The overall situation:
• Jesus sends out seventy disciples into every place He was about to visit
• He sent them to heal the sick and announce the nearness of the kingdom of God
• the seventy returned with amazement and joy because demons were subject to them
• Jesus chimed in saying He saw Satan fall like lightening from heaven
• Jesus explained He had given them authority over the enemy and that nothing would ever hurt them
• But then Jesus told them the greater joy is knowing your names are written in heaven
• Within that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and thanked God that He had hidden these things from the wise, and revealed them to babes.
Was Jesus trying to ‘one up’ the disciples casting out demons? Nope. He had a bigger point to make.
Remember, the disciples were sent out to heal the sick and declare the nearness of the kingdom of God. In essence releasing and proclaiming the goodness of God.
But they were wowed by themselves casting out demons. Hmmm. Ever get yourself caught up in ‘what’ you do for God?
So, maybe Jesus’ comment got them out of themselves, besides trying to reveal the eternal truth of a mystery?
Your Satan image
When you see this phrase – Satan fell like lightening – do you picture a red-horned-pointy tail-being flailing down through the clouds and crashing upon the earth? Ever wonder what the disciples pictured?
Is the image the point of Jesus’ comment? Nope, but we sure like to have our little ‘framed images’ as our reference point, little realizing how this limits our understanding.
Why did Jesus describe Satan falling like lightening?
Points in considering the why:
• satan in Greek (satanas) means an accuser
• having fallen in Greek (piptó) means to fall under (as under condemnation), fall prostrate
• lightening is basically a flash, a momentary display, now you see now you don’t
Jesus is saying that all accusations and accuser have fallen! This hurtful and damning accusatory dynamic has come under condemnation and rendered gone – like a flash in a pan.
Sadly, humanity has not heard this truth, let alone Christians grasping it, and multitudes continue to participate in accusing and being the recipients of accusations.
On top of this, many believe God is quick to find fault with us if we slip up – big or little. Many even imagine they ‘feel’ His accusations and negative thoughts toward them. Consequently, they ‘fall under condemnation’.
Hey, that is a big fat lie – God does not fault! God does not accuse anyone, nor does He think negative thoughts about anyone.
What God hates are the lies and accusations that keep us from knowing the beautiful truth about ourselves and Him.
In fact, Jesus used the woman caught in adultery to display these very truths.
The Woman caught in adultery experienced Satan falling like lightening
An earlier post about the woman caught in adultery elaborated on how Jesus disarmed all the accusers and accusations.
Gosh, sounds like ‘satan lightening’ fell from the sky that day as Jesus wrote in the dirt and spoke respectfully to the woman caught in adultery.
It’s easier to picture this red guy with horns and a pointy tale, besides giving him lots of press and ‘stage time’. Been there, done that.
But it would serve us well to realize Satan is representative of all accusatory powers that torment, belittle, limit, and bind up men. These accusatory powers could flow from individuals, institutions, families, cultures, programs.
God wants us free from the satan dynamic. Accusations are the opposite of what God created.
God creates whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely. (Php 4:8) Paul said we are to think on these. If we think on them, figure we will even say them!
These beautiful things, from before time began, are what we truly flow from, and are to flow out of us. Let’s be who we really are and see others for who they really are.
When that happens, lightening has fallen.
• The biggest hindrance and distance between man and God has to do with man’s struggle with guilt, condemnation, and fear of judgment – these flow from accusations and lies. Let’s get to the source and dispel it.
• If the satan is operating in your life, then realize this flash in the pan fizzled out a long time ago. Stop being who you aren’t!
• What Jesus said about the accuser and all accusations falling happened before the cross! Hmmm. What have we been missing out on?!