Jesus asks questions about John (Mt 11:7-11:8)

“As the disciples of John

Went away,

Jesus began to speak

To the crowds

About John.

‘What did you go out

Into the wilderness

To look at?

Was he a reed

Shaken by the wind?’

Why then did you go out

To see him?

Was he a man

Dressed in fine clothes?

Look!

Those who wear fine clothes

Are in royal palaces.’”

 

Τούτων δὲ πορευομένων ἤρξατο ὁ Ἰησοῦς λέγειν τοῖς ὄχλοις περὶ Ἰωάνου Τί ἐξήλθατε εἰς τὴν ἔρημον θεάσασθαι; κάλαμον ὑπὸ ἀνέμου σαλευόμενον;

ἀλλὰ τί ἐξήλθατε ἰδεῖν; ἄνθρωπον ἐν μαλακοῖς ἠμφιεσμένον; ἰδοὺ οἱ τὰ μαλακὰ φοροῦντες ἐν τοῖς οἴκοις τῶν βασιλέων.

 

These question sayings are word for word like Luke, chapter 7:24-25, indicating a possible Q source.  As these disciples of John were leaving on their journey (Τούτων δὲ πορευομένων), Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John (ἤρξατο ὁ Ἰησοῦς λέγειν τοῖς ὄχλοις περὶ Ἰωάνου).  He asked them some questions.  Why did they go out into the wilderness to see John (Τί ἐξήλθατε εἰς τὴν ἔρημον θεάσασθαι)?  Was he a reed shaking in the wind (κάλαμον ὑπὸ ἀνέμου σαλευόμενον)?  Why did they go out to see him (ἀλλὰ τί ἐξήλθατε ἰδεῖν)?  Was he a man dressed in fine clothes or soft robes (ἄνθρωπον ἐν μαλακοῖς ἠμφιεσμένον)?  Or course not, since fine clothes or soft robes can only be found in royal palaces (ἰδοὺ οἱ τὰ μαλακὰ φοροῦντες ἐν τοῖς οἴκοις τῶν βασιλέων).