(1) And it came about that when Yeshua had finished giving instructions to his twelve talmidim (he sent them forth), he departed from there to teach and to preach in their cities. (2) Now when John in prison heard of the works of Messiah, he sent word by his talmidim, (3) and said to him, “Are you the coming one (Messiah), or shall we look for someone else (in the first century, there was a concept called “the two Messiah’s” based on the Scriptures. John knew Yeshua was the “lamb” who would take away the sins of the world, or the “suffering Messiah” also called “Messiah ben Joseph”. There was also the concept of “Messiah ben David” who would bring in the kingdom of Israel. John knew that Yeshua was the suffering servant Messiah-Mark 1.9-11; John 1.34- He identified him-John 1.19- What he wanted to know was whether they should look for a “Messiah ben David” or would he fulfill both roles)?” (4) And Yeshua answered him and to them, “Go and report to John the things which you hear and see (5) the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel (basar) preached to them (Yeshua does not give him a straight answer, but he presents John certain evidences. His answer tells John that the kingdom is being offered and he will fulfill both roles of Messiah ben Joseph (the suffering messiah) and Messiah ben David (the kingly messiah. The miracles are the evidence that the kingdom is here, being offered, and that John need not expect another, he prepared and did his job well). (6) And blessed (happy) is he who keeps from stumbling(falling, offended) over me (not directed at John, but others who would not understand his mission). (7) And as these were going away, Yeshua began to say to the multitudes concerning John, “What did you go out to the wilderness (the Messiah would appear first there-Isa 40.3) to look at? A reed shaken by the wind (an idiom for a weak-kneed compromiser, bending to every wind of doctrine)? (8) But what did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing (idiom for a light-hearted flatterer who tells the ruler what he wants to hear)? Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in kings palaces. (9) But why 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 was written (and is on record today in Malachi), ‘Behold, I send my messenger (what Malachi means) before your face, who will prepare your way before you’ (11) Truly, I say to you, among those born of women (those with weaknesses and limitations) there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he (the kingdom is being offered, and Yeshua is leading many into it. By doing so, he is saying that they would be greater than anyone in this present world). (12) And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence (people pressing into it and those trying to hinder them) and men take it by force (grasp it, embrace it-Micah 2.12-13; Luke 16.16). (13) For all the prophets and the Torah prophesied concerning (about) John. (14) And if you care to accept it (the kingdom offer) he himself is Elijah (not literally, but in spirit and power-Luke 1.17) who was to come. (15) He who has ears to hear (to perceive doctrinal truth), let him hear (be instructed). (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 (Yeshua/talmidim) played the flute for you (a happy time-Matt 9.14-15), and you did not dance (that generation did not respond), we sang a dirge (John’s ministry of repentance and mourning over their sin-Matt 9.14), and you did not mourn. (18) For John came neither eating or drinking (the dirge), and they say, ‘He has a demon!’ (19) The Son of Man (Bar Enosh, a messianic title-Dan 7.13) came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold a gluttonous man and a drunkard (an idiom for a “riotous liver”), a friend of tax-gatherers and sinners!’ Yet, wisdom (Yeshua) is vindicated by her children (his deeds).” (20) Then he began to reproach the cities in which most of his miracles were done, because they did not repent (these cities did not have a problem with the miracles, but they had a problem with the authority Yeshua said he had when he did them-Matt 7.29. These were signs that he was the Messiah and the kingdom was being offered to them). (21) “Woe to you (very common phrase used by the Pharisees and Jewish teachers of the time), 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 sack-cloth and ashes (God judges on the basis of knowledge, not ignorance. All sins are not alike, nor will the punishment be the same) (22) Nevertheless I say to you, it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment (“yom ha din”-either Rosh ha Shanah or Yom Kippur). (23) And you, Capernaum (village of the comforter), will not be exalted to heaven, will you (the Messiah himself lived there, and it also was high and lofty)? You shall descend into hell (reduced to a very low status. It was destroyed by Vespasian), 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 shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than in you (or what is going to happen to you). (25) And at that time (when the talmidim came back and gave an account of their success-Luke 10.17-21) Yeshua answered and said, “I praise thee, O Father Lord of heaven and earth, that thou didst hide these things (shows that God is sovereign in the conversion of men-Isa 44.18; Matt 13.11-17) from the wise (in themselves and their ability) and intelligent and didst reveal them to babes (the untaught and unassuming). (26) Yes, Father, for thus it was well-pleasing in thy sight. (27) All things have been handed over to me (all the promises of the covenant) by my Father; and no one knows the son, except the Father (the perfections of his nature, his work as mediator and all he was to do for his people); nor does anyone know the Father (his essence, glory and purposes), except the son, and anyone to whom the son wills (his sovereignty in the salvation of men) to reveal him. (28) Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden (with guilt upon their conscience) and I will give you rest (for your spirits). (29) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me (the yoke and the only place to learn of Yeshua is the only place they knew where to look, the Torah-Psa 40.7; Luke 24.25-27. Many teach today that this “yoke of the Torah” is a burden, but that is because they have been “burdened” with centuries of replacement theology), for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. (30) For my yoke is easy, and my load is light (He came to unburden them from the layers of rabbinical tradition and religious practices that accumulated over the centuries).