23 So Jesus called the people together and taught them with stories. He said, “Satan will not force himself out of people. 24 A kingdom that is divided cannot continue, 25 and a family that is divided cannot continue. 26 And if Satan is against himself and fights against his own people, he cannot continue; that is the end of Satan. 27 No one can enter a strong person’s house and steal his things unless he first ties up the strong person. Then he can steal things from the house. ~ Mark 3:23-27
Today, we return to our study of the gospel according to Mark. As we have been seeing, the popularity of the Lord Jesus was on the rise. Of course, most of the people were attracted to the lesser more than the greater, meaning, they were most interested in the physical healing more than the spiritual healing. And, due to this they pressed in on the Lord Jesus so much that He was in danger of being run over by them.
In v.23 of today's passage we read, "So Jesus called the people together and taught them with stories. He said, “Satan will not force himself out of people."
The primary means by which the Lord Jesus taught was to tell stories. He knew we could only engage His reality with the eyes of our hearts, so He chose common stories to enable us to get to the heart of the meaning. The Lord Jesus often concluded His stories by saying, "He who has ears, let him hear." These ears are the ears of the heart, and to hear with these ears means to understand and respond to the deeper spiritual meaning in the story.
The Lord Jesus came in order to extend the invitation into His kingdom across cultures, eras, generations, and languages for centuries. In His invitation, the Lord Jesus incorporated common, everyday stories to illustrate His culture. By doing so, He enabled the willing of heart to understand and enter God’s kingdom.
In v.24-26 of today's passage we read, "24 A kingdom that is divided cannot continue, 25 and a family that is divided cannot continue. 26 And if Satan is against himself and fights against his own people, he cannot continue; that is the end of Satan."
Mark’s account of this parable omits two key elements included in Matthew and Luke. Mark’s first omission helps provide the parable's context; it’s the story of the Lord Jesus healing the blind, mute, demonized man by driving out the demon who had afflicted him. Mark's second omission is the crowd’s response: They were "amazed" and asked, "Could this be the Son of David?" The "Son of David" was a Messianic title, tantamount to being the Messiah.
There are 46 verses in the Bible that mention Satan. And, there are 32 verses that mention the devil. The Bible tells us Satan is cunning which means he is deceitfully clever and resourceful. And, the religious leaders of Israel accused the Lord Jesus of using Satan to cast demons out of demon-possessed people. If that were the case, He would have created anarchy in the underworld.
Satan's primary means of deceiving has always been doubt and fear. He knows the mind’s weakness and he uses it to influence his fear upon us. In order for us to live in victory, we must do what Paul instructed: "take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ." That means when we recognize a thought that begins to give safe haven in our souls to fear, it is imperative that we immediately replace it with the truth of God’s Word. Left to ourselves, our imaginations quickly grow into full-blown scenarios that cripple us with fear. But when confronted with truth, imaginations give way to fear unmasked to what they are: unreal.
In v.27 of today's passage we read, "No one can enter a strong person’s house and steal his things unless he first ties up the strong person. Then he can steal things from the house."
First-century Jews expected the Messiah to bind the devil, as is mentioned in Isaiah 49:24–26. Isaiah foresaw a day in which the Lord would act decisively to redeem His children and take back what their enemies had taken. Isaiah 49 is about the Servant of the Lord, so we see that this recapturing of what had been lost was to be the work of the Servant, the same individual who atones for the sins of the people. So, in binding the strong man and taking back what the enemy had claimed for Himself, the Lord Jesus proved His identity as the Messiah by going to the cross of Calvary.
The strong person here is Satan and his house is the sphere where he has been given control; in this case in the souls of people. Yet, the Lord Jesus is stronger than the devil, and, He demonstrated He was stronger when He entered his domain, bound him, and set free those who are bound by him.
The binding of the devil was guaranteed by the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. And, the result is not only the deliverance of the demon possessed, but the deliverance for all mankind who are willing to be defined by the Lord. In the near future, after the Tribulation, this binding will be experienced for a thousand years when the devil will be bound and cast into the bottomless pit. And, after those one thousand years of peace on earth, the final phase of the binding of the devil will be executed, when the devil and all that follow him will be eternally tossed into Hell.