Matthew 11:11-15

Mat 11:11 (KJB)
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.

The reason that Jesus was stating that John the Baptist was greater than all that came before him was not based upon his moral character or anything like that but John had the privilege of having the ministry of introducing the Lord Jesus Christ, the prophesied One and the Messiah to the nation of Israel and to the world. The Messiah that Israel had prayed and hoped for had now come to Israel in fulfillment of many scriptures. Since it was still the time before the cross, John was on the Old Testament side of the cross, the old dispensation, and Jesus is stating that the humblest believer who has become saved will have experienced all the fruits of salvation including the baptism in the Holy Spirit and the finished work of Christ on the cross along with all the promises that come with it. Jesus was not saying that John was not saved but his ministry was on the Old Testament side of the cross and those that become saved are in the Kingdom of God. Jesus was making a comparison between the covenant of Law and the covenant of Grace which is much greater than law because it saves, whereas the law does not.

Mat 11:12 (KJB)
And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.

Jesus now tells the multitude that from John’s time till the present the Kingdom of God suffers violence. What He is meaning by that is people were trying to come into the Kingdom of God by their own works. John preached the baptism of repentance but mere repentance of sins did not equal salvation. So evil men had tried to enter in of their own way. We can see this same scenario today where people belong to false churches and are told to adhere to their rituals and that will make them Christians. Keep in mind sinners are heinous in the sight of God and are in total opposition to the Kingdom of God. (Rom 14:17 KJV) For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. We read that the Kingdom of God is peace and joy, two things the unbeliever does not enjoy because they lack the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. (Isa 57:21 KJV) There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked. While on earth many had tried to a attach themselves to Jesus because they saw all the miracles and healings He performed but they could not attach themselves eternally unless they were the chosen of God in Christ. The unsaved who believe they are in the Kingdom of God are Christians in name only because you cannot combine saved and unsaved by standing next to each other. The unsaved must come into the Kingdom of God through Christ any other way is nothing but force.

Mat 11:13 (KJB)
For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.

Even though John was on the Old Testament side of the cross, he initiated a new era. The old era was the prophets like Moses or Isaiah or Jeremiah. Their words were now coming to pass in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Pet 1:11 KJV) Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. What they had prophesied hundreds of years ago, now came to pass and John was the one who had the privilege of introducing the Messiah. Now comes the great change from law to grace even though grace had been around since the beginning but now it will become more prominent.

Mat 11:14 (KJB)
And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.

(Mal 4:5-6 KJV) Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: {6} 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. John the Baptist was foreshadowed in the Old Testament as Elijah since they both had similar ministries. John was not a reincarnation of Elijah but was prophesied about 450 years before his birth. Notice that Malachi 4:5 calls the coming of Jesus, “the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” This is because for the believers around the world, the coming of Jesus was great with all the hope and promises. For the unbeliever, it spells eternal doom in the lake of fire.

Mat 11:15 (KJB)
He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

These words are spoken by Jesus many times and it has nothing to do with physical ears. Many people heard the teachings of Jesus with their physical ears and rejected it. The ears that Jesus has in view in this passage are the ears of the saved, those whose spiritual understanding has been opened and they hear and understand. This is why in church a saved person listens to the sermon while the unsaved person doodles on his bulletin. Both are physically hearing the message but only one hears and understands.