Taking Jesus by Force

April 4, 2014
John 6:10-15, Matthew 11:12

(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)

It seems like a lot of people want Jesus as their king – but on their own terms!  This is the situation in John 6:10 through 15:

    Then Jesus said, “Make the people sit down”….So the men sat down, in num-
    ber about five thousand.  And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given
    thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting
    down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted.  So when they were
    filled…they gathered…and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five
    barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten.  Then those men,
    when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, “This is truly the Prophet
    who is to come into the world.  Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were
    about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to
    a mountain Himself alone.

Why did the people – “…about five thousand men, besides women and children…” (Matthew 14:21) – want to make Jesus their king?  Because He had miraculously fed them with just “…five barley loaves and two small fish…” (John 6:9).  For the One who created and sustains all things (see Colossians 1:16 and 17) it is no big stretch for Him to multiply a few loaves and fish into that which will feed a crowd of up to ten thousand!   After all, God supplied the Isaelites with manna for forty years at a rate sufficient enough to feed daily around two million people – estmated at about 2,000 tons every day! (see Exodus 16:16).  Jesus pinpointed the people’s motive in John 6:26 when He said, “Most assuredly, I say to you; you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.

What is your motive for wanting Jesus to be your king?  Is it so He – at your beck and call – will supply all that you want?  This is how the good news in often presented by that branch of Christianity that is derogatorily referred to as “Name it, Claim it and Frame it”!  According to some of the popular teachings of this group, “All you have to do is have faith that you will receive a million dollars – or whatever you want – and you will get it!”  They ignore scriptural teaching such as found in I John 5:14 and 15:

    Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything accord-
    ing to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask,
    we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

But if your reason for asking Jesus to be your King – and here I designate ‘King’ with a capital ‘K’ – is because He has saved you from sin, death and hell, and He, as your Lord, is the One whom you recognize to call the shots in your life – then you are on the right track!!!

But notice above I have included a second scripture – Matthew 11:12:  “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.”  What does this mean?  I like Scofield’s note on this verse:

    It has been much disputed whether the violence here is external, as against the
    kingdom in the persons of John the Baptist and Jesus; or that, considering the
    opposition of the scribes and Pharisees, only the violently resolute would press
    into it.  Both things are true.  The King and His herald suffered violence, and
    this is the primary and greater meaning; but also, some were resolutely becom-
    ing disciples.

So, take Jesus by force to be your King!  Do not make him ‘king’ of your life so that he will supply all your wants!  Paul wrote in Phlippians 4:19 that “…my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”  And needs are too often a lot different than wants!  But be resolute in your determination to make Jesus Christ the King of your life – the Ruler of all that you are, all that you do, all that you say and all that you think!  

In Luke 16:16 (NIV) Jesus said:  “The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.”  “…forcing his way into…” the kingdom!  Why?  Because there is no other way but through Jesus to escape hell and gain eternal life! (see John 14:6).  You must have Him if you will gain God and life!  And if you will have the “abundant life” here and now that Jesus offers in John 10:10, then you must resolutely make Him your King, your Lord – whatever it takes!

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