From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence, and violent people have been raiding it. Mt 11:12 (NIV)
The kingdom of heaven, is a place of peace, love, and joy. But Matthew unveils a secret; it can be a place of violence. Jesus shared that the kingdom, from the time of John the Baptist has been subjected to people who raided it. The Message Bible translates this verse as, “ trying to force themselves into God’s kingdom”. Maybe the violence is the result of people trying to get into this spiritual place with natural works. Or, maybe it is a struggle that ensues even today between those who accept the sacrifice of Christ and salvation by grace versus those who sincerely believe something more must be done to appease God in order to be granted salvation. But regardless of the cause(s), we bring the violence into the kingdom because of our lack of perception. Jesus is the Prince of Peace.
The kingdom of heaven is at hand (Mt 4:17). Hatred, unforgiveness, selfishness cause the kingdom to suffer. There is no need for any more violence. When our spirit is awakened, we discern that we have no need to fight over the kingdom; the kingdom is within us. We embrace that the only need is to believe in the one who brought it to us. We can all receive the kingdom of heaven. “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom Lu 12:32.