Jesus the Thief

That’s how He referred to Himself, at least once.

The backstory is in Mark 3:20-30:

Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”
And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebub! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.”

So Jesus called them and spoke to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can rob his house. I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin.”

He said this because they were saying, “He has an evil spirit.”

Jesus was the thief in the story He told, carrying off the possessions of Satan – the “strong man.” By exorcising demons, he was tying up the strong man and stealing back what belonged to God.

Not a metaphor most of us Christians would use for ourselves.

Maybe we should.

Maybe we ought to be more about our Father’s business of stealing back His kidnapped children from the enemy.

Maybe it would help if we realized that we’re not alone in the Godfather’s business … He has given us His Spirit to unite His kingdom and empower us to tie up the strong man just as Jesus did.

The deep irony of this metaphor, to me, is that Jesus describes the unforgiveable sin as blasphemy of that Spirit – the one they had called “evil” – by comparing His mission to breaking and entering and tying up the owner and theft.

Something we would, under normal circumstances, consider quite wrong.

Unless the justice of this world had failed, and it was the only way to take back the ones God loves who had been abducted by Satan.

The irony would be hilarious.

– If the stakes weren’t so high.

One thought on “Jesus the Thief

  1. I like how you point out that we all need to be about the Godfather’s (cute, Keith) business…kinda like how, in the parallel passages of Matt 12:22-37 and Luke 11:14-28, it is recorded that Jesus says, “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.” I also <>love<> one word that it seems only Luke includes in the metaphor about robbing Satan…he says, “When someone <>stronger<> attacks and overpowers him…” It’s not always easy to be a Christian or to do the “right” thing, but it helps to remember that the One in us is greater (and stronger) than the one in the world.

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