12:28 But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God 1 has already overtaken 2 you. 12:29 How 3 else can someone enter a strong man’s 4 house and steal his property, unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can thoroughly plunder the house. 5
1 sn The kingdom of God is a major theme of Jesus. It is a realm in which Jesus rules and to which those who trust him belong.
2 tn The phrase ἔφθασεν ἐφ᾿ ὑμᾶς (efqasen ef’ Juma") is quite important. Does it mean merely “approach” (which would be reflected in a translation like “has come near to you”) or actually “come upon” (as in the translation given above, “has already overtaken you,” which has the added connotation of suddenness)? Is the arrival of the kingdom merely anticipated or already in process? Two factors favor arrival over anticipation here. First, the prepositional phrase ἐφ᾿ ὑμᾶς (ef’ Jumas, “upon you”) in the Greek text suggests arrival (Dan 4:24, 28 Theodotion). Second, the following illustration in v. 29 looks at the healing as portraying Satan being overrun. So the presence of God’s authority has arrived. See also L&N 13.123 for the translation of φθάνω (fqanw) as “to happen to already, to come upon, to come upon already.”
3 tn Grk “Or how can.”
4 sn The strong man here pictures Satan.
5 sn Some see the imagery here as similar to Eph 4:7-10, although no opponents are explicitly named in that passage. Jesus has the victory over Satan. Jesus’ acts of healing mean that the war is being won and the kingdom is coming.