Fr. Sanctus Mario
Inspiration and Bible Reflections

 The Kingdom of Heaven Suffers Violence.Thursday 2nd Week of Advent

 Breakfast with the Word Thursday Second Week of Advent 


 Matthew 11:11-15 


In the gospel, Jesus says to the crowd ” I tell you solemnly, of all the children born of women, No one has been born that is greater than John the Baptist yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he is. From the days of John the Baptist to this present moment, the kingdom of heaven suffers violence and only the violent men can take it by force.



Jesus’ statement that the kingdom of God suffers violence is found in the context of His commendation of John the Baptist in today’s gospel “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force” (Matthew 11:12). 



This statement has been literally misunderstood. 


First of all, this is a puzzling verse. How can God’s kingdom suffer violence? And what do violent people have to do with it? To proceed, first, let us have in mind that this statement has nothing to do with violence literally. So, let us have a little exegesis. 


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 Exegetical Interpretation .



(1)The kingdom of heaven suffers violence ( greek: biazetai) —The Greek verb means “forces its way violently,”  


The words describe the eager rush of the crowd as if a city was attacked on all sides by those who were eager to take possession of it. This indicates how the crowd of Galilee and Judea rush to the preaching of the Baptist, and then to that of Jesus. 



 It describes how people yearn earnestly to listen to the word.

(2)The violent( greek: biastai) take it by force. The Greek means someone determined, showing eagerness. 



Then the Kingdom of God is a kingdom of peace, mercy, blessing, forgiveness, love etc.

Therefore, the “violent” are men of eager, impetuous zeal, who are eager to grasp the kingdom of heaven—i.e., its peace, mercy and blessedness, with much eagerness.



Remember Jesus is speaking to the crowds about John the Baptist’s ministry before the aforementioned statement. 



Jesus honours John as the greatest prophet (Matthew 11:11). He signifies in His statement (verses 13–14) that John was the capstone of the Old Testament revelation and the one who fulfilled the prophecy of Malachi 4:5. 



Jesus then says “whoever has ears, let them hear” (verse 15). Which suggests that He has been speaking figuratively.



One thing that had characterized John the Baptist’s ministry was the crowd who came to hear him:  


The whole country of Judea and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him, confessing their sins. They were baptized by him in the Jordan River” (Mark 1:4–5). This crowd though diverse was loyal.



Those who responded to John’s message of the coming Messiah included people who some thought would never repent, including tax collectors and prostitutes and Roman soldiers (Matthew 21:31–32; Luke 3:14). This crowd believed John to be a true prophet of God, and they were adamant about it (Matthew 14:5; Mark 11:32).



Then, the pressing multitudes that had followed John continued to follow Jesus’ ministry (Luke 5:15; 12:1). 

This is the key to understanding Jesus’ statement about the kingdom that suffers from violence. 


Pointing to the huge crowds that followed John and that were now following Him, Jesus likens them to an invading army surrounding a city to capture it. 



 The Understanding 



Therefore, “From the days of John the Baptist until now,” there has been an extraordinary rush of people pressing in from all sides, eager for a blessing. 



The “kingdom of heaven suffers violence,” figuratively speaking, is not ordinarily the use of violence as many thought.



 The bible does not tell us to use violence or fight when we want to claim materially whatever we want. 

Figuratively, it is a reference to the eagerness seen in people who are thronging to be part of the kingdom that Jesus brings. 



These people that throng to hear the gospel resemble an army trying to besiege a city. And the “violent takes it by force”; the people entering the kingdom were not violent literally, but their eagerness to see the coming of the Messiah was so overwhelming that it was as if they were attacking a city and only those who earnestly desire the Kingdom will have it at last.



This denotes that the people were hungry for the messiah. We see some of this fervour in Luke 5:18–19 when some men tore through a roof to get to Jesus. Also, in John 6:15, when a crowd “intended to come and make him king by force.”



 The Implication.



 This is a call to be zealous to come closer to Jesus and know Him more and more. We should share the passion of people in the time of Jesus who throng around Him just to listen to Him. 



Therefore, the kingdom of heaven and the blessings are for those who are eager to have them.



It is the eagerness to seek Jesus who is the Kingdom par excellence. To truly encounter Him, we should be hungry and thirst for Him and His righteousness. Those who do this will surely find Him ( Matthew 7:7) and they are blessed ( Matthew 5:6).



So, this is a call to show earnestness in whatever we need from God. Every Christian should strive to be closer to God. 



There is no place for apathy or ambivalence in the follower of Jesus Christ. It is also this intense desire to seek the principles of the Kingdom; peace, love, forgiveness, mercy etc.



It is not only about going to church or being a member of one organisation. Therefore, It goes beyond fulfilling some spiritual responsibilities.



 It is this intense desire to know Who you worship and go close to Him more. In essence, to listen fervently to Him and live according to what we hear. 


In us should be the desire to live for Him and with Him forever.

So, If we truly need God we have to be hungry and thirst for Him. This is the blessing, this is the way to eternal life ( Matthew 5:6).


In essence, If we seek Him with all of our hearts, we shall surely find Him. His kingdom is a kingdom of peace and blessedness. 




