Whether you’re a believer or not, you’ve probably encountered this phrase: “The Kingdom of God suffers violence”. But what does the Kingdom of God suffers violence mean, and is there any logical explanation?
Stay with us as we look at the biblical meaning behind this phrase and see the explanations in a symbolic sense. In addition, you will learn the Bible verses that refer to suffering and the meaning of the “Kingdom of Heaven”.
The Kingdom of God Suffers Violence
It comes from Matthew 11:12‘s famous phrase: “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force.”
At first glance, this verse is straightforward and can be easily explained. However, there is a deeper meaning and symbolism behind this phrase. Namely, this verse has been translated differently by different critics.
Furthermore, the most direct meaning of this phrase is that Jesus started His public ministry, known as the Kingdom of Heaven, which began on Earth in the form of Jesus and all his followers.
However, great opposition arose from men like Herod (who imprisoned John the Baptist) and Jewish religious leaders. These men turned against heaven’s kingdom.
According to another possible meaning, this phrase refers to the critics of Jesus who wanted to twist the truth about the Kingdom of Heaven. At that time, John asked Jesus if he was the Messiah.
In this context, it is thought that the opponents of Jesus and his preaching saw the fight against the Romans as the only way to the Kingdom of Heaven. However, Jesus’ mission was not like that and did not involve a physical struggle to achieve immortality.
Biblical Verses About the Kingdom of God Suffers Violence
When we talk about violence in the Bible, we mean two types of violence, spiritual and physical. Also, there are several parts of the Holy Scriptures that refer to the fight against the evil forces that want to tempt us and turn us away from His way. In addition, some verses refer to your inner struggle with the help of God’s prayer.
For this purpose, we will present the most impressive verses with significant meaning.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
This verse affirms the struggle of Christians. Therefore, Paul explains that struggle is spiritual and not physical. Paul also emphasizes that your enemies are not flesh and blood but something more sinister.
Furthermore, Paul identifies cosmic forces as evil spiritual forces. You should always be ready to wear the Lord’s armor and fight against all evil forces that can harm you.
“Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”
Although many critics believe that religion is the cause of all wars in the world, this is still not true. Historically, only a few wars have been fueled by religious differences.
This verse explains the nature of Jesus’ existence and his thoughts. Therefore, Jesus’ purpose was not to establish any kind of empire, government, or kingdom.
Moreover, nowhere in Scripture is there any mention of physical combat for Christians or a call to take up arms. Instead, Jesus’ role was to establish a spiritual kingdom rooted in believers’ hearts.
“I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed.”
This passage refers to the resurrection and understanding of the afterlife. Namely, many people in Corinth were skeptical about life after death and believed that life then ends. Perhaps this belief is related to the idea that human bodies are not fit to be found in the heavens.
According to Paul the Apostle, this idea is not entirely wrong because no one is perfect while living on Earth. Therefore, since they decay and rot, your body has no place in the Kingdom of Heaven.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
This is just one of many verses that refer to the Beatitudes. Jesus says the beatitudes by referring to those blessed with some attitude or behavior. In other words, the poor in spirit cannot care for themselves with their goodness, strength, or righteousness.
Accordingly, such people have a place in the Kingdom of Heaven because the Kingdom will be inhabited by the humble, not by those with arrogance and malice.
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you.”
This verse describes humility as the only way to be accepted into the Kingdom of Heaven. Although you all long to be glorified, you should still be humble, and God will reward you at the right moment.
As Scripture teaches, humility is not a weak trait or self-loathing. Instead, it is an appreciation of who you are and your relationship with God.
If you follow His ways, He will elevate you to the earthly world, the Heavenly world, or both. After all, that’s what Jesus did when he came to earth. He became the servant of all, and then the Father raised him to the highest position in the universe.
What Sort of Violence Does the Kingdom of God Suffer From?
In the book of Matthew, Jesus warns his disciples that scourging, violence, and death will follow. Such events will become more frequent as God’s Kingdom advances.
Therefore, many aggressive people will try to stop the representatives of the Kingdom by torturing and killing, but it will continue to spread.
Also, if the Gospel is shared in the wrong places, you can face fierce resistance and even persecution. If you face persecution, Matthew advises you to leave the place. Thus, you will save the strongest messengers from being stolen and tortured.
The Kingdom of God Suffers Violence: Further Explanation
According to certain beliefs, the violence of the Kingdom of God should not be taken literally but figuratively. Many people who followed John and his teachings remained devoted to Jesus.
Ever since the time of John, there have been descriptions of a massive crowd of people hoping to receive a blessing. In that sense of the word, the Kingdom of Heaven “suffers violence” because many people gathered to hear the blessing looked like an army trying to blockade a certain city.
On the other hand, “they violently take it by force” is not meant in the literal sense of the word but refers to the excitement of hearing the Word.
Therefore, since God’s prophets foretold the coming of the Messiah, nothing could stop the crowd after He arrived.
What kind of sin is violence?
Crimes of violence have an organized hierarchy. According to such a hierarchy, the sins of violence against others are considered less severe than the violence you do to yourself. Moreover, violence against God is the most serious of all sins.
Was there violence in the Bible?
Yes, many types of violence can be found in the Holy Scriptures, such as murder, rape, genocide, war, and animal sacrifice. Such actions have an interpretation in both religions, such as the Western and Abrahamic cultures, where they look at such actions with justification or condemnation.
What does the Bible say about avoiding violence?
Avoiding violence is well described in the Bible in Ezekiel 45:9. This verse tells you to reject violence and destruction and to practice righteousness and justice.
In addition, the Bible teaches you to expose yourself to those things that bring goodness and positive things to have healthy emotional minds.
Where does Jesus talk about suffering?
Jesus said that his people would follow in his footsteps, and in such a way, they would face suffering. Moreover, He left you an example of how to suffer.
Also, Issur said that his followers would receive his blessing when they faithfully endure suffering for His name’s sake.
At the end of this article, we can say that this phrase has multiple interpretations. Although many believe that violence is caused by evil spirits who want to dominate, a second theory also refers to people eager to find the Kingdom of Heaven.
This theory is often accepted and teaches you to be patient and dedicate yourself to God with all your heart and soul.
Finally, we hope you have discovered more about the phrase: “the Kingdom of God suffers violence”. Remember that humility and faith in God are all you need; that is the only way you will walk toward the right path.