Spiritual Warfare and "the Strong Man"
“It is only in Saint Luke’s account that we read that wonderful verse of the healed demoniac sitting at the feet of Jesus…It is an account that more-or-less assaults our modern sensibilities. The realm and reality of the demonic and the “spiritual warfare” implied by recognizing such a realm and reality opens up our minds and hearts to both the irrational and supra-rational world of the Gospel in which Christ has come to “bind” the “strong man.” This is a fierce battle that demands a greater commitment to Christ and the Gospel than conventional Sunday morning church attendance.” (Fr. Steven Kostoff)
“The lesson of warfare from the mouth of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ …is speaking of spiritual warfare. He demonstrated little interest in the problems that beset and obsess the nation of Israel, an attitude that turned the political and religious leaders of His day against Him…What He is claiming…is that there is a far more significant struggle for our souls than any battle or war among the nations of the world…He expected the listeners of that time and us in our time to understand that the palace is the world, the strong man who takes ownership of the palace is Satan. The “one stronger than [Satan]” is none other than He Himself, Jesus of Nazareth, who is also the Son of God. As He said, “No one can enter a strong man’s house and carry off all his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can rob his house” (Mark 3:27)… What is the weapon that will defeat Satan? The cross of Christ. All who take up their crosses and follow Christ are uniting themselves with the Father and Holy Spirit in the Son of God. From a purely human point of view, it looks like a mission impossible, but with God all things are possible…Many baptized Christians would prefer to stand on the sidelines and hope, even pray for the outcome to be favorable to Jesus. He responds to them: He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who doesn’t gather, scatters. You cannot avoid taking a stand. You haven’t the option of objectivity—that’s a mere illusion.” (Very Rev. Vladimir Berzonsky)
“With God’s grace we can “bind the strong man” (Matt 12:29), and begin looking out onto the world and each other with the eyes of God’s light.” (Fr. John Jillions)
“We believers humbly acknowledge Christ as our king and the ruler over a great dominion (Mt 12:25-28)…Jesus reigns, however, over a kingdom where healing takes place (Mt 12:22). This kingdom may come upon men (Matthew 12:28) graciously, but it also binds and plunders “the strong man” (vs. 29).” (Dynamis 7/7/2020)
“There are myriad things that can keep us in bondage but three are particularly strong and weapons of the strong man (Matthew 12:43-45) that we buy into all too readily. They are be self-deception, being unteachable, and control… The strong man is the devil who tries to keep us all in bondage and we often make the mistake of fighting him on our own, fighting our sinful inclinations through will power alone instead of inviting the devil’s enemy, Christ, into our lives through the Holy Spirit and fighting through our union with God which is essentially to let God do the fighting.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)