Copyright (c) 2017, E. Thone Hall
Matthew 11:7-15 KJV
“And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”
John was the last Old Testament Prophet! We see that this is true, because of two statements Jesus makes:
1. No mortal today is greater than him i.e. He was the greatest prophet.
2. But the weakest in Heaven is greater than he.
This gives a clear indication that everything has changed and soon we don’t need Prophets any more. Direct contact with the Holy Spirit in our mortal life, just as direct contact with the Lord in our immortal life are superior to communications via Prophets.
For completeness sake, here is the Prophesy of the coming of John:
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”
Malachi 4:5-6 KJV
The remaining mystery is the violence in heaven mentioned in verse 12. This is shortly followed by the standard “ears” reference which indicates that it is a parable. Do the “…days of John the Baptist…” refer to the entire era of the Prophets? I think so. Otherwise, why would Jesus focus on the short time period of John’s life? If this is the case, the parable is saying something like: During the time before the Prophets, many talked directly to God. Then, during the time of the Prophets, God spoke only to the people through The Prophets, and that lead to violence in the kingdom of heaven (the material universe). Now things are changing again, and an era is here when God is once again personal.
What a wonderful time to be serving the Lord! And even more exciting, the Day of the Lord draws near.