Are Jesus and the Bible really pro-gun? Well, that’s really a loaded question (Pun intended). But I bring it up because of what I have seen passed around the internet lately. Facebook friends are attempting to show the Bible as pro-gun by quoting a line of Scripture from the Book of Luke. Here’s the Bible verse being used to support the pro-gun stance.
“When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace.” Luke 11:21
Which of course the verse is very true and very accurate as a standalone sentence, but it’s kind of like looking at a recipe and calling one of the ingredients the finished product. After-all, you wouldn’t call the egg or the cup of flour the entire cake now would you. Unfortunately that is what is being done here with this passage out of Luke. Yes, what it says is true but the verse is being taken out of context. And the first clue that it is out of context is the omission of a punctuation mark, the simple colon.
Strong Man Message In Context
The way Luke 11:21 is written is like this: “When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace:” The colon (The two little dots) both in what I just wrote and in the Biblical passage according to Wikipedia, “inform the reader that what follows the colon proves, explains, or lists elements of what preceded it,”.
So the colon after the word “peace” tells us that verse 21 of Luke has set up the scenario and the next verse(s) are getting ready to explain what it means. Here is the explanation:
22) But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.
23) He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.” Luke 11
For complete context for what is being said we need to pull back even further and see what is happening for these statements to be made by Jesus. Christ has just expelled a blind and dumb devil from someone. The religious elite Pharisee’s are offended and accuse Jesus of working in cahoots with the devil.
“But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils.” Luke 11:15
Jesus responds with, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth. If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub. And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges.” Luke 11:17-19
The religious elite have accused Jesus of being a devil. And Jesus responds with a house divided will fall
But the key area to focus on in “When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace:” is not being “armed” but the “strong man”. The parallel verses from the Books of the other Gospels support this.
“Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.” Matthew 12:29
“No man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.” Mark 3:27
So what does Luke 11: 21-23 mean?
The strong man is Satan. He is strong. He is well armed. Man can not stand toe to toe with the Devil and win. No weapon or armament will save man from Satan when he is alone and on his own.
But there is one who is strongest of all and that is Jesus Christ. He is the one who can “bind the strong man”. Jesus Christ can take the armour of the Devil and cause him to relinquish his spoil, the spoil which is you and me.
“Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it,” according to Colossians 2:15.
Now here is something we need to be very careful about. Let’s substitute out the Strong man/Satan and Stronger Man/Jesus with Strong man/You and Me against Stronger man/Satan.
Our confidence and self sufficiency in this world can paint an image to ourselves of strength and independence. Satan looks for this type of person. Our physical strength and mental acuity can lull us into a false sense of security and well being. But we must always remember not to “stretch ourselves beyond our measure” (2 Corinthians 10:13).
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) (From 2 Corinthians 10:3-4).
More to the point, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:12-13
There is a strong man and he is the Satan. His purpose is to steal, kill and to destroy our life. There is the strongest man and he is Jesus Christ. His purpose is life, our life adding abundance and perpetuity.
Omitting the colon at the end of a single line of scripture stopped the development of the complete message. Be careful what you read. Even though a line or verse or phrase came from the Bible, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is the Gospel truth.