In a recent group discussion, somebody said that because the devil knew who Jesus was, and how Jesus' death would affect his own destiny, it was idiotic for him to instigate Jesus' crucifixion.
Somebody else said that the devil couldn't help himself, as he was driven by blind hatred.
I piped in, wondering if there was the possibility that the devil wasn't entirely sure of Jesus' divine identity; that he may have had some doubt about Jesus' claim to be the Son of God. After all, he didn't know what the Messiah looked like. When he, as Lucifer, knew Jesus in heaven, His name wasn't Jesus and He had not yet taken on the form of man.
And apparently he wasn't present at the birth of Jesus. Otherwise he would have identified Him for King Herod, who because of not having that information, slaughtered many babies in an attempt to kill the prophesied child.
I suggested that the devil's temptations issued to Jesus while He was still in the wilderness after forty days and nights, were an attempt to see if, indeed, Jesus were the anointed One.
However, someone pointed out that because there are recorded instances of some of the devil's demons recognizing and proclaiming Jesus to be Lord, then surely the devil had to know who He was. That was a good point. Later on, it occurred to me, too, that surely the devil witnessed Jesus' miracles and became convinced.
So I was asking the wrong question. Instead of did the devil know who Jesus was; I now wonder if he knew what the consequences would be by having Jesus put to death? Did he know that his part in Jesus' death would be a help in bringing about the gospel?
After all, the New Testament hadn't been written at that time for the devil to read. And I don't think the Old Testament testified clearly about the specifics of the devil's connection to God's salvation plan.
If he didn't know the consequences; his actions, if nothing else, showed his hatred towards God. If he did know, then he didn't and doesn't care about his demise, as long as he can destroy as many of God's creation as he can.
One thing is sure, though. The devil certainly knows now what his fate is, and he hasn't changed his ways. That tells me that all he is about is murder-suicide.
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