A house divided against itself cannot stand. This is pretty straight forward, don’t you think? Really, it leaves little for interpretation — simply said, a “house” that is divided and at odds, will not endure.
The parables of Jesus Christ give us excellent lessons to learn, whether you be a Christian or not. Their words hold as true today as the day that Jesus spoke them.
The parable of “the house divided” is a superb learning lesson that we really need to hear — in our caustic and divided world, every single person can glean a valuable message from this teaching.
Just after Jesus had healed a man the scribes (Jewish leaders of the day), issued a startling accusation, declaring that Jesus had cast out the demons by the power of Satan (Mark 3:22).
And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.”
and so Jesus replied:
“How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end” (Mark 3:23-26).
Jesus’ point was that it could not have been by demonic power that He cast out a demon because that is contrary to the way kingdoms operate, particularly satan’s — why would satan cast out a demon from a human, when that would be contrary to his wicked plan? Why would he work against himself?
The principle message was that if houses (kingdoms and actual households/families) did divide against themselves then they wouldn’t be around for very long; they would become weary, weak and eventually, collapse.
The religious leaders of the day (Pharisees) blasphemed against Jesus terribly. They were consumed with anger and resentment because they were so obsessed with their own influence. In their drive to be foremost among the people, they used any negative words and deeds they could think of to cling to their power. By doing so, they divided not only their “house,” but many, many others as well.
“And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.”
If we look at our world today, we have still not learned our lesson. Political parties have gone from being level-headed and cooperative, to being completely divided — and in their division, so too have the people become divided. We allow the smallest of issues to explode into rage and vengeance — unfortunately, this division has spilled over and infects every aspect of life. Our homes, towns and states are divided and we allow the fracture to worsen by the day.
The parable of the house divided is a good starting point. You don’t have to be a Christian to see that what we have to do is not just acknowledge the problem, but in same breath, commit to fixing it. There was a time in America in which we put the greater good first. We disagreed, we even argued over it, but at the end of the day, we put our differences aside to get the job done. If one says “I love America,” then that person needs to prove it by behaving like a true American. The same is true for our households — families need to have mutual respect, peace, harmony and above all, deep love.
United houses stand the test of time.