When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, seeking rest but finding none. Then it says, I will return to the person I came from. So it returns and finds its former home empty, swept, and in order. Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before. That will be the experience of this evil generation.
When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, searching for rest. But when it finds none, it says, I will return to the person I came from. So it returns and finds that its former home is all swept and in order. Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before.
Can we understand a little about unclean spirits?
Tobit was a righteous Israelite who lived during the time of the Assyrian invasion. He did what was right, but suffered for it. He prayed for God to bring him death. He had a son named Tobias who becomes our hero.
Over in Media (i.e., Medes and Persians) there was a girl named Sarah. Sarah was also praying for death. She had been married seven times and each time her husband was killed before the consummation. Why? She was tormented by an unclean spirit named Asmodeus who killed any man who wanted Sarah. She was unhappy and praying for death.
God sends the angel Raphael to help these people. He appears as a mentor to Tobias. He and Tobias set off on a journey to Media and along the way, Tobias catches a special fish. Raphael gives him advice on the fish.
Tobias falls in love with Sarah and marries her. He weakens the demon and drives it off to Egypt where Raphael captures it. By placing a fish's heart and liver on red-hot cinders, Tobias produces a smoky vapor that causes the demon to flee to Egypt, where Raphael binds him (viii. 2, 3).
Tobias and Sarah marry and Tobits eyesight is cured. Raphael is revealed and they live happily ever after.
Back to the Parable:
In both parable versions, this text is found: "He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters." (Matthew 12:30; Luke 11:23)
In Matthew, the context is the rejection of Jesus by those who claim to be righteous. They witness the obvious power of Gods spirit to cast out evil and disease and they attribute it to the power of Satan. Jesus is surprised at how illogical this conclusion is. (I dont care what the Bible says ...)
Jesus charges the hearers (this generation) with being empty houses. They have cast out the evil and put everything into order, but the house is empty. The demon they cast out will return and bring others. It would be better if they remained demon possessed because at least they would have an excuse.
In Luke, the context is similar. There is an additional story about robbing the house of a strong man. You have to get someone bigger to rob the strong man and take his possessions.
"He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.
We need power on the inside the good spirit in addition to cleanliness and order on the outside.
What does it mean?
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