The Violent take it by force

  • Matthew 11:1-19 Have you ever been misunderstood? Trying to do something, or explain something, and people misconstrue what you say and say you aren’t who you are and try to turn people against you?
  • I’ve had it happen. Here at this church- I’m not mad about it- just saying it happens
  • Probably happened to you in a relationship, or at work, or some other time
  • Its frustrating for us- not sure if it frustrated Jesus- but this story kind of deals with it
  • Lets see what we can get out of this passage- 
  1. Waiting doesn’t change who Jesus is
  • Now you may not know or remember- but John was the forerunner of Christ
  • Malachi 3:1 “Behold, I send My messenger, And he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, Will suddenly come to His temple, Even the Messenger of the covenant,
  • In whom you delight. Behold, He is coming, ”Says the Lord of hosts.
  • And John is this messenger. He’s the one fortold to ‘prepare the way” and he goes to prison
  • John the Baptist The Bible indicates in Matthew 14 that John the Baptist was placed in prison by Herod Antipas as a result of John condemning Herod for having divorced his wife and then having married Herodias, the divorced wife of Herod Antipas’ half-brother Philip.
  • So John is in prison- the guy who said “Prepare the way of the Lord” and called people to repent
  • And two of his disciples come to him and he says to go to Jesus “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?”
  • Think about it- John is in prison for being someone who is calling people out on their sins to return to God- he knows that God is/has sent a deliverer and you’re in prison. Not delivered. 
  • Here’s the truth- when you have hope in something that you don’t see happening- it can easily turn into despair. It can wreck your heart and you think things and create narratives
  • Jeremiah complained that God had deceived him- Jeremiah 20:7 O Lord, You induced me, and I was persuaded; You are stronger than I, and have prevailed. I am in derision daily; Everyone mocks me.
  • Its human to do this! John is in prison and wondering- are you the guy, or should we look else?
  • He felt deserted in prison. 
  • He had to know- Zechariah 9:9 “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey A colt, the foal of a donkey
  • ,- he knows this but he is in prison (Not a prison like today)- these prisons are dank, dark, stench filled underground torture chambers- “a fate worse than death” to discourage crime. 
  • Can you imagine living under that condition- John probably was contemplating denying Christ
  • Henry- The remaining unbelief of good men may sometimes, in an hour of temptation; call in question the most important truths
  • What do you do when the Jesus you expected isn’t the Jesus you see? You’re in prison! 
  • If we were honest, many of us identify with this prison experience of John
  • Feeling like we’re locked up- sitting in some sort of prison and questioning our faith
  • “This Jesus- is he the one- or should we be looking for some other deliverer” 
  • Because when you are WAITING you think and feel like God is never going to SHOW UP
  • I get it- Paul probably felt that way when he was beaten and whipped in prison
  • But you don’t get to give up- you are not going to give up- you are not quitting. 
  • Philippians 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
  • I don’t care what kind of prison you’re in- don’t look at your circumstance- look at God!
  • Its normal to feel that way- I am just admonishing you TODAY- DON’T GIVE UP DON”T
  • Gala 6:9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
  • I know MANY people who didn’t reap the harvest because they gave up- Show up is 90% of it. 
  • Isaiah 40:30-31 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall,
  • 31 But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.
  1. Remind yourself of What God has done
  • So John is in prison- he’s questioning his faith- and he sends 2 of his disciples to Jesus- Jesus retorts back as such- 
  • Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: 5 The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. 6 And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.
  • Basically- what I have been saying and doing should be proof enough that I am who I said I am
