“And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.”
Today’s text has to be one of the most widely misunderstood texts in the bible.
A large number of people use it to pray what many consider ‘warfare prayers’. But that is not at all consistent with the context of this verse.
Starting with a common-sense approach, you should already know that spiritual wickedness and opposition to the things of God did not begin from the days of John the Baptist.
So that can’t possibly be what the verse was referring to.
To get the context, we must study the pretext, the post-texts and corroborative texts.
Looking at the pretexts, we see that Jesus was talking about the validity of John’s ministry.
He insinuated that John was the greatest prophet that ever lived because unlike the others, he had seen the Messiah and pointed at him. Ever since then, multitudes of people began to believe in Jesus.
Luke’s account puts it this way:
“The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it”
The Kingdom of God suffering violence is just a way of saying that many people are thronging into it. It is still true of our day.
The gospel is prevailing even in the midst of opposition. This was the testimony in Thessalonica.
Apostle Paul clearly stated in 2 Thessalonians 3:1 that the word of God was glorified and honoured amongst the people of Thessalonica. He then urged them to pray that the same testimony is replicated in other places.
“Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:”
2 Thessalonians 3:1
Plenteous harvest has always been the case, but many seem to be oblivious to this fact. The harvest is ripe, it is the labourers that seem few.
Our responsibility is for us to step up and take our place as labourers. There are millions of people who need to hear the gospel. A few words from you, and they will be hooked with the truth.
Don’t let fear keep you from telling people about Jesus.
I can tell you from experience that many of the people you might be shy to share the gospel with, are actually seeking for the information you have and will jump at it with just a little nudge from you.
Get up and get to work! Let the kingdom suffer violence in your day!