When John’s messengers had gone, Jesus began to talk to the people about John. ‘What did you go out into the wilderness to see?
A reed swaying in the breeze? No? Then what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? Oh no, those who go in for fine clothes and live luxuriously are to be found at court!
Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and much more than a prophet: he is the one of whom scripture says:
See, I am going to send my messenger before you;
he will prepare the way before you.
‘I tell you, of all the children born of women, there is no one greater than John; yet the least in the kingdom of God is greater than he is.
All the people who heard him, and the tax collectors too, acknowledged God’s plan by accepting baptism from John; but by refusing baptism from him the Pharisees and the lawyers had thwarted what God had in mind for them.’