12And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. 13For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 14And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come. 15He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.
Jesus’ ministry suffered violence from the days of John the Baptist. Pharisees and scribes vigorously opposed his message. Rejection of John foreshadowed the rejection of Jesus. John died by beheading; that is violent.
For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
John was the turning point of ministry to Israel. John announced that the Messiah and His kingdom had come. This verse links John’s ministry to all of the prophecy of the Old Testament.
And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come.
Malachi predicted that Elijah, announcer of the Messiah, would come before the Tribulation (Mal 4:5, 6):
5Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet
Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
6And he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children,
And the hearts of the children to their fathers,
Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.
Malachi anticipated that Israel would reject the Messiah, so He must come a Second time. John the Baptist was the herald of the First Advent and Elijah was the herald of the Second Advent.
John was not Elijah (Jn 1:21) but he came in the spirit of Elijah. None of the judgments prophesied in Malachi had yet come true. John prepared the nation Israel for the coming of the Messiah. If Israel had embraced Jesus as the Messiah, John’s message would have been fulfilled in Jesus’ day. However, Israel rejected Jesus, so there will be another time during the Tribulation when Israel will be challenged to accept the Messiah again.
He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
The significance of John’s message requires positive volition. Jesus the Messiah has come.
Positive volition towards principles of the Bible is at the core of Christian living.
Positive volition is central to every message of the Bible. Neutrality toward biblical truth is not an option.
For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.1 Th 2:13