And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?
All Commentaries on Matthew 12:26 Go To Matthew 12
The wars abroad are not so ruinous as the civil wars. As with civil wars, so wars happen inside the body. In all things it is the same, but in this case Jesus takes his illustration from the public sphere, for what is more powerful on earth than a kingdom? Nothing. But nevertheless it perishes if divided against itself. And what would you say of a city, similarly, if it were to break down by its own weight? What great blame would fall on those who carry the burden of its affairs! And what of a house? Whether it is a small matter or a great one, it perishes when it revolts against itself. Furthermore, if I am possessed by a demon and through it cast out demons, there is dissent and strife between demons, and they rise up against one another. And if they rise up against one another, their strength is destroyed. “For if Satan casts out Satan”—note that he did not say “demons,” implying that there was a great deal of harmony in them toward each other. Rather, he said hierarchically, “If Satan casts out Satan, he is then divided against himself.” But if he is divided, he is becoming weaker and being ruined. And if he is ruined, how can he cast out another? Do you see how great is the joke of the accusation, how great the folly, the inconsistency? It is not plausible that one would be said to stand by that which was likely to cause one to fall. The Gospel of Matthew, Homily