Thursday, September 15, 2016

A reader asks: What is the meaning of "The kingdom suffers violence but the violent take it by force"?

Someone sent a wonderful question to our website this morning. The lady wrote: “Carmen, I was in prayer this morning...and Abba reminded me: The kingdom suffers violence but the violent take it by force...I think I have an understanding of this...however I would like to ask my big sister for some help in accurately understanding this.

Our response: You're quoting Matthew 11:12 "From the time of Yochanan the Immerser until now, the Kingdom of Heaven has been suffering violence; yes, violent ones are trying to snatch it away."

What it is saying is found in the context of Matthew 11. Yochanan came to announce the Messiah - which created "violence" in the "Kingdom" because the announcement was not accepted in the "Kingdom" (of the established teachings of the rabbis). So the "violent ones" are the ones denying Yochanan and the Messiah. See verses 18 and 19. In verse 18 Yeshua says "For Yochanan came, fasting, not drinking, so they say, 'He has a demon.'" (This is again the rabbis and the people following the rabbis - taking away others who would believe.)

In verse 19: "The Son of Man came, eating freely and drinking wine so they say, 'Aha! A glutton and a drunkard! A friend of tax-collectors and sinners!' " (So in this case, the rabbis are the "violent ones", snatching away who Yeshua is by denying He can be the Messiah and teaching others that He is a glutton and drunkard, friend of sinners - not possible to be the Messiah.)

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