Daily Bible Reading

The King and His Thieves

Let me illustrate this further. Who is powerful enough to enter the house of a strong man and plunder his goods? Only someone even stronger—someone who could tie him up and then plunder his house.

Mark 3:27 (NLT)

This may be one of the only times where Jesus seems to condone theft. But not just any theft. Let’s give this verse some context:

Jesus has just been doing a bit of his Father’s work by healing people and casting out demons. The local priests have accused him of being possessed by Satan. Jesus is setting them straight by explaining that a house divided cannot stand. If he was working for Satan, why would he be casting out demons? Then he goes on to say that, in order to rob a strong man, an even stronger man has to go in first and tie him up. Wait, what?

The odds that Jesus is actually encouraging people to go into someone’s house, tie him up, and steal his things are, well, none. But in this context of binding the devil, perhaps the strong man Jesus is referring to is Satan himself.

This idea is new to me, so bear with me as I make a feeble attempt to make sense of it all.

We know that, because of sin in the Garden of Eden, man gave authority of the earth to the devil. The earth is now the devil’s “house” and the property in the house is humanity. Salvation is pretty much God stealing from Satan.

When Jesus said that all power and authority in heaven and on earth had been given to him, he’s saying that his is the stronger man who went into the strong man’s house and tied him up. Now the house can be robbed.

Jesus, as the strongest of strong men has done the difficult work. It’s now up to us as the Church to do the rest and go into the house and plunder the goods. To go into the world and preach the Gospel making disciples of all nations.

If we’re stealing back what was already stolen, are we still thieves?

Daily Bible reading: Numbers 3-4, Mark 3:22-35

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