  • At this point- Jesus had already- 1 Jesus Turns Water into Wine, Heals an Official’s Son, Drives Out an Evil Spirit From a Man in Capernaum Heals Peter’s Mother-in-Law Sick With Fever Jesus Heals Many Sick and Oppressed at Evening  First Miraculous Catch of Fish on the Lake of Gennesaret Jesus Cleanses a Man With Leprosy  Jesus Heals a Centurion’s Paralyzed Servant in Capernaum Jesus Heals a Paralytic Who Was Let Down From the Roof  Jesus Heals a Man’s Withered Hand on the Sabbath Jesus Raises a Widow’s Son From the Dead in Nain, Calms a Storm on the Sea Casts Demons into a Herd of Pigs Heals a Woman in the Crowd With an Issue of Blood Jesus Raises Jairus’ Daughter Back to Life, Heals Two Blind Men,Jesus Heals a Man Who Was Unable to Speak
  • And Jesus tells these guys- Go and tell him that. Tell him how many miracles- how many people heard the Gospel- how many people delivered, healed, fix. Tell him- 
  • Here’s what Jesus knew- His resume spoke for it self. It didn’t need commentary or defense
  • Wonder what John was like when those dudes came back- was he like “wow- ok didn’t know” 
  • And I think that would be an expected response- He’s been in prison- he was called- he was preaching etc. and then he’s in a dark dank hole in the ground- understandable 
  • But indulge me for a minute here- I’m sure john had some sort emotion about it- These are some serious miracles- some serious life changing stuff- not just “he said some cool stuff” 
  • This is what was promised in Isaiah 35:4-6 Say to those who are fearful-hearted, “Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, With the recompense of God; He will come and save you.” 5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. 6 Then the lame shall leap like a deer, And the tongue of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, And streams in the desert.
  • Isaiah 35 (which speaks of the blind, the deaf, the lame, and the mute). Isaiah 26:19 says, “Your dead shall live”; Isaiah 29:18 also refers to the healing of the deaf and the blind; while Isaiah 61:1 speaks of bringing good news to the poor
  • John was reminded- he got back on track- stopped second guessing. 
  • What does it mean to you
  • Do you need to be reminded- and do you need to remind yourself of what God has done?
  • I get it- you’ve been in a rough patch- you’ve been living in the prison of your own mind- you’ve been thinking “Is Jesus who – e really is” and I want you to remind yourself right now what He’s done- and you should remind yourself of what he has done for YOU- remedy to despair
  • Say this– Luke 1:49 For He who is mighty has done great things for me, And holy is His name.
  • Did he save you? Redeem you? Bless you? Some of you have a spouse you aren’t thankful for anymore, and some are waiting for their spouse. Your kids are well, you have a job- a car that runs, friends, but you’re thinking too much about what he HASN’T done instead of what he HAS 
  • Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,
  • Don’t worry about what he hasn’t done- remind yourself of what he HAS done- 
  • God is FAITHFUL- He is POWERFUL He is MIGHTY. HE is a HEALER and a PROVIDER and LOVER
  • Back in college- many Friday nights in my dorm room worshipping because I didn’t want to do what everyone else was doing- Going to find a piano to worship. God was my best friend. 
  • Here’s what you do when you are losing heart- 
  • Praise him- Psalm 99:3 Let them praise Your great and awesome name—He is holy.
  • Come to worship and then play worship- worship until you’re reminded
  • Read the word and be CONVINCED Romans 4:21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.
  • You got to read about deliverance to remember deliverance- 
  • WHY JESUS CAME- To do the will of the father, TO save sinners, to bring light to a dark world, to bear witness to the truth, to destroy the Devil and his works, TO give eternal life, to receive worship, to bring joy, demonstrate humility, to preach the Gospel, to bring judgment, To give his life as a ransom, to fulfill the law and prophets, to reveal God’s love for sinners, to call sinners to repentance, to die, to seek and save the lost, to serve, to bring peace, to bind up broken hearts, to give us the spirit of adoption, to make us partakers of the divine nature, to reign as king, to restore human nature to holiness, to be a merciful and faithful high priest, to be the second and greater Adam, to satisfy our deepest thirst, 
  • Then you can live out Psalm 126:2-3 Then our mouth was filled with laughter, And our tongue with singing. Then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” 3 The Lord has done great things for us, And we are glad.
  • 1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
  • Let me prophesy to you today- the best of God hasn’t even happened in your life yet

