"Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist! Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
pictured: Demon Hunter
12"(L)From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.
13"For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John.
I have been pondering this phrase and I am still not sure what to make of it.
Here is the cross reference from Luke 16;16The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since that time the gospel of the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.
I just read over in Luke chapter 3 because the verse above says that the Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. So what was John preaching: I believe the gospel of the kingdom of God. [ And for the very first time, since I picked up the Bible as a believer, I can see where the Fire and Brimstone preachers get there heat. Again I digress] In this account in the gospel of Luke, John is telling the people to repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins, but for those who are portrayed as truly repentant that is not enough for them. Luke just gives a small sampling of people saying what should I do and in conjunction with who is doing the asking John get specific but each answer can be summed up in "Love your neighbor."
The other thing that is evident laid right along side with repentance and love is justice. In the kingdom realm, there will be absolute love and absolute justice and that conversation is for another time. Although, I am sure that you can find blogs and websites out there that deal solely with those 2 issues. (for example: Fire and Ice)
"Violent men take it by force" and "everyone is forcing his way into it," the visual that I get on this is a FBI SWAT team or an army coming in on the ground fully armed and taking a village by storm. I don't think that is what we have here. It may be a safety in numbers kind of thing, going outside of the Jewish religious norm to hear this wild guy in the wilderness preach as opposed to the synagogue or temple to hear those dressed in fine clothes and are properly educated. Or perhaps it is more like, no one can stop me, there is something this guy John has to offer and nothing and no one will get in my way.
Did you ever think on these couple of verses?
Has the Word of God hit you between the eyes looking for your attention?
Do you know that this book is not just words on pages but living and active?
Today, in a sea of American Churches people are looking for the real thing, the kingdom of God, not rules, not programs, not an outstanding leadership staff. I believe in seekers, those who have already made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ, they are the seekers, looking for Jesus in the presence of those who call themselves His People. We know that the kingdom of God is here, it is not some far off distant place where we go when we die. It is here.