1tn Grk “And it happened when.” The introductory phrase καὶ ἐγένετο (kai egeneto, “it happened that”) is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.

2sn John refers to John the Baptist.

3tc The Western codex D and a few other mss (0233 1424 al) read “Jesus” here instead of “Christ.” This is not likely to be original because it is not found in the earliest and most important mss, nor in the rest of the ms tradition.

tn Or “Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.”

sn See the note on Christ in 1:16.

4tc Instead of “by his disciples” (see the tn below for the reading of the Greek), the majority of later mss (C3 L 1 ¤ lat bo) have “two of his disciples.” The difference in Greek, however, is only two letters: διὰ τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ vs. δύο τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ (dia twn maqhtwn autou vs. duo twn maqhtwn autou). Although an accidental alteration could account for either of these readings, it is more likely that δύο is an assimilation to the parallel in Luke 7:18. Further, διά is read by a good number of early and excellent witnesses (א B C* D P W Z Δ Θ 0233 13 33 sa), and thus should be considered original.

tn Grk “sending by his disciples he said to him.” The words “a question” are not in the Greek text, but are implied.

5sn Aspects of Jesus’ ministry may have led John to question whether Jesus was the promised stronger and greater one who is to come that he had preached about in Matt 3:1-12.

6tn Grk “And answering, Jesus said to them.” This construction is somewhat redundant in English and has been simplified in the translation.

7sn What you hear and see. The following activities all paraphrase various OT descriptions of the time of promised salvation: Isa 35:5-6; 26:19; 29:18-19; 61:1. Jesus is answering not by acknowledging a title, but by pointing to the nature of his works, thus indicating the nature of the time.

8tn Grk “and the,” but καί (kai) has not been translated since English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more. Two other conjunctions are omitted in this series.

9tn Grk “whoever.”

10tn Or “desert.”

11tn There is a debate as to whether one should read this figuratively (“to see someone who is easily blown over?”) or literally (Grk “to see the wilderness vegetation?… No, to see a prophet”). Either view makes good sense, but the following examples suggest the question should be read literally and understood to point to the fact that a prophet drew them to the desert.

12tn Grk “But what.” Here ἀλλά (alla, a strong contrastive in Greek) produces a somewhat awkward sense in English, and has not been translated. The same situation occurs at the beginning of v. 9.

13sn The reference to fancy clothes makes the point that John was not rich or powerful, in that he did not come from the wealthy classes.

14tn Or “palaces.”

15tn John the Baptist is “more” because he introduces the one (Jesus) who brings the new era. The term is neuter, but may be understood as masculine in this context (BDAG 806 s.v. περισσότερος b).

16tn Grk “before your face” (an idiom).

17sn The quotation is primarily from Mal 3:1 with pronouns from Exod 23:20. Here is the forerunner who points the way to the arrival of God’s salvation. His job is to prepare and guide the people, as the cloud did for Israel in the desert.

18tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amhn), I say to you.”

19sn After John comes a shift of eras. The new era is so great that the lowest member of it (the one who is least in the kingdom of God) is greater than the greatest one of the previous era.

20tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

21tn Or “the kingdom of heaven is forcibly entered and violent people take hold of it.” For a somewhat different interpretation of this passage, see the note on the phrase “urged to enter in” in Luke 16:16.

22tn The word “appeared” is not in the Greek text, but is implied.

23tn The translation “had better listen!” captures the force of the third person imperative more effectively than the traditional “let him hear,” which sounds more like a permissive than an imperative to the modern English reader. This was Jesus’ common expression to listen and heed carefully (cf. Matt 13:9, 43; Mark 4:9, 23; Luke 8:8, 14:35).

24tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

25tn Grk “who call out to one another, saying.” The participle λέγουσιν (legousin) is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.

26snWe played the flute for you, yet you did not dance… The children of this generation were making the complaint (see vv. 18-19) that others were not playing the game according to the way they played the music. John and Jesus did not follow “their tune.” Jesus’ complaint was that this generation wanted things their way, not God’s.

27tn The verb ἐθρηνήσαμεν (eqrhnhsamen) refers to the loud wailing and lamenting used to mourn the dead in public in 1st century Jewish culture.

28sn John the Baptist was too separatist and ascetic for some, and so he was accused of not being directed by God, but by a demon.

29tn Grk “Behold a man.”

30sn See the note on tax collectors in 5:46.

31sn Neither were they happy with Jesus (the Son of Man), even though he was the opposite of John and associated freely with people like tax collectors and sinners. Either way, God’s messengers were subject to complaint.

32tn Or “shown to be right.”

33tc Most witnesses (B2 C D L Θ 1 33 ¤ lat) have “children” (τέκνων, teknwn) here instead of “deeds” (ἔργων, ergwn), but since “children” is the reading of the parallel in Luke 7:35, scribes would be motivated to convert the less colorful “deeds” into more animate offspring of wisdom. Further, ἔργων enjoys support from א B* W (13) as well as early versional and patristic support.

34tn The Greek word here is πόλις (polis) which can be translated “city” or “town.” “Cities” was chosen here to emphasize the size of the places Jesus’ mentions in the following verses.

35sn Chorazin was a town of Galilee that was probably fairly small in contrast to Bethsaida and is otherwise unattested. Bethsaida was declared a polis by the tetrarch Herod Philip, sometime after a.d. 30.

36tn This introduces a second class (contrary to fact) condition in the Greek text.

37tn Or “powerful deeds.”

38map For location see Map1-A2; Map2-G2; Map4-A1; JP3-F3; JP4-F3.

39sn Tyre and Sidon are two other notorious OT cities (Isa 23; Jer 25:22; 47:4). The remark is a severe rebuke, in effect: “Even the sinners of the old era would have responded to the proclamation of the kingdom, unlike you!”

map For location see Map1-A1; JP3-F3; JP4-F3.

40sn Capernaum was a town on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee, 680 ft (204 m) below sea level. It was a major trade and economic center in the North Galilean region.

map For location see Map1-D2; Map2-C3; Map3-B2.

41tn The interrogative particle introducing this question expects a negative reply.

42sn In the OT, Hades was known as Sheol. It is the place where the unrighteous will reside (Luke 10:15; 16:23; Rev 20:13-14).

43sn The allusion to Sodom, the most wicked of OT cities from Gen 19:1-29, shows that to reject the current message is even more serious, and will result in more severe punishment, than the worst sins of the old era. The phrase region of Sodom is in emphatic position in the Greek text.

44tn Grk “At that time, answering, Jesus said.” This construction is somewhat redundant in English and has been simplified in the translation.

45tn Or “thank.”

46sn The title Lord is an important name for God, showing his sovereignty, but it is interesting that it comes next to a reference to the Father, a term indicative of God’s care. The two concepts are often related in the NT; see Eph 1:3-6.

47tn Or “that.”

48sn See 1 Cor 1:26-31.

49tn Grk “for (to do) thus was well-pleasing before you,” BDAG 325 s.v. ἔμπροσθεν 1.b.δ; speaking of something taking place “before” God is a reverential way of avoiding direct connection of the action to him.

50sn This verse has been noted for its conceptual similarity to teaching in John’s Gospel (10:15; 17:2). The authority of the Son and the Father are totally intertwined.

51tn Or “wishes”; or “intends”; or “plans” (cf. BDAG 182 s.v. βούλομαι 2.b). Here it is the Son who has sovereignty.

52sn A yoke is a wooden bar or frame that joins two animals like oxen or horses so that they can pull a wagon, plow, etc. together. Here it is used figuratively of the restrictions that a teacher or rabbi would place on his followers.