The Almighty Father sends His only begotten Son to defeat the kingdom of Satan and to expand His Kingdom on earth so that men can find His true and lasting happiness. Throughout the Gospels, Jesus is continually engaged in a life-and-death battle against Satan and his human accomplices and decisively declares His absolute victory during His Passion; while Jesus has conquered death and Satan during the Incarnation, battles on earth for the souls of men will continue until His Second Coming when He will eradicate Satan and those who still oppose Him.
Jesus comes to defeat evil and build the Kingdom
Beginning with the fall of Satan and the other evil angels, Satan has been in constant rebellion against the Almighty Father. After the debacle in Eden, the Almighty Father has carried out His mysterious plan of salvation and in the fullness of time, sent His only begotten Son to enter the world to battle and defeat Satan for the salvation of man.
God’s battle against evil on earth starts at Eden
At Eden, God reveals that man’s life is a spiritual battle (Gen 3:15) between men and Satan; in this Protoevangelium (“First Gospel”), the Almighty Father reveals the coming of His Son as Savior through the Blessed Virgin Mary in the battle between Satan and man. The Blessed Virgin Mary will be wounded in this battle as a sword will pierce her soul (Lk 2:35).
Jesus engages in the battle against evil from His earliest days
The Almighty Father sends His Son into the world in His Incarnation to “destroy the works of the devil” (1 Jn 3:8; CCC 394) and to destroy the Kingdom of Satan (Lk 11:15, 1 Jn 3:8; CCC 394, 550). At the Nativity (Lk 2:13), Jesus, the Son of God, comes as the Lord of Hosts (CCC 269), with a host (an “army”) of angels to engage in the battle against Satan to establish the Kingdom of His Father; angels will protect and guide the Holy Family during the early years of Jesus (Mt 2:13, 19) and minister to Jesus during His life on earth in the Incarnation (Mk 1:13, Lk 22:43).
Shortly after the Nativity, King Herod the Great is informed by the Wise Men that Jesus is the “King of the Jews” (Mt 2:1-6). Seeing Jesus to be a political threat, King Herod seeks to kill Jesus, St. Joseph is warned by an angel of the murderous plot and is commanded to lead the Holy Family to safety in Egypt (Mt 2:16); Herod carries out his murderous plot killing all first born young boys under the age of two in Bethlehem (Mt 2:16), who are considered the first martyrs (The Holy Innocents) in the spiritual battle of the Church. After a number of years, an angel reveals to St. Joseph that Herod is dead, the death threat against Jesus has passed, and it is safe to return to Nazareth (Mt 2:19-23).
Jesus battles evil during His public ministry
Beginning with the pronouncements of His chosen forerunner, John the Baptist, Jesus reveals that He has come to conquer Satan and evil and extend His Father’s Kingdom on earth so that men can find true and lasting happiness. During the Incarnation, Jesus is constantly under the threat of death and engages in spiritual combat, with Satan and his accomplices.
Jesus reveals He has come to build the Kingdom and defeat Satan
John the Baptist, the rugged and powerful prophet chosen by Jesus to be His forerunner, reveals that the true nature of the spiritual battle is between God and Satan when he condemns the Pharisees and Sadducees as “a brood of vipers” (Mt 3:7, Lk 3:7), a reference to their unwitting cooperation with Satan, the Serpent in the Garden of Eden (Gen 3).
After His baptism and forty days in the desert, Jesus is directly attacked by, and defeats Satan (Mt 4:1-11).
Jesus’ first recorded words in His public ministry announce that He has come to build His Kingdom (Mt 3:2) so that men can find true and lasting happiness on earth (Mt 5:1-12) and eternal happiness in the Beatific Vision (“the vision of happiness”, CCC 163, 1028) in Heaven (CCC 1042-1060). Jesus repeatedly reveals His intention to build the Kingdom of God (“Kingdom of God” or “Kingdom of Heaven” is mentioned some 120 times in the New Testament). Jesus reveals He has come to overthrow the evil of the world by establishing His Kingdom (Mt 3:2, 9:35, 10:7, 24:14, 26:29, Mk 14:15, Lk 22:16-30) and that He intends to die in the spiritual battle (Mt 16:21-23, Mk 9:30-32, Lk 18:31-34).
In the spiritual battle to establish His Father’s Kingdom, Jesus confirms that men face a life and death spiritual battle on earth, with Jesus offering salvation and life (Mt 25:46, Jn 1:4, 3:16, 5:40, 6:40, 8:12, 14:6; CCC 1030-1065) and Satan bringing death and destruction (Mt 4:16, 16:18, Jn 10:10, Heb 2:14, CCC 407, 636).
Confirming the great spiritual battle between good and evil, Jesus reveals He has come to bring a “sword” (Mt 10:34), that men will either be with Jesus or against Him (Mt 12:30), and that there will be great anguish as families are divided in the spiritual battle (Lk 12:49-53).
Jesus engages in spiritual combat
Jesus is frequently under physical attack or threat of attack as the people of His hometown try to kill Him (Lk 4:29), the Jewish leaders scheme to kill Him (Mt 12:14, Mk 3;6, Jn 5:16, 18, 7:30-32, 11:47-57), and mobs attempt to stone Him (Jn 8:59, 10:30-33).
Jesus is constantly in verbal battles with various groups of Jewish leaders including the Pharisees (Mt 9:11-13, 32-34, 12:1-8, 9-14, 22-50, 15:1-9, 16:1-4, 19:1-9, 21:45, 22:15-22, Lk 6:6-1. Jn 7:32-36, 8:3-11, 8:12-20), the Sadducees (Mt 22:23-33, Lk 20:27-40), the Herodians (Mt 22:16), the chief priests (Mt 21:45, Mk 11:15-18, Lk 19:47) and the scribes (Mt 9:2-8, Mk 3:22-30); Jesus vehemently condemns their evil ways in public (Mt 23:1-36).
