Reflection for Today ▶️ ⏹️

No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.
Mark 3:27

Jesus, overwhelmed by the many healings and exorcisms he is called to make, now expands his mission to include twelve disciples who he gives the power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils.1 His friends and family, worried for his sanity claim he is beside himself and call for his family to take him home.2 The authorities too, afraid of his apparent powers, accuse him of madness and devil-worship: He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils,3 which is of course nonsense and Jesus calls them on it: How can Satan cast out Satan?4 and then proceeds to talk in parables to further undermine their accusation, ending with this short parable of the strong man—presumed here to be the devil, or in political terms the ruling elite.5 We can understand this parable in the following way: I have come to take back what rightfully belongs to the people: their land, their families and their dignity. To do this I will first undermine the authorities, tie them up in the bonds of their own unsustainable arguments and illogical justifications. Jesus is announcing in no uncertain terms that he has come to subvert the status quo. It is no wonder that the Pharisees were already plotting with the Herodians to destroy him.6

Jesus' knew that his mission was to be short, which is why Mark's gospel is written with such a sense of urgency with the phrases "straight away" and "immediately" occurring over forty times throughout.7 Time was of the essence, and there was much work to be done.

1 Mark 3:15
2 Mark 3:21 & 3:31
3 Mark 3:22
4 Mark 3:23
5 Recommended reading: Jesus' master metaphor, by Ched Myers, Radical Discipleship, 2015
6 Mark 3:6
7 The Gospel of Immediacy, Arthur Walkington Pink