A few days ago I came across a re-run of the 1999 “Strongest Man in the World” contest on TV. One event showed muscular men try to carry a weight up a big set of stairs. (The key, in theory, was to bounce the weight on each step as you moved forward up to the top. Thus, the momentum saved you from using raw strength the whole time.) The record was set at about 27 seconds by one of the bulky contestants. As these men competed, two by two, there came a man who could only carry the weight up two steps.
I wasn’t impressed.
But let’s also consider that I won’t be signing up for a strong man competition anytime soon. Additionally, I would never dream of picking a fight with that guy, even if he only made it up two steps. Why? Because he was twice my size and at least three times as strong.
In Luke 11, Jesus is accused of casting out demons by the power of Satan. After explaining to his accusers that mutinies never end with a handshake between the captain and insubordinate subordinate, he says this:
When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace. But when a stronger than he comes upon him and overcomes him, he takes from him all his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoils. (Luke 11:21-22 NKJV)
Jesus identifies the Satan as a “strong man” who is armed and dangerous. Anyone who comes into his house (the earth) with the intention of taking away his prized posessions (people under his control) is looking for a fight. Not to worry though, Jesus is stronger than the strong man and when he rescues a person from the domain of darkness, there is nothing Satan can do about it. Jesus binds the strong man, takes his armor, and divides the spoils.
Jesus’ mission on earth was to redeem individuals who were caught in slavery to Satan and set them free so they might serve a better Master. His Spirit is still at work today doing the exact same thing.
Have you been set free from the grip of the strong man?