Until John came, there were the Law and the Prophets; since then the good news (the Gospel) of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone strives violently to go in [would force his own way rather than God’s way into it].
“Before John the Baptizer came, people were taught the Law of Moses and the writings of the prophets. But since the time of John, the Good News about God’s kingdom is being told. And everyone is trying hard to get into it.
“The law of Moses and the writings of the prophets [C the Old Testament] ·were preached [or were in force; L were] until John [C the Baptist] came [3:1–20; C John is the transitional figure between the age of promise and the age of salvation]. Since then the ·Good News [Gospel] about the kingdom of God is being ·told [preached; proclaimed], and everyone ·tries to enter it by force [or is eager to get into it; or is strongly urged to enter it].
“God wanted the people to live by the law of Moses and the writings of the prophets. But ever since John came, the Good News about the kingdom of God is being told. Now everyone is trying hard to get into the kingdom.
Until John the Baptist began to preach, the laws of Moses and the messages of the prophets were your guides. But John introduced the Good News that the Kingdom of God would come soon. And now eager multitudes are pressing in.
When the Pharisees, a money-obsessed bunch, heard him say these things, they rolled their eyes, dismissing him as hopelessly out of touch. So Jesus spoke to them: “You are masters at making yourselves look good in front of others, but God knows what’s behind the appearance. What society sees and calls monumental, God sees through and calls monstrous. God’s Law and the Prophets climaxed in John; Now it’s all kingdom of God—the glad news and compelling invitation to every man and woman. The sky will disintegrate and the earth dissolve before a single letter of God’s Law wears out. Using the legalities of divorce as a cover for lust is adultery; Using the legalities of marriage as a cover for lust is adultery.
“Moses’ Teachings and the Prophets were in force until the time of John. Since that time, people have been telling the Good News about the kingdom of God, and everyone is trying to force their way into it.
The law of Moses and the revelation of the prophets have prepared you for the arrival of the kingdom realm announced by John. And now, when this wonderful news of God’s kingdom realm is preached, people’s hearts burn with extreme passion to press in and receive it.
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