In His confrontations with the Jewish leadership, Jesus is accused of being in league with Satan (Mt 12:22-37, Mk 3:20-30), but bluntly reveals the true root cause of the Jewish leadership’s opposition to Him is because they are a “brood of vipers” who will be sentenced to Hell (Mt 12:34, 23:33) and directly reveals that those who oppose Jesus do so because their father is the “devil” (Jn 8:44), the ancient Serpent of the Garden of Eden.
When Jesus reveals the reality of His coming death in His victorious Passion, Peter foolishly opposes Jesus; Jesus harshly condemns Peter’s opposition, saying, “Get behind me, Satan!” (Mt 16:21-23), a confirmation that His true opponent is Satan and that there is an ongoing supernatural spiritual battle.
Jesus continually battles against Satan and his demons by casting out demons out of possessed souls (Mt 8:16-17, 8:28-32, 9:32-33, 17:14-21, Mk 1:21-28, 1:39, 3:10-12, Lk 6:17-19, 8:2, 11:14, 13:10-13).
Witnessing the sacrilege of the Temple, Jesus deliberately hand-crafts a whip (a physical weapon) and violently uses it to physically clear the large Temple area of merchants, their animals, and moneychangers (Jn 2:15).
Jesus uses a reference to carrying a sword to warn men of the spiritual battle and travels with men who are armed with swords (Lk 22:36-38), including St. Peter (Jn 18:10-11).
Jesus warns of the great consequences of the spiritual battle by revealing the brutal punishment coming to those who commit evil in The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats, saying, “Depart from Me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Mt 25:41); this is a confirmation of the spiritual battle, Satan, Hell, the Judgment and the eternal punishment of evil men.
Jesus battles evil during Holy Week and His Passion
While His public ministry included a continual series of battles, Jesus enters Holy Week and prepares for the culminating and decisive battle of the Incarnation in His Passion.
Jesus begins Holy Week as a conquering king
Confirming His intention to build the Kingdom of God, Jesus provocatively enters Jerusalem as a conquering king who comes to establish His Kingdom (Mt 21:5, Jn 12:13-29, CCC 560) and publicly confronts and battles against the Jewish leadership during Holy Week (Lk 19:45-21:38, Jn 12-17).
Jesus privately declares His victory over evil to His Apostles
Jesus confirms to the Apostles, that He has conquered the world and has been victorious in battle (Jn 13:33, the Greek, νικάω, typically insufficiently translated as “overcome”); this is the same word used to describe when Jesus comes to make war and conquer His enemies in Revelation (Rev 17:14).
Jesus publicly declares His victory in the Passion
As predicted by Jesus (“one of you is a devil”; Jn 6:70), Judas allows Satan to enter into his soul and Judas betrays Jesus (Lk 22:3-6, Jn 13:2, 27) setting off the final and decisive spiritual battle of the Incarnation.
In a sneak attack at night in the Garden of Gethsemane, several hundred Jewish soldiers, anticipating a battle against Jesus’ followers, come armed with swords and clubs to subdue and capture Jesus; Jesus reveals His identity causing all the soldiers to be knocked down and they fall to the ground (Jn 18:6), confirming that He could easily physically destroy all His enemies. In an attempt to defend Jesus, the Apostles ask for permission to strike with swords, believing that Jesus would approve of their violent self-defense, and St. Peter cuts off the ear of a slave of the high Jewish priest (Lk 22:49-52, Jn 18:10-11).
When Pilate threatens Him, Jesus is undaunted and confirms that, “twelve legions of angels” (a legion is a force of several thousand soldiers) stand prepared to defend Him (Mt 26:53).
The Jewish leadership, Herod, and Pilate (Lk 22:66-23:25) realize that Jesus is a threat because He claims to be a king (Lk 23:2, Jn 19:12-16, 19, CCC 596), is dressed and mocked as a king (Mt 27:29), violently crucified as a revolutionary who is the “King of the Jews” (Mt 27:37, Jn 18:33-19:22), and is later stabbed in the heart with a spear (Jn 19:34 ).
While slowly dying on the Cross, Jesus proclaims His absolute victory over Satan and the establishment of the Kingdom of God: when Jesus cries out from the Cross, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” (Mt 27:46), He is offering a shorthand reference to Psalm 22, which is a proclamation of the Father’s total victory over evildoers.
Jesus’ last words from the Cross, “It is finished” (τελέω – Jn 19:30) can be understood to mean to “fulfill a command” and to “achieve a final purpose”, in this case, the total victory in the battle against Satan and the establishment of the Kingdom of God (CCC 539, 550, 2853, 2864).
Jesus confirms the battle against evil after His Resurrection
After the Resurrection, Jesus confirms He has established the Kingdom of God (Acts 1:3) and commands the Apostles to continue to engage in the spiritual battle by converting the entire world to become Catholics through the Sacrament of Baptism and so men may enter into His Kingdom (Mt 28:16-20).
Jesus commands “warriors of the heavenly army” (CCC 1090). The Book of Revelation reveals that Jesus is to come in the future with the “fury of the wrath of God Almighty” (Rev 19:15) to make war (Rev 19:11) and will lead the armies of Heaven (Rev 19:14) to violently destroy Satan and the evil men of the earth who oppose Him (Rev 19:15-21).