May God give us the grace to remain close to Him and seek Him with all our hearts, that we may find Him in times of trouble. Amen


  1. Ekwem Emmanuela Chiamaka says


  2. Emilia Arinze says

    My God and my Lord I’m eager to follow You and do Your will. Help my poor soul . let the challenges of the world not stop me for looking for You. I pray in Jesus name Amen


    Amen 🙏 Jesus help me to be closer to you at A
    all times.

  4. Okereke Festus says

    Zeal to do your will burns in my heart

  5. Eze, Blessing Chinasa says


  6. Margaretmary Azegbeobor says

    Lord I receive the grace to remain close to you no matter the circumstances or challenges that I face. Amen.

  7. Nonye Maduka says


  8. Lois Blessing Paul says


  9. Mbama Christiana says

    Thank you Padre. I pray for the grace of God in all that I do. Amen

  10. Mrs Nora Nkoli Anabiri says

    Amen and Amen and Amen and Amen and Amen and Amen and Amen

  11. Eririogu Fidelia says

    Amen Thanks father

  12. Ugwu Grace Ngozi says

    Amen, God bless you Fr

  13. Blessing Iortsugh says

    Amen and Amen

  14. Onyiam Ogechi says

    Father Lord I pray, may I be eager and zealous to do Your will enter the kingdom of God at last Amen.

    And may I enjoy the blessings of the kingdom hear on Earth in Jesus mighty name I pray Amen.

  15. Agbai ujunwa felicity says

    Thank you Jesus. Today God is talking to us to come closer to him, to force way through obstacles and come to him, nothing should be used as an excuse. We pray that the things of this world will not be our hindrance from seeing God in heaven through Christ our Lord…. Amen.

  16. Chinedu says

    Thanks Fr. for helping solve this puzzling text. Never understood it just accepted as previously taught that one has to use “violent prayers, don’t allow the witch go free” kind of preachings, etc. May His grace be enough for us.

  17. Adichie Lilian Chizoba says




  19. Ogwa Oluchi Rose says

    Amen … May God give us the grace to be eager for Him at all times… Amen🙏🙏🙏🙏

  20. Blessing Chilo says

    May we always hunger and thirst for your righteousness oh Lord through christ our Lord Amen

  21. Chisom Egwudike says


  22. Stella Ekwemalor says

    Amen. Oh Lord I need your help.
    Thank you Jesus, thank you Lord
    Good morning father and remain blessed

  23. Nwaka Chiamaka Favor says

    Amen Amen Amen
    I pray for God’s spirit upon me to be eager to serve him in truth and in faith and also for Grace to persevere in doing what is right in Jesus name.. Amen

  24. Golu Chetachukwu Angela says

    Amen. I pray you, Oh Lord, to illumine our hearts’ with the burning zeal of your love. May we come to love you even more than before, Amen 🙏
    Thank you Jesus, for this word.

  25. Gabriel-Martin says

    Amen Fr.

  26. Prisca says

    The kingdom of God is in our hearts, no mattevr what we do and we don’t do it for the sake of our love for God, it’s in vain.

    For a while I have been praying and doing things differently which Amy have withheld my prayers from been answered, I have always had this yearning to serve and work for our God, but most times, temptations hold me back from actualizing it..
    Please Father I need your help

  27. Chioma Frances Egwuogu says


  28. Peter Anthony Dodoh says


  29. Helen says

    Amen and Amen! Thank you Padre 🙏🙏🙏🙏

  30. Dr Chinwe Agwoile says

    Amen ooo! Lord, make me a zealous Christian; may You grant me the earnestness and steadfastness I need so as to get nearer and closer to You. May You enable me to see You in others so I can share their passion without excuses! So help me God! God bless you real goood, Padre mia! Wishing that Pur Lady of good success will grant you good success, IJMN!

  31. Joy says


  32. Ezeagu Anuli says

    Amen ,may God give us the grace to always remain close to him

  33. Ogechi Anugwom says

    🙏 Amen 🙏
    Lord please help us to pray always

  34. ANGELA MADU says

    Amen and Amen

  35. Dorothy Mary Iyinbor says

    Amen thanks Padre

  36. Kaycee Omeke says

    Thank you Fr.

  37. Mailoushi James says


  38. Chinyere Ezemelue says


  39. Mrs Anaele Mary Chinelo says


    May the wisdom of God continue to remain evergreen in you
    As you touch lives through the Gospel

  40. Paxk says


  41. Charlesmary Okonkwo says

    Thanks to Jesus who has given us through this breakfast the hidden treasure in Heaven!!! I have Ear help my Unbelief!!! AMEN AMEN AND AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!

  42. Lazarus Okoroafor Andrew says


  43. Bibiana Uche Unachukwu and family says

    Amen. God help me to make good use of ur grace in my life.

  44. Mercy E Johnny says

    Amen, Lord give me the grace to seek you beyond measure with eagerness n violence for ur glory. Amen

  45. Okeke Chioma Agatha says

    Amen, Lord every day of my life may I draw closer to you

  46. Njideka Aniagolu says

    May God give us the grace and the zeal to keep up with the heavenly fight even when we are weak in the flesh, through Christ our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen🙌🙌

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