Jesus challenges us to be clear about the battle Satan is waging and who he is going after. Satan is going after us. We need to know know that Jesus has defeated him.
God’s goal for us is that we tie Satan up and bind him so he can’t affect us or our families. We can tie him up in Jesus name. God has given us that authority.
May we tie up Satan.
May we listen to God.
And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.” 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.” | English Standard Version. (2016). (Mk 3:22–27). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
Why this is important: Jesus healed a demoniac who was both blind and dumb, and the scribes and Pharisees used this miracle as an opportunity to attack Him. The crowd was saying, “Perhaps this Man is indeed the Son of David, the Messiah.” But the religious elites said, “No, He is in league with Beelzebub! It is Satan’s power that is at work in Him, not God’s power.”
“Beelzebub” (or “Beelzebul”) is a name for the devil, and it means “master of the house.” Jesus picked up on this meaning and gave a parable about a strong man guarding his house. To plunder the house, one must first overcome the strong man.
Jesus exposed both their bad theology and their faulty logic. If it was by the power of Satan that He had cast out the demon, then Satan was actually fighting against himself!
- This meant that Satan’s house and kingdom were divided and therefore on the verge of collapse.
- Satan had been guarding that man carefully because the devil does not want to lose any of his territory.
- The fact that Jesus delivered the man was proof that He was stronger than Satan and that Satan could not stop Him.
Jesus did much more than answer their false accusation. He went on to explain the seriousness of what they had said. After all, our words reveal what is hidden in our hearts, and what is in our hearts determines our character, conduct, and destiny.
- We sometimes say, “Talk is cheap!”
- But in reality, what we say can be very costly.
- Jesus warned the Jewish religious leaders that they were in danger of committing an eternal and unforgivable sin.
Jesus made it clear that God would forgive all sin and all blasphemy, including blasphemy against the very Son of God Himself!
The Holy Spirit came at Pentecost and demonstrated God’s power in many convicting ways. How did those same religious leaders respond? By arresting the Apostles, ordering them to keep silent, and then killing Stephen themselves! Stephen told them what their sin was: “You do always resist the Holy Spirit” (Acts 7:51). They had sinned against the Father and the Son, but had been graciously forgiven. When they sinned against the Holy Spirit, they had reached “the end of the line” and there could be no more forgiveness.
When the Spirit of God convicts the sinner and reveals the Savior, the sinner may resist the Spirit and reject the witness of the Word of God, but that does not mean he has forfeited all his opportunities to be saved.
- If he will repent and believe, God can still forgive him.
- Even if the sinner so hardens his heart that he seems to be insensitive to the pleadings of God, so long as there is life, there is hope.
- Only God knows if and when any “deadline” has been crossed.
- You and I must never despair of any sinner.
Digging Deeper – Who is Satan?
If you want to dig deeper, here are some additional resources. People’s beliefs concerning Satan range from the silly to the abstract—from a little red guy with horns who sits on your shoulder urging you to sin, to an expression used to describe the personification of evil. The Bible, however, gives us a clear portrait of who Satan is and how he affects our lives. Put simply, the Bible defines Satan as an angelic being who fell from his position in heaven due to sin and is now completely opposed to God, doing all in his power to thwart God’s purposes.
Wayne Grudem Systematic Theology
“Satan” is the personal name of the head of the demons. This name is mentioned in Job 1:6, where “the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them” (see also Job 1:7–2:7). Here he appears as the enemy of the Lord who brings severe temptations against Job. Similarly, near the end of David’s life, “Satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel” (1 Chron. 21:1). Moreover, Zechariah saw a vision of “Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him” (Zech. 3:1). The name “Satan” is a Hebrew word (sātān) that means “adversary.” The New Testament also uses the name “Satan,” simply taking it over from the Old Testament. So Jesus, in his temptation in the wilderness, speaks to Satan directly saying, “Be gone, Satan!” (Matt. 4:10), or “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (Luke 10:18).
The NT teaches us that this being who has been evil from the beginning (1 Jn 3:8) has now been bound and cast out of heaven through the ministry of Jesus (Lk 10:18; Rv 12). While Satan is still a dangerous enemy, Jesus himself prays for us and has given us the powerful weapons of prayer, faith, and his blood. Satan can still cause physical illness when allowed by God (2 Cor 12:7) and persons can be delivered over to him for chastening (1 Cor 5:5; 1 Tm 1:20), but that can be for our good in God’s providence. Satan’s end is sure (Rom 16:20; Rv 20:10).
Lexham Bible Dictionary
The Hebrew word שָׂטָן (satan) means to oppose, obstruct, or accuse. The Greek term (σατάν, satan) literally means “adversary.” In the New Testament, it refers to a title or a name—(the) Satan. The term שָׂטָן (satan) is rendered as diabolos in the Septuagint.
The New Strong’s Dictionary
Σατανᾶς Satanas, sat-an-as´; of Chald. or. corresp. to 4566 (with the def. aff.); the accuser, i.e. the devil:— Satan.
 Grudem, W. (2020). Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Second Edition, p. 535). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Academic.
 Elwell, W. A., & Beitzel, B. J. (1988). Satan. In Baker encyclopedia of the Bible (Vol. 2, p. 1908). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.
 Seal, D. (2016). Satan. In J. D. Barry, D. Bomar, D. R. Brown, R. Klippenstein, D. Mangum, C. Sinclair Wolcott, … W. Widder (Eds.), The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
 Strong, J. (1996). The New Strong’s Dictionary of Hebrew and Greek Words. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.