5-12 Satan As Lightning
Luke 10: 18: “And he said unto them, I beheld
Satan as lightning fall from heaven”.
This shows that Satan was once in heaven.
1. We have shown that no sinful being can be tolerated
in God’s presence in Heaven (Mt. 6:10; Ps. 5: 4-5; Hab. 1:13)
2. Jesus is using parabolic language - “as
lightning fall from heaven” - so this “Satan” fell.
Lightning comes from heaven in the sense of the sky, not as in the
dwelling place of God.
3. Any attempt to link this with the prince of this
world being cast out is difficult, because that happened at
Christ’s death (n.b. “now” in Jn.12:31), whereas this
falling of Satan occurred during His ministry.
4. According to popular thought, “Satan” is
supposed to have fallen from heaven in Eden, so that he was on the
earth at Job’s time, yet Jesus is described as seeing this
occurring at His time. Weymouth adds a marginal note on Lk. 10:18 in
his translation of the Bible: "The thought is not that of Milton's
rebel angel banished for ever from the abide of bliss".
5. If an evil being and his host of followers fell down
on to earth literally, why did only Jesus see it and not the disciples?
Why is there no other record of this strange event?
6. Falling from heaven is figurative of losing
authority, e.g. it is used about the demise of the king of Babylon in
Isaiah 14. See also Lamentations 2:1 and Jeremiah 51:53.
1. The apostles had just cured many people (Lk. 10:17)
and were blinded by their great physical power over disease (v. 20).
The real cause of illness and disease is our sin prone nature. That sin
is the ultimate reason for illness is stressed in Matthew 9:12 and
12:11, where a sheep gone astray, a clear symbol of a sinner (Mt.
18:13), is equated with a sick man. The principle is summed up in
Matthew 9: 5 “Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven
thee; or to say, Arise and walk?”. Thus Jesus said, “I
beheld Satan fall”, i.e. “In My view the great thing was
that the power of sin was being overcome”.
2. There must be a connection with v. 15: “And
thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to
hell”. Is Jesus implying that “Satan”, the ways of
the flesh, which were so well exemplified in Capernaum, were being
overcome? Notice that Capernaum was “exalted” in Jewish
eyes. “Satan” often referring to the Jewish system (2-4 “The Jewish Satan”), maybe Jesus is
equating Capernaum with “Satan” and commenting how the sin
which was at the basis of this system was being overcome by the
preaching of the Gospel.