“The violent take it by force”

  • This growing the kingdom isn’t easy and it wont be easy- its hard to grow the kingdom
  • Jesus didn’t speak down about John- v 12 but said that we have to take it by force. V13 all the prophets have been speaking about this time- its time. 
  • Read v 11-15
  • Ellicot- The Greek noun is without the article, “men who are violent or use force.” The meaning is determined by the preceding clause. The “violent” are men of eager, impetuous zeal, who grasp the kingdom of heaven—i.e., its peace, and pardon, and blessedness—with as much eagerness as men would snatch and carry off as their own the spoil of a conquered city. Their new life is, in the prophet’s language, “given them as a prey”
  • This description of the kingdom is not that we should be violent or that it will take violence its that it is going to be a strong powerful action that those who want it will take
  • Elicot uses the example of riotous people and how they act- they are overcome
  • Do you remember last summer? Those rioters were about it- they did what they did
  • Christians- we can barely get the saved to show up to sit through a service
  • Benson- The spirits of men are so excited and animated by a desire after this kingdom, that it is, as it were, attacked like a besieged city, men of all sorts pressing to get into it, with a violence like that of men who are taking a place by storm.
  • THIS is what Jesus is saying in this- if you want to see the kingdom of God- its going take a VIOLENT act- something more than just sitting around and talking about it. 
  • Luke 16:16 “The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it.
  • What does it mean to you
  • At what level of violence are you willing to take hold of the kingdom of God? How drastic?
  • People who give up something right away, stop doing something right away, take it seriously
  • I have to constantly remind you of this- you, I, we are secure in our salvation- somehow people think when I talk about sin that I’m not saying your one sin away from destruction
  • I sin- on average probably every day. They aren’t action sins typically tho- they are thought sins- and here’s what I know- thoughts turn into actions turn into lifestyles
  • If I don’t control my thoughts- it can easily lead to action that leads to losing everything. 
  • I believe this scripture- Luke 13:24 “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.
  • Man! I want to live in the narrow gate! I believe that wide is the path that leads to destruction!
  • And its not because I think I’m going to lose my salvation- its because I so deeply love Jesus that I want to please him with my whole life- I don’t want anything that I do to come between us
  • Its like this- I have been married for 23 years. I still over communicate with my wife. I don’t take her for granted- I still invest in our relationship- She aint trying to leave me- we’re married for ever but I still WORK at it. Same with my kids- or any relationship- I’m not one day from divorce
  • John 6:27 Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”
  • I’ve said this before- I’m not good at much else- but I want to be a good Christian
  • Philippians 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;
  • “Like Children sitting in the marketplaces” v 16-19
  • Quickly- don’t really have the time- but this is simple explanation
  • Kids are fickle- Jesus says that people are fickle like children- they mock what Jesus does and holds one person to standard than the other
  • John- was a nazarite- he has a demon
  • Jesus- Ate and drank- “a glutton and wine bibber” 
  • We played the flute for you and you did not dance- why didn’t you do what we thought you should be doing when we did what we thought would make you do it. 
  • Basically- why weren’t you the type of messiah we expected and demanded you to be?
  • John wasn’t good enough for you either! He called you to repentance and you said he had a demon- and he was a restrained man who ate only honey and locusts!
  • John 10:20 And many of them said, “He has a demon and is [a]mad. Why do you listen to Him?”
  • Luke 1:15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.
  • Now- I eat and drink like you guys do and you call me a glutton and winebibber
  • There’s no pleasing you! You Children! 
  • Henry- Christ, who was undefiled, and separate from sinners, is here represented as in league with them, and polluted by them. The most unspotted innocence will not always be a defence against reproach.
  • Luke 15:25 “Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing.
  • Isaiah 28:9-13 prophecy about Jesus coming an people rejecting his message
  • Acts 26:24 Now as he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!”
  • Psalm 92:5-6 ESV How great are your works, O Lord! Your thoughts are very deep! The stupid man cannot know; the fool cannot understand this:

Pastor Matt Krachunis preaches on The Violent take it by force. Please share online for others to see.

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