New International Version
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?
King James Bible
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?
Darby Bible Translation
But as they went [away], Jesus began to say to the crowds concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? a reed moved about by the wind?
World English Bible
As these went their way, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John, "What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?
Young's Literal Translation
And as they are going, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John, 'What went ye out to the wilderness to view? -- a reed shaken by the wind?
Matthew 11:7 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
What went ye out into the wilderness to see? - The purport of our Lord's design, in this and the following verses, is to convince the scribes and Pharisees of the inconsistency of their conduct in acknowledging John Baptist for a divinely authorized teacher, and not believing in the very Christ which he pointed out to them. He also shows, from the excellencies of John's character, that their confidence in him was not misplaced, and that this was a farther argument why they should have believed in him, whom the Baptist proclaimed as being far superior to himself.
A reed shaken with the wind? - An emblem of an irresolute, unsteady mind, which believes and speaks one thing to-day, and another to-morrow. Christ asks these Jews if they had ever found any thing in John like this: Was he not ever steady and uniform in the testimony he bore to me? The first excellency which Christ notices in John was his steadiness; convinced once of the truth, he continued to believe and assert it. This is essentially necessary to every preacher, and to every private Christian. He who changes about from opinion to opinion, and from one sect or party to another, is never to be depended on; there is much reason to believe that such a person is either mentally weak, or has never been rationally and divinely convinced of the truth.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
LibraryThe Friend of Publicans and Sinners
'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,'--MATT. xi. 19. Jesus very seldom took notice of His enemies' slanders. 'When He was reviled He reviled not again.' If ever He did, it was for the sake of those whom it harmed to distort His beauty. Thus, here He speaks, without the slightest trace of irritation, of the capricious inconsistency of condemning Himself and John …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
John's Doubts of Jesus, and Jesus' Praise of John
Again on the Words of the Gospel, Matt. xi. 28, "Come unto Me, all Ye that Labour and are Heavy Laden, and I Will Give You
The Sinner's Friend
In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea
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.
A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he has brought justice through to victory.
After John's messengers left, 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?
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