FROM THE START, it was clear the demons were onto him. The sight of Jesus coming down the road drew the possessed out of every town the way a flame tempts a moth, often with the same results. The demons plunged into the light of his presence in an act of utter self-destruction.
They seemed fascinated by his radiant oneness with his Father and shrieked their challenges toward that which they would not worship yet could not turn their backs on entirely. They used his name like an obscenity, frightened children terrified of the awful power unleashed in a single word. "I know who you are? they declared maniacally as he approached each town. "I know you, Jesus of Nazareth!" If only his own knew him with such confidence and precision.
It has always been this way: the rare attraction between good and evil circling warily in a dance of death. In the legends of angelology, the first act of disobedience was engaged in by an angel so beautiful he was called Lucifer, a name which means light-bearer. Lucifer was such a luminous being that he began to mistake himself for the God whose light he reflected as a moon bears witness to its sun. In doing so, he confused other angels into following him as well, and from this separatist band the original demons came to be.
Stories about the angel of light and his tragic fall from grace are present in the extra-biblical literature of Jews, Christians, and Muslims. According to these traditions, Satan (or Lucifer or Iblis, the Islamic equivalent of Diabolos) denied his allegiance to God when confronted with the creation of humanity. God's evident preference for these new creatures over heaven's hosts was a …