“When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and finding none it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order. Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there. And the last state of that person is worse than the first.” - Luke 11: 24-26 (ESV) In all honesty this was always one of the parables that always gave me a bit of trouble in my Spirit. Like I was missing the bigger picture. When I find myself having theological discussions with people I often turn to the trusted commentaries we have from renowned theologians from the past. One of the most frustrating things is when someone dismisses them out of hand as if they hold no value. It is an intellectually vacuous position to not even consider thoroughly vetted sources to support someone's positions. Anywho, I was writing a difficult devotional tonight and felt led back to the parable listed above in the key verses. I decided to see what the commentaries had to say about it an unearthed this unbelievable profound explanation from Matthew Henry: Here is the condition of a hypocrite. The house is swept from common sins, by a forced confession, as Pharaoh's; by a feigned contrition, as Ahab's; or by a partial reformation, as Herod's. The house is swept, but it is not washed; the heart is not made holy. Sweeping takes off only the loose dirt, while the sin that besets the sinner, the beloved sin, is untouched. The house is garnished with common gifts and graces. It is not furnished with any true grace; it is all paint and varnish, not real nor lasting. It was never given up to Christ, nor dwelt in by the Spirit. Let us take heed of resting in that which a man may have, and yet come short of heaven. The wicked spirits enter in without any difficulty; they are welcomed, and they dwell there; there they work, there they rule. From such an awful state let all earnestly pray to be delivered. Oh beloved, this is pure gold! The revelation of the true cost of partial contrition or even a faked repentance from a believer! How often do sweep our house of the common sins but secretly tuck away what we really don't want washed? That beloved sin that we hide away so carefully while we decorate our house with the common gifts and graces of modern churchianity. It is all paint and varnish. The very same white washed tombs our Savior warned us about becoming. But a common contrition does not last because what lays secret still defiles us. It was never given up to Christ, nor dwelt in by the Spirit. We rest in what passes for spirituality here on earth and even in our churches but we have rested well short of heaven. Thus we give full right for our victories to be fleeting. For the same spirits to return. For the same sins to never be conquered! For not only will they return but they will return seven fold when they see that all is merely swept but not truly washed! Then they will dwell there because we have essentially invited them to do so. And our last state will indeed be worse than our former. Such is the condition of the hypocrite. God forgive us. Forgive me.