Prince of this world

m4-empires

Then the devil took him up and revealed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. “I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them,” the devil said, “because they are mine to give to anyone I please.            Luke 4:5-6

Three times the Jesus of John’s Gospel refers to Satan as the prince of this world.  He uses the word archon which was customarily used to denote the highest official in a city or a region in the Greco-Roman world.

When Satan claims that he can give all authority and glory of all the kingdoms of the world to whomever he wants because it all belongs to him, Jesus does not dispute him.  However, that is usually because Jesus does not have dialogue with Satan – not so much as that it is a truth and if there is dialogue it is quoting God’s Word which is what happened in the first two temptations.

The apocalyptic worldview of Jesus day as seen through the eyes of John and Paul —

“We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one.” – 1 John 5:19

“Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.” – 2 Corinthians 4:4

“You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world.  He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God.” – Ephesians 2:2

When Jesus is accused of casting out demons by the power of Beelzebub (another name for Satan), He responds by telling His hostile audience —

 “A kingdom divided by civil war will collapse.” – Mark 3:27

This demonstrates that the demonic kingdom is unified under one prince (archon) who is Satan. He makes the point that this kingdom of evil, like any kingdom, cannot survive by working at cross-purposes with itself.

Jesus adds that one cannot make significant headway in taking back the property of this kingdom unless one first —

 “For when a strong man like Satan is fully armed and guards his palace, his possessions are safe— until someone even stronger attacks and overpowers him, strips him of his weapons, and carries off his belongings.” – Luke 11:21-22

This is what Jesus came to do.

When the seventy disciples return to Him after a successful ministry of driving out demons, Jesus proclaims —

“Yes,” he told them, “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning!” – Luke 10:18

How is Satan god of this world?

The Spiritual Ruler of This World

Pope Francis: “There can be no dialogue with the prince of this world”

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