The Faith Explained – Did the Devil Know Jesus Was God?

Cale Clarke receives a question from a listener named Alan about whether the devil knew that Jesus was God during the temptation in the Gospel. Cale explains that it is not as clear-cut as people assume. He references an article by John Cavallini from Notre Dame, who discusses the idea that the devil may not have known about Jesus’ divinity. Cale quotes Origen, an early church writer, who said that Mary’s virginity went unnoticed by the ruler of this age (referring to the devil) because of her marriage to Joseph. This implies that the devil may have thought Jesus was simply their natural child. Cale connects this idea with a passage from St. Paul’s writings, suggesting that the wisdom of God’s plan, including the marriage of Mary and Joseph, was hidden from the rulers and evil spirits of the age. Origen suggests that the devil did not know Jesus’ true identity during the temptation, and Jesus did not explicitly reveal it. Cale concludes that Jesus chose to wrestle with and conquer temptation rather than relying on his divine rank and identity. The flight to Egypt, which was part of Jesus’ life, further supports the mystery of the incarnation and shows that God does not always exert His power directly.

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Jake Moore serves as a Digital Audio Content Producer for Relevant Radio®. He is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, and is passionate about classic movies, Christian music, young adult ministry, and leading this generation to Christ through compelling media. You can listen to more of his podcasts at and on the Relevant Radio® app.