The Forceful Man

Jesus was speaking to the people about John the Baptist and the Kingdom of Heaven. He said: “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of Heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it. For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come” (Matthew 11: 12-15).

The Prophets and the Law pointed to this time in history where the Kingdom of Heaven would make its presence felt in the lives of men. “It’s coming, it’s coming,” they would say. Jesus said now it’s here, and it’s forcefully advancing. It’s a picture of an army in battle advancing against an enemy. That’s the picture of Jesus’ ministry as demon after demon and stronghold after stronghold fell under the power of the Living Word. Jesus destroyed the devil’s hold on this earth. He didn’t let anything sway him or cause him to falter. Proverbs says that if you faint in the day of adversity your strength is small. Jesus wasn’t swayed by His trial and He didn’t falter on His way to the cross. Even the grave became just a stepping stone as He continued His advance.

So, what does Jesus mean “forceful men lay hold of it?” Forceful men are men of action. Elijah was a man of action. John the Baptist was a man of action. Those are the kind of men that will lay hold of the kingdom of heaven; they grabbed it with the kind of grip that defied even kings to take it from them. Such men believe the word of God when everything and everyone tells them not to–the kind of men that don’t surrender that belief, but rather fight the good fight of faith.  He doesn’t mean violent men or angry men. He means men of action–action brought about by steadfast belief.

Men of God, the Kingdom of Heaven is forcefully advancing. We need that kingdom to rule in our homes, our neighborhoods, our cities, our nation. We need to lay hold of it, so we can see the Kingdom of Heaven make its presence felt in our lives.


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