21 When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe; (ESV)
Luke 11:14 - 23
ESV - 14 Now he was casting out a demon that was mute. When the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke, and the people marveled. 15 But some of them said, "He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the prince of demons.
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I would say that the "strong man" to whom Jesus was referring was the demonic power that was serving Satan, and that was controlling those from whom Jesus cast out the demons that possessed them. The "someone stronger" whom Jesus then mentioned was Jesus Himself, with power and authority that was greater than that of the demons (however strong their power may be or have been), and that was capable of defeating and expelling them. On a broader scale, Jesus could also have been speaking of His power to break the hold that Satan was exercising over all the inhabitants of the fallen world whom Jesus had come to redeem and free through faith in Him.
Personally, I believe that "the strong man" is Satan. Jesus said in Luke 11:21 "For when a strong man like Satan is fully armed and guards his palace, his possessions are safe—" (NLT).
First we should look at the context: Jesus is responding to people accusing him of casting out demons by demonic power. He uses a metaphor to demonstrate how ridiculous this accusation is. He says, “If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? Because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub. And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. But if I with the finger of God I cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you. When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: but when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.” Luke 11:18-22 KJV The strong man is the demon being cast out. In order to cast out a demon one who is stronger than the power of demons is necessary, ie one who has the power of God on their side. In this metaphor the “strong man” is the demon and the “palace/spoils” is the person possessed. In order to free the person one stronger than the “strong man” must bind him; this person, “stronger than the strong man,” is Jesus.
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