"From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force." (Matthew 11:12)- It could mean that the gospel had been forcefully advancing in spite of opposition.
- Or, it could mean that the gospel was being violently opposed.
Either way John was like Elijah in that he called people’s attention to their sins, and called people back to God, to make a decision to follow God rather than the gods of this world.
John was not a reincarnation of Elijah.
The Bible never teaches that reincarnation is any kind of a possibility at all. What Jesus referred to here was John’s function. In Luke 1:16-17 an angel told John’s father that John would go before the Messiah in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the disobedient and to make the people ready for the Lord.
If people accepted that, then they also needed to accept that Jesus was Messiah
"He who has ears to hear, let him hear." (Matthew 11:15But, Jesus went on to tell the people, you people don’t listen, you don’t accept, you’re never happy with what you hear.
People did not want to hear God’s message, they wanted to call the tune and have God sing the song they wanted to hear.
They had complained that John was too austere, so they called him a demon.
On the other hand, they complained that Jesus was too familiar, so they called him a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of sinners.
"Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds."(Matthew 11:19Wisdom is proved right by actions. You will be able to assess God’s wisdom by what He does. Jesus’ miracles authenticated who He claimed to be.
Jesus gives answers to doubters who come to Him* Where do you turn with your questions?
The best place to go for answers is scripture, God’s word. You will find the answers about Who He is, and what He promises to do for you and for me.
God may provide answers through other means
- Maybe in a Bible study group,
- Or your pastor’s sermon,
- Or an event in your life,
- Or a talk with a friend.
But the best place to go for clarification and finding out the truth is in God’s word itself, praying that God will help you understand.
Scripture isn’t necessarily going to give you specific instructions about where to go tomorrow, what job to take, how to work out a particular situation – but scripture will provide insight into God’s character, His ways, and what He has provided for you.
Through that you will have the beginning of your answers.
Jesus is also kind, His answers will be more than you asked or imagined, Jesus will encourage you whether through a friend, or answer to prayer, or something you hear on the radio, or read.....look for the encouragement that God provides
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