Matthew 11:7 As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: "What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 8 What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in kings' houses. 9 What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10 This is he of whom it is written, "' Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.' 11 Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force. 13 For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John, 14 and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. 15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
This passage of scripture can be rather difficult to understand. Over the next days lets study this passage together, seek to understand what it is saying and how it applies to our lives. As background reading to refresh our minds about John the Baptist read Luke 1:12-17; Malachi 3:1; 4:5-6 about his predicted birth and ministry. Read Mathew 3:1-12 and Isaiah 40:3 to hear about John's adult ministry as a prophet and the people coming to him. Read Luke 7:29-30 to see the effect of John's baptism of repentance on the two types of people that came to hear him.
Matthew 11:12 can be translated from the Greek in the following manner and is done so according to the context you are asked to read in the previous paragraph. "From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven is being sought enthusiastically and the enthusiastic are eagerly seeking it."
Paul encourages us to diligently study the scriptures so that we accurately read and apply them (2 Timothy 2:15). Study takes time and effort, but it will always be richly rewarded in abundant and fruitful living for ourselves and others. Read and study and tomorrow we go on to a greater understanding of a difficult passage of scripture.