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
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.
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.