“When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and finding none it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order. Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there. And the last state of that person is worse than the first.”
Many of the parables taught by the Lord address the issue of the security of the believer. It is also important to remember that the parables are given to make a specific point.
I remember as a young believer, being told not to make a parable “walk on all four legs” I am not sure what that means now that I think about it, but the message I got back then was to find one primary message from each parable. Some parables are obvious. Some (possibly due to my obtuseness) are not that obvious.
This one seems obvious. Notice in the passage that the house had been cleaned and garnished, but no occupant was mentioned. Jesus tells this parable immediately upon casting out a demon from a mute man. He is cleaning up the house of Israel, and has just released a demon from one of it’s citizens. Jesus then responds to the evil generation of the house of Israel (See Matthew 12:45) in warning them of their future condition. He will continue to address this “evil generation” many times in the gospels, warning them of their future and final state.
The Lord had just cast out a mute demon from a man and immediately “some of them” (See Luke 11:15) continued with their claim of the Lord being empowered by Satan. Jesus had provided ample evidence to the nation of His identity, yet they turned to a lie. Instead of embracing the God of deliverance, this evil generation condemned a guiltless man, crucified their God, and became a house that was open for demons.
For the previous three years, Jesus had been cleaning the nation (the house of Israel), in this particular instance, rescuing a victim of demon possession, while the leaders condemned the Deliverer. With the final rejection of God in the flesh, the nation should only expect those of the evil horde to return and possess the man (also called the house in this passage, ie. the nation of Israel) with many more than before.
Security and Obedience
Some may say that the nation of Israel had promises from God that made this scenario impossible to occur. Promises directly from God that guaranteed a bright and glorious future for the physical nation of Israel. After all, Israel was the recipient of the promises of God. Surely God’s promises could be counted on for security. To find a discussion on this topic I refer you to an earlier set of five posts for your consideration. The series starts with Promises to Israel – An Introduction
This passages lends itself to the truth of conditional security, generally teaching that, although many promises were granted to the nation of Israel, their continued stubborn refusal to submit to the Master left them open to “alternate influences” and a final destiny that was warned of often in the Old Testament and many times by the Master while walking amongst them.
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