Luke 10:18 and Satan's Fall From Heaven


In the rich tapestry of biblical teachings, the book of Luke provides a plethora of thought-provoking verses that have inspired believers for centuries. Among these, Luke 10:18 stands out as a captivating passage that has sparked both awe and curiosity.

This enigmatic verse, spoken by Jesus himself, describes a vision of Satan falling from heaven like lightning, offering a glimpse into the spiritual warfare that rages beyond our earthly realm.

As we delve into the profound implications of this powerful scripture, we will explore its historical context, theological significance, and the enduring impact it has on the Christian faith today.

The Story Before Luke 10:18

At the beginning of Luke 10, we see how Jesus sends the seventy-two out in pairs to preach the Good News. Though they had been with Jesus for a while, that was probably the first solo trip they had without Jesus Christ. He knew it would not be an easy task and likens their journey into the world to “sheeps going amongst wolves”. 

He gives them strange instructions too, including to take nothing and especially “to heal the sick”. Why? 

At that time, diseases were at rampant and healthcare was poor. Many illnesses seemed incurable with the medicine of that time. So, on receiving healing, people would know that it wasn’t a trick or something coincidental. They would know it was a miracle, something divine, and this would give them more conviction about the gospel and God’s love extended to the world at that time. 

Jesus says to say to them; ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’

The Kingdom that they had come to proclaim is one born from love and is without sickness or death. It is a kingdom that liberates.

By healing them, they would show them the kingdom of God and the power of the gospel. 

Fast forward to when they return to Luke 10:17‭-‬20.

“17. The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” 
18. And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 
19. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.
20. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

From the text, when they get back, you can almost touch the disciples’ excitement as they tell Jesus that even demons were subject to them.

Jesus didn’t seem so surprised. Why? 

The disciples probably weren’t so sure, but Jesus knew that the demons of ailments would be subject to them because He had given them the authority. That is what He explains to them in verse 19.

Luke 10:18 Explained.

Now that we’ve come to understand the context, let’s unravel the meaning behind Jesus’ words.

Luke 10: 18 simply says, 

“And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”

Jesus meant it literally and symbolically when He said He saw Satan fall like lightning. Before creation, Lucifer because of pride and his plan to exalt himself above God was cast out of heaven together with the other fallen angels. As the Son of God who had existed before time began and man was created, Jesus had seen the devil’s fall from heaven. We can see that in Revelation 12:7-12.

“7. And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, 
8. but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer.

9. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 

10. Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.

11. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. 

12. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” 

The word Satan in Greek means “adversary”. Satan’s fall to earth was the beginning of sorrow for mankind. He became the enemy of mankind and he runs wild on the earth because he knows his time on earth is limited. His works of sickness and evil fill the earth seeking to devour as much of as he can.

But in the next verse, Jesus helps them understand that in Him they had been given authority over all the devil’s works. He had seen that in the preaching of the Good News, they would cast out devils, dethrone Satan in his world and establish God’s kingdom on earth. 

So when Jesus said Satan’s fall was like lightning, it meant their adversary’s fall would be as violent, swift, conspicuous, and sudden as lightning falling from heaven to earth. Just like he fell the first time. Isaiah 14: 15 puts it this way, “Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit.”  

It was a small pointer to all that would come with salvation after Jesus would die later on.

What Does Luke 10 Mean For Us?

It’s a call to preach the Good News, trample over the devil and his cohorts, and dethrone him on earth. Why can we do that? It’s because we have been given that authority to do so!

We can pick a few things from Luke 10:

  • From verse 4, “Take nothing.”

We’d have to sever our attachment to things of this world like the love of money (take no moneybag), worldly possessions (take no knapsack), and fear of what people will think(greet no one on the road). Spreading the gospel isn’t a small feat, but we must trust God to help us. He says; “I am enough for you.”

  • From verse 2, ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers.

Who is the Lord of the harvest? God Himself. We must earnestly pray that people who have been delivered and touched by God will also go out to win others. 

  • From verses 8 through 11, those who do not listen have been condemned.

This verse helps us to understand how important it is to put in all efforts to win people to Christ, because those who refuse salvation will suffer a fate worse than Sodom and Gomorrah.

  • From verse 18, Satan fell like lightning.

Our adversary has already been defeated. We are not the losers trying to win, but the winners maintaining our position. Fight your battles from a place of certainty because you have already won by the reason of what Jesus did on the cross!

Final Thoughts

How exciting it is to be on the winning team! How beautiful it is to have a Savior who cares for us! It is simply amazing what Jesus did for us on the Cross and how much power we have received because of His sacrifice.

Dear believer, don’t sleep on His sacrifice. When the devil tries his toothless roar, remind him who you are; his superior, more than a conqueror, and a child of the Most High God. Exercise your authority. Hallelujah!