When we meet someone new, one of the first questions we often ask them is where they’re from. We usually follow up by asking how they ended up in the area and what they do for a living. We may have similar questions about Jesus and the Devil. Where does Jesus come from? Why did he come to earth? What was the Devil’s role in the past, and what is he doing today? Of course, the Bible is our best resource for an accurate account of Jesus and the devil.
Who is Jesus?
Scripture tells us not only where Jesus came from but why he came.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (1 John 1:1-5 NIV)
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. (Colossians 1:1-18 ESV)
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life. (John 8:12 NIV)
Who,[Jesus] being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:6-8 NIV)
Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven. (Mark 14:61-62 NIV)
According to these scriptures, Jesus is
- The Word
- The Son of God
- Fully God, fully man
- With God in the beginning
- The Light
- The image of God
- Firstborn of creation
- Holds everything together
- Was the firstborn from the dead
- The Messiah
Who is the devil?
Here is what scripture tells us about the Devil.
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8 ESV)
The LORD God said to the serpent,“ Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3: 14-15 ESV)
The Bible says that the devil is our adversary or enemy. He seeks to sneak up and kill. In Genesis, we read that he appears to Eve as a Serpent and tempts her. After temptation, he was cursed by God to live in enmity among mankind. God also foretells a Messiah who will bruise the Serpent’s head. To fully understand who the Serpent is, we skip to the last book of the Bible, Revelations.
In Revelations 12:9, we read that the devil is
The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.
It’s clear that the serpent, the devil and Satan are the same, appearing in the Garden of Eden and Revelations. The devil is also called
- The god of this age- Corinthians 4:4
- Beelzebul-Matthew 12:24
- The evil one-Matthew 13:19
- The prince of the power of the air-Ephesians 2:2
- The accuser-Revelations 12:10
Where did the Devil come from?
In Genesis, the devil seems to appear out of nowhere. One minute, God says everything he made is very good, and then two chapters later, the Serpent tempts Eve to disobey God. How did the devil sin like this in a perfect world?
Jude 1:6 says “And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.“
And 2 Peter 2:4 goes on to say
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment
These verses suggest that some of the angels, including the devil, fell into sin at some point. It’s thought that their sin was probably rebellion. They wanted to usurp God’s authority out of a desire for self-exalting power and control. Basically, they wanted to be their authority.
For whatever reason, God, in his infinite wisdom, allowed Satan and other angels’ sin and rebellion. God wasn’t helpless in the face of their rebellion, but he had a purpose and plan for it.
Are Jesus and Satan brothers?
Jesus is God in flesh. Nowhere in the Bible does it say Jesus and Satan are brothers. Scripture says that Jesus is God’s Son, while the devil is one of the fallen angels.
And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3L17 NIV)
Why are both Jesus and Satan referred to as the Morning Star?
Some versions of the Bible use the name Lucifer about the devil. Looking at Isaiah 14:12, we notice the name “Lucifer” is used in the King James Version while “morning star” is used in modern translations such as the New International Version. The English Standard Version uses more descriptive words to describe the devil.
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! (King James Version)
How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! (New International Version)
How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! (English Standard Version)
In Hebrew, the word “day star” or Lucifer is Helel. Helel in the verb form is “to howl.” So, when you put this meaning into the verse, it translates, Howl, you son of the morning. Helel could also be used as a proper name for the King of Babylon, which translated as “bright one.” When the name Lucifer was translated from Hebrew to Latin, it became Lucifero, which means to shine. This became the proper name of the devil.
Even though the “day star” is synonymous with the devil, the “bright and morning star” is attributed to Jesus.
What can we learn from Jesus being tempted by the devil?
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread. (Matthew 4:1-3 ESV)
Jesus’ temptation began with the devil questioning whether he was the Son of God. Even though a short time before, when Jesus was baptized, God had declared him as his beloved Son, Satan challenged this truth.
And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:16-17 ESV)
As believers, we learn that the devil’s goal is to question God’s intentions and what he’s said.
Jesus is more powerful than the devil.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.(John 1:1-5 NIV)
According to these verses in John, Jesus
- From the beginning
- With God
- Is God
- Made all things
- Light of all mankind
- Light that shines in the darkness
His power is limitless because he is God. The devil is a created being with limited power given by God.
What are the characteristics of Jesus vs the devil?
|Humble servant-Mark 10:35
|Loving-1 John 4:10, John 15:9
|Deceiver-2 Cor. 11:3
|Sympathetic- Hebrews 4:15
|Seeks to kill-1 Peter 5:8, John 10:10
|Practices sin-1 John 3:8
|Without sin-1 Peter 2:22
|Good shepherd-John 10:11
Different names of Jesus vs Satan
|Beloved Son-Luke 9:35
|Prince of Peace-Isaiah 9:6
|Lamb of God- John 1:29
|Evil one-Matthew 13:9
|The Word-John 1:1
|Savior-1 John 4:14
|Son of Man-John 5:27
|Father of lies-John 8:44
|Light of the World-John 8:12
|Ruler of the world-John 14:30
|God of this age-2 Cor. 4:4
|The Messiah-John 4:25-26
|Ruler of the kingdom of the air-Ephesians 2:2
Jesus defeated Satan
And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. (Colossians 2:15 NIV)
When Jesus died on the cross, he paid for the sins of all men and women and defeated death. As promised in Genesis, Jesus, the offspring of a woman crushed Satan. (Genesis 3:15). He disarmed him of his power over us. No longer can he accuse believers of Christ that we’re guilty before God.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:37-39 NIV)
Scripture is our best resource to learn about Jesus and the devil. They couldn’t be more different in characteristics or goals for mankind. Jesus came to save and restore us to a right relationship with God. His compassion and love are evident in his death on the cross to pay for our sins.
On the other hand, the devil has shown himself to be rebellious to God, a liar, a deceiver, and a murderer. He wants to incite us to question God’s love and care for us. Knowing the differences between these two should encourage us to draw near to God with thanksgiving and gratefulness for our salvation in Christ.