24 But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.
25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. 26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. 27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. 28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
New American Standard Bible

1 When Jesus had finished giving instructions to His twelve disciples, He departed from there to teach and preach in their cities.
2 Now when John, while imprisoned, heard of the works of Christ, he sent word by his disciples 3 and said to Him, 'Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?' 4 Jesus answered and said to them, 'Go and report to John what you hear and see: 5 the BLIND RECEIVE SIGHT and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the POOR HAVE THE GOSPEL PREACHED TO THEM. 6 'And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.'
7 As these men were going away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John, 'What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 8 'But what did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Those who wear soft clothing are in kings' palaces! 9 'But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and one who is more than a prophet.
10 'This is the one about whom it is written, 'BEHOLD, I SEND MY MESSENGER AHEAD OF YOU, WHO WILL PREPARE YOUR WAY BEFORE YOU.'
11 'Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist! Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 'From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force. 13 'For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John. 14 'And if you are willing to accept it, John himself is Elijah who was to come. 15 'He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
16 'But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market places, who call out to the other children, 17 and say, 'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.' 18 'For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon!' 19 'The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.'
20 Then He began to denounce the cities in which most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent. 21 'Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 'Nevertheless I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. 23 'And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day. 24 'Nevertheless I say to you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you.'
25 At that time Jesus said, 'I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. 26 'Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. 27 'All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.
28 'Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 'Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. 30 'For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.'
New Living Translation

1 When Jesus had finished giving these instructions to his twelve disciples, he went out to teach and preach in towns throughout the region.
2 John the Baptist, who was in prison, heard about all the things the Messiah was doing. So he sent his disciples to ask Jesus, 3 'Are you the Messiah we've been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?'
4 Jesus told them, 'Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen-- 5 the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor. 6 And tell him, 'God blesses those who do not turn away because of me.''
7 As John's disciples were leaving, Jesus began talking about him to the crowds. 'What kind of man did you go into the wilderness to see? Was he a weak reed, swayed by every breath of wind? 8 Or were you expecting to see a man dressed in expensive clothes? No, people with expensive clothes live in palaces. 9 Were you looking for a prophet? Yes, and he is more than a prophet.
10 John is the man to whom the Scriptures refer when they say, Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, and he will prepare your way before you.'
11 'I tell you the truth, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John the Baptist. Yet even the least person in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he is! 12 And from the time John the Baptist began preaching until now, the Kingdom of Heaven has been forcefully advancing, and violent people are attacking it. 13 For before John came, all the prophets and the law of Moses looked forward to this present time. 14 And if you are willing to accept what I say, he is Elijah, the one the prophets said would come. 15 Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!
16 'To what can I compare this generation? It is like children playing a game in the public square. They complain to their friends,
17 'We played wedding songs, and you didn't dance, so we played funeral songs, and you didn't mourn.'
18 For John didn't spend his time eating and drinking, and you say, 'He's possessed by a demon.' 19 The Son of Man, on the other hand, feasts and drinks, and you say, 'He's a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of tax collectors and other sinners!' But wisdom is shown to be right by its results.'
20 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. 21 'What sorrow awaits you, Korazin and Bethsaida! For if the miracles I did in you had been done in wicked Tyre and Sidon, their people would have repented of their sins long ago, clothing themselves in burlap and throwing ashes on their heads to show their remorse. 22 I tell you, Tyre and Sidon will be better off on judgment day than you.
23 'And you people of Capernaum, will you be honored in heaven? No, you will go down to the place of the dead. For if the miracles I did for you had been done in wicked Sodom, it would still be here today. 24 I tell you, even Sodom will be better off on judgment day than you.'
25 At that time Jesus prayed this prayer: 'O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. 26 Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way!
27 'My Father has entrusted everything to me. No one truly knows the Son except the Father, and no one truly knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.'
28 Then Jesus said, 'Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.'
Christian Standard Bible

