“·If anyone wants to [L Or how can anyone…?] enter a strong person’s house and ·steal [seize; plunder] his things, he must first ·tie up [bind] the strong person. Then he can ·steal [seize; plunder] the things from the house. [C Satan is the strong man and his possessions are the people Jesus is freeing from Satan’s power.]
Jesus knew what they were thinking and said to them, “Any kingdom divided against itself is bound to collapse, and no town or household divided against itself can last for long. If it is Satan who is expelling Satan, then he is divided against himself—so how do you suppose that his kingdom can continue? And if I expel devils because I am an ally of Beelzebub, what alliance do your sons make when they do the same thing? They can settle that question for you! But if I am expelling devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has swept over you unawares! How do you suppose anyone could get into a strong man’s house and steal his property unless he first tied up the strong man? But if he did that, he could ransack his whole house.
“But if it’s by God’s power that I am sending the evil spirits packing, then God’s kingdom is here for sure. How in the world do you think it’s possible in broad daylight to enter the house of an awake, able-bodied man and walk off with his possessions unless you tie him up first? Tie him up, though, and you can clean him out.
‘Look at it like this. Suppose you want to break into a strong man’s house and steal his belongings. How are you going to do that unless you first tie up the strong man? Then you can plunder his house to your heart’s content.
Imagine you wanted to break into the house of your neighbor, a strong brawny man, and steal his furniture. First, you’d have to tie up your neighbor, yes? Once he was bound and tied, you could take whatever you wanted.
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