Matthew 11:7
Parallel Verses
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
Commentary
Clarke'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

Jesus.

Luke 7:24-30 And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak to the people concerning John...

What.

Matthew 3:1-3,5 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea...

Matthew 21:25 The baptism of John, from where was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say...

Mark 1:3-5 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare you the way of the Lord, make his paths straight...

Luke 3:3-7 And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins...

Luke 8:18 Take heed therefore how you hear: for whoever has, to him shall be given; and whoever has not...

John 1:38 Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and said to them, What seek you? They said to him, Rabbi, (which is to say...

John 5:35 He was a burning and a shining light: and you were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.

A reed.

Genesis 49:4 Unstable as water, you shall not excel; because you went up to your father's bed; then defiled you it: he went up to my couch.

2 Corinthians 1:17,18 When I therefore was thus minded, did I use lightness? or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh...

Ephesians 4:14 That we from now on be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men...

James 1:6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

Library
The 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
'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.
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

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
1. It seems strange to some, Brethren, when they hear the Lord say, "Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you. 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. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." [2323] And they consider that they who have fearlessly bowed their necks to this yoke, and have with much submission taken this burden upon their shoulders, are tossed about and exercised by so great
Saint Augustine—sermons on selected lessons of the new testament

The Sinner's Friend
"Savior of sinners they proclaim, Sinners of whom the chief I am." What the invidious Jews said in bitter spleen, has been turned by the Holy Spirit to the most gracious account. Where they poured out vials of hate, odours of sacred incense arise. Troubled consciences have found a sweet balm in the very sound. Jesus, "the friend of publicans and sinners," has proved himself friendly to them, and they have become friends with him; so completely has he justified the very name which his enemies gave
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 10: 1864

Cross References
Matthew 3:1
In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea

Matthew 11:8
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.

Matthew 12:20
A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he has brought justice through to victory.

Luke 7:24
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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