Ask Your Preacher
Please explain what the Bible means, in layman’s terms, in Matthew 11: 12. Thank you; this scripture is very vague to me and confusing as to what its meaning could be. Sincerely,
Dear Inquiring Mind,
Matt 11:12 is a statement by Jesus addressing what people were trying to do to the kingdom. The kingdom is the church (Col 1:13). We need a little bit of context in order to understand this verse. For four hundred years, the Jews had been anxiously awaiting any prophecy from God. Before John the Baptist, the Jews hadn’t had any prophecy or word from God since the book of Malachi was written. These four hundred years are often called the “Years of Silence”. The last thing that they had been told was to wait for Elijah to come, and after that the kingdom of the Messiah would appear (Mal 4:5).
When John the Baptist arrived, he was the ‘Elijah’ that they were suppose to wait for (Matt 11:13-14). The Jews began to stir with great excitement because they knew the kingdom was near. They thought that the kingdom of heaven would be a military power to save them from Rome – but they were wrong (Jhn 18:36). Because of their misunderstanding, they kept trying to force the kingdom into being. They wanted to be a powerful nation again and throw off the oppression of the Roman government. So they did whatever they could to violently force the kingdom into being. For example, the Jews tried to force Jesus to be a king (Jhn 6:15). This is the violence that Jesus is referring to in Matt 11:12. The Jews didn’t recognize that the kingdom was His church, and because of this misunderstanding, they were attempting to forcibly speed up the formation of the Messiah’s kingdom. That is the violence Jesus referred to in Matt 11:12. SB