Then a demon-oppressed man who was blind and mute was brought to Him, and He healed Him, so that the man spoke and saw. ... But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, "It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons." Knowing their thoughts, He said to them ... "How can someone enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house." (Matthew 12:22, 24-25a, 29)
Have you ever noticed how oddly fond Jesus is of comparing Himself to a robber? He does it again right here, when He talks about a man invading another man's house and tying him up. Then he steals all the good stuff the man has.
So when is it okay to steal? When you're stealing from the devil. And that's exactly what Jesus came into this world to do—to overcome the "strong man" we call Satan and to plunder his house. He will leave not a single treasure in it—no valuable human being, nobody God loves. He will search every nook and cranny to find us all.
But notice how He does it! Jesus isn't sneaking in this time (see Revelation 3:3). No, He's going straight through the door. He's wrestling down the devil by main force.
That's the kind of robber we need, isn't it? One who carries us off, away from the house of slavery—only to make us free, valued citizens of heaven. One who is forever strong enough to protect us against all comers. One who will risk His life for us—and share His resurrection with us, and all who trust in Him.
WE PRAY: Thank You, Lord, for stealing me back for Yourself! Amen.
* Does it bother you that Jesus pictures Himself as a robber?
* How do you think the devil feels about it?
* How could Jesus use you to help someone else get free?
Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Today's Bible Readings: Leviticus 15-16 Mark 8:22-38
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