← Back

What is the meaning of the parable of the "strong man's house"?

What does this mean?

Mark 3:27

NKJV - 27 No one can enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. And then he will plunder his house.

Clarify Share Report Asked January 23 2015 Mini Nikki Bryce Roque

Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.

Galen 2 Galen Smith Retired from Multnomah Bible College and Biblical Seminary
The context of the parable of the strong man is given in all three synoptic gospels (Matthew 12:22-36; Mark 3:22-27; Luke 11:14-23, 12:10). The three accounts are quite similar, but Mark’s is shorter (as that gospel often is), omitting three elements included in Matthew and Luke. The first omission helps set the context of the parable; it is the story of Jesus healing the blind, mute, demonized man by driving out the demon who afflicted him.

The second element omitted by Mark is the response of the crowd. They were “amazed” (Luke 11:14), and said, “Could this be the Son of David?” (Matthew 12:23). This was a Messianic title, so was tantamount to asking, “Could this be the Messiah?” 

This was too much for the Jewish leaders and teachers, so they felt they had to stop this sort of thinking. They accused Jesus of being possessed by Beelzebub (the Greek reads beelzeboul), the prince of demons. They accused Jesus of doing this miracle by the power of Satan, by whom Jesus was actually possessed!

Jesus answered this accusation with six arguments, although Mark records only three. The first was that it would be absurd for Satan to oppose himself. Why would he send out demons to torment men, and then make Jesus drive out the demons? Satan might be evil, but he is not stupid. To divide his resources against himself would be very non-strategic, for eventually he would cause his own house or kingdom to fall.

Jesus’ second argument, omitted in Mark, is based on the inconsistency of the Jewish leaders. Jesus asked them about the Jewish exorcists which they endorsed. If the leaders approved of them allegedly driving out demons, but with the same result as Jesus, what is the source of their power? Why are they considered to be doing God’s work, but Jesus is considered using Satan’s power?

The third argument, also omitted by Mark, identifies the true source of Jesus’ power. “But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God...” (Matthew 12:28a) does not mean this is a remote possibility. It shows the absurdity of the previous suggestion that Jesus was using Satan’s power. That is absurd, but “if,” in absolute contrast to this, his power source is the Spirit of God, this is much more consistent with how Jesus lived his life under the direction of the Spirit (Matthew 1:18, 3:11, 4:1; Luke 1:15, 4:1, 14, 18, 10:21; Acts 1:2, 10:38; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 9:14; 1 Peter 3:18; Revelation 22:17).

The fourth argument is the parable of the strong man. The “strong man” represents Satan, who is strong and armed for battle. “His house” represents his kingdom, a realm of evil, misery and death. In his house he has “possessions,” probably representing people under his control. Like the man who was “demon-possessed,” they are Satan’s possessions. The “stronger” man who attacks and overpowers the strong man, tying him and robbing his possessions, represents Jesus. He has just freed a man from Satan’s possession.

Jesus’ fifth argument is one of loyalties. “He who is not with me is against me...” (Matthew 12:30a; Luke 11:23a). There is no fence sitting. The one who desires to be neutral is against Jesus.

Jesus’ sixth argument is a warning about the unforgiveable sin. Every sort of sin and blasphemy is forgivable, but not the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. It will never be forgiven.

January 27 2015 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Add your Answer

All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.

What makes a good answer? ▼

A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.

  1. Adhere to the eBible Statement of Faith.
  2. Your answer should be complete and stand-alone.
  3. Include supporting arguments, and scripture references if possible. Seek to answer the "why".
  4. Adhere to a proper tone and spirit of love and understanding.
  5. For more info see The Complete Guide to eBible
  1. 4000 characters remaining