Mt. 16:23 π Mk. 4:38-39 π Lk. 4:13 π Lk. 4:39 π Lk. 8:31 π Jn. 8:40-41 π Jn. 8:44 π Eph. 2:2 π 1 Jn. 5:19
The Lord was always ready to meet the antagonist whom He had foiled in the wilderness, but who had only left Him "for a season." ( Lk. 4:13 ) In Peter He quickly discerned Satan at work, and exposed him by one swift sentence, mentioning his name. ( Mt. 16:23 ) In the Jews He stripped aside the mask of the hidden foe, and said, "Ye are of your father, the devil" ( Jn. 8:44 ), and with keen-edged words spoke of him as the "murderer" and the "liar," prompting them to kill Him, and lying to them about Himself and His Father in heaven. ( Jn. 8:40-41; top )
On the lake in a storm, fast asleep, and awakened suddenly, He is alert to meet the foe, and stands with calm majesty to "rebuke" the storm, which the prince of the power of the air had roused against Him. ( Mk. 4:38-39; top )
In brief, we find the Lord, right on from the wilderness victory, unveiling the powers of darkness, as He went forward in steady aggressive mastery over them. Behind what appeared "natural," He sometimes discerned a supernatural power which demands His rebuke. He "rebuked" the fever in Peter's wife's mother ( Lk. 4:39; top ), just as He "rebuked" the evil spirits in other, and more manifest forms, whilst in other instances He simply healed the sufferer by a word.
The difference between Satan's attitude to the Lord, and that of the spirits of evil, should also be noted. Satan, the prince, tempts Him, seeks to hinder Him, prompts the Pharisees to oppose Him, hides behind a disciple to divert Him, and finally takes hold of a disciple to betray Him, and then sways the multitude to put Him to death; but the spirits of evil bowed down before Him, beseeching Him to "let them alone," and not to command them to go into the abyss. ( Lk. 8:31; top )
The realm of this deceiver-prince is specifically mentioned by the Apostle Paul in his description of him as "prince of the power of the air" ( Eph. 2:2 ), the aerial, or "heavenly places," being the special sphere of the activity of Satan, and his hierarchy of powers. The name Beelzebub, the prince of the demons, meaning the "god of flies," suggestively speaks of the aerial character of the powers of the air, as well as the word "darkness," describing their character, and their doings. The Lord's description of Satan's working through "fowls of the air" strikingly corresponds to these other statements, together with John's language about the "whole world lying in the evil one" ( 1 Jn. 5:19; top ); the "air" being the place of the workings of these aerial spirits, the very atmosphere in which the whole human race moves, said to be "in the evil one."
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