, , , ,

FrKevinEstabrook: 3rd Week of Lent 2018 - Thursday - A divided house cannot stand

What we know: Yeshua [Jesus] is clear. Evil doesn’t fight against evil. Evil is united in its approach to achieving its goal. The people of God need to understand the principal of unified focus. We won’t make the impact on the world that God intends us to if we are fighting each other. We must agree on what God has said and is doing in our midst.

Consider this: God has given us great power. We need to unite in delivering God’s message of good news. If we fight with each other, nothing good will come of that. We must agree on the message of Good News delivered through our Master Jesus, the Messiah.

And Jesus points out that this is a particular problem of the religious community. We must stop!

And he called them to him and said to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end. But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house.

Mark 3:23-27

What it’s all about: So Jesus identifies Beelzebul, ruler of the demons, with Satan, and also identifies Satan with the demons that Jesus has been casting out. That is to say, Satan is bonded with the demons subject to him. Otherwise Jesus would have said, “How can Satan cast out the demons he rules over?” instead of “How can Satan cast out Satan?” It’s as though the bond between Satan and the demons is something like the bond between God and members of his kingdom.

Worth noting: We have an enemy. The enemy is Satan. Our king is Jesus. Jesus is the strong man. Satan has no power over Jesus or us. We are safe. We are secure. We must obey Jesus and do what He wants. Jesus will protect us.

So it’s just as absurd that Satan would use Jesus to cast out Satan’s own demons as it’s absurd that God would use Jesus to cast out God’s own subjects. Jesus therefore goes on to say in 3:24: “And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom can’t stand.” Civil war makes a kingdom easy prey for invaders. And since kingdoms are ruled by royal households, Jesus continues in 3:25: “And if a [royal] household be divided against itself, that household can’t stand.” Strife within a family makes it easy prey for usurpers.

God’s goal: God wants us to be united in bringing the kingdom of Jesus to earth. We can’t do it as divided families. We can’t do it as a divided church. We must learn to unite.