1 When Jesus had finished giving instructions to his twelve disciples, he moved on from there to teach and preach in their towns. 2 Now when John heard in prison what the Christ was doing, he sent a message through his disciples 3 and asked him, "Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?"
4 Jesus replied to them, "Go and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor are told the good news, 6 and blessed is the one who isn't offended by me."
7 As these men were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: "What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swaying in the wind? 8 What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothes? See, those who wear soft clothes are in royal palaces. 9 What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
10 This is the one about whom it is written: See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way before you.
11 "Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one greater than John the Baptist has appeared, but the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been suffering violence, and the violent have been seizing it by force. 13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 14 And if you're willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who is to come. 15 Let anyone who has ears listen.
16 "To what should I compare this generation? It's like children sitting in the marketplaces who call out to other children:
17 We played the flute for you, but you didn't dance; we sang a lament, but you didn't mourn!
18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon!' 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds."
20 Then he proceeded to denounce the towns where most of his miracles were done, because they did not repent: 21 "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented in sackcloth and ashes long ago. 22 But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will go down to Hades. For if the miracles that were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until today. 24 But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you."
25 At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and revealed them to infants. 26 Yes, Father, because this was your good pleasure. 27 All things have been entrusted to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son desires to reveal him.
28 "Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

What does Matthew chapter 11 mean?

MATTHEW CHAPTER 11 Matthew 11 comes immediately after Jesus has sent His twelve hand-picked apostles out on separate missionary journeys, in pairs (Matthew 10:1–4). Jesus Himself continues through Galilee, teaching and preaching (Matthew 11:1).

John the Baptist is in prison (Matthew 4:12). He has heard about what Jesus has been doing as He travels from place to place. John sends a message to Jesus through his own disciples, asking if Jesus is the "one who is to come." John wants to know if Jesus is really the Messiah, apparently because Jesus has not yet brought judgment on those who have not repented. Most likely, John expected Jesus to immediately bring an earthly kingdom. His question might not be an expression of doubt, so much as wondering why Jesus hasn't yet done what John expects Him to do (Matthew 11:2–3).

Jesus tells John's disciples to go and tell what they have seen Jesus do. He references Isaiah's prophecies about the Messiah: that He will heal the blind, the lame, lepers, and the deaf, as well as raise the dead and preach good news to the poor. Jesus means for John to be reassured by this. Even when God does not meet our exact expectations, we can be confident that He's fulfilling His promises (Matthew 11:4–6).

As John's disciples leave, Jesus turns to the crowd and reminds them of how strong and unmovable John was during his ministry to Israel. Jesus declares that not only was John a prophet, but he was the very one that Isaiah prophesied would come to prepare the way for the Messiah (Malachi 3:1). Among all human beings born up to that point, John is the greatest. Still, the lowest person in the kingdom of heaven is greater than John. The meaning here seems to be that John the Baptist more clearly understood God's plan than any prophet who came before. Jesus adds that, if His listeners can accept it, John is the spiritual fulfillment of the prophecy that Elijah would return (Matthew 11:7–11).

Jesus makes clear, though, that Israel mostly rejected the preaching of John the Baptist; Israel has also mostly rejected Jesus' message. Christ compares the Israelites of this generation to children complaining that their playmates won't participate in their games. No matter what they see, and no matter what God provides, they simply demand the opposite. Their real motive is to resist, not to submit. Instead of hearing John the Baptist and truly repenting, the people decided he had a demon because of his strange and restrictive lifestyle. Instead of hearing Jesus and repenting, this generation decided that Jesus was a glutton and a drunk because He did not lead a restrictive lifestyle. Jesus uses a proverb to show that both He and John will be proven right in the end (Matthew 11:12–19).

Next, Jesus pronounces judgment on the cities where the people did not repent, despite seeing Him perform great and powerful miracles. If the same miracles had been performed in the wicked Gentile cities of Tyre and Sidon, those idol-worshippers would have repented in great humility. The Jewish cities of Chorazin and Bethsaida will find God's judgment less bearable than those pagan cities. The same is true of Jesus' own adopted hometown of Capernaum. Even wicked Sodom, which God utterly destroyed (Genesis 19:24–25), will have a more tolerable judgment than Capernaum. This suggests the people of Sodom are still subject to judgment, despite the end of their earthly lives. It also hints that somehow, there are levels of punishment or judgment for our earthly sins (Matthew 11:20–24).

Jesus thanks His Father, God, for hiding the truth from those who are wise and understanding, according to the world. His implication is that those who arrogantly assume their own wisdom will miss the truth—because they aren't really looking for it. Instead, God will reveal truth to those the world dismissed as "children." Jesus declares that He and God the Father know each other completely and that He can reveal the Father to anyone He chooses. He invites those listening who are weary and weighed down—in the sense of the Pharisees' extra rules and requirements—to take on His yoke and find rest for their souls (Matthew 11:25–30).