So, if Satan is in revolt against himself and is divided, he cannot last – his end has come!
the easiest argument to hand
slips from our grip
as soon as we apply it
those nuclear option either-ors
positing only one correct answer
can’t stand multiple responses
bringing G*D or Satan or Nature
too soon to an investigation
hides the deeper presence of each
we set G*D against G*D in details
are too broad in applying Satan
blind ourselves to Nature’s multiplicity
our easiest attack our anger
doesn’t convince everyone to follow
all that’s left is our basest power
Matthew and Luke record this same series, but end with a question rather than a statement—“How then can Satan’s reign endure?
It is for this same reason that literalistic leaning expressions of faith are so hell-bent on uniformity of belief. If there is a chink in the armor of dogma, creed, or jot/tittle of scripture, then all is lost. This everything or nothing approach appeals to a top-down authority system.
Mark’s Jesus’ visits to the wilderness have acquainted him with all manner of tests beyond the three Matthew and Luke identify. In this it is understood that there is no literal temple or tower that can stand without eventually falling or turning into babble.
This makes it easier for Mark to simply make a statement that is very much in keeping with the Hebraic understanding of Satan as a servant of YHWH—always and already “done for”.
A distinction between rhetorical question and statement is one that comes around in every generation. How far do we sense that we can go when it come to announcing a message beyond the demonic?
Salmon Rushdie had a conspiracy raised against him for the publication of Satanic Verses. Jesus had a conspiracy raised against him for these sorts of satiric verses that poke fun at trying to figure out reasons and rationales to hold the present moment in stasis.
Relief from wilderness captivity by disease or demon or any other category our fertile minds conjure is release. Jesus’ focus seems to be on a return to health of body, mind, and community, not the assigning of blame. [Note: this is not anti-science or knowledge—when something can be done, waiting to assess a cause is for another time.]