The word katalambano (comprehend) can be interpreted as:
1.”To seize, lay hold of, overcome”
If we use this interpretation, John 1:5 reads, ‘The darkness cannot gain control of it.”
This means that hell, no matter how hard it tries, cannot control, stop, diminish, modify or turn God away from accomplishing His purposes. The devil cannot interfere with or defile what God will do. This should prompt us to praise His holy Name out loud right now!
But we don’t have to stop there. This same interpretation of katalambano also means that all the demons of hell cannot control, stop, diminish, turn away or interfere with any saint who is full of the Holy Spirit and God’s Word and walking in obedience to the Lord’s leading! HALLELUJAH!
“Greater is He [Jesus] that is in me than he [the devil] that is in the world”! If the Scriptures say it, you can believe it, and that settles it! Satan cannot defeat us! Satan can only harass, tempt, or try to intimidate the blood-washed, Word-filled, Spirit-anointed saint. We don’t have to believe the devil’s lies or let him have control of our lives, our families, our churches, our cities, or the nation we live in. He is a defeated foe whose head was crushed at Calvary! Let’s not let him rob, kill, destroy or darken people’s hearts anymore
2.”To perceive, attain, lay hold of with the mind; to apprehend with mental or moral effort.”
This interpretation would make the verse read: “The darkness is unreceptive and does not understand it.”
If the devil had known what God would accomplish at the cross- Satan’s absolute defeat (Col. 2:15) and our total freedom from sin (Gal 6:14) -he would have tried to keep Christ from dying there for us! Of course the devil wouldn’t have been able to stop what God had planned (Acts 2:23) even if he tried!
Some have suggested that the devil and his minions howled with glee as Christ was on His way to Golgotha where He was crucified. They were not able to understand that the perfect plan of God was actually being fulfilled. Their joy was turned to weeping and gnashing of teeth as they discovered that the cross was our victory, loosing us from the bondage of sin (Rom 6:16) and from the power of death (Heb 2:14).
Imagine their dismay when three days later the dead body of Christ was raised to full immortal, eternal life -sealing forever our salvation in Him (Rom 6:5, 7-11)!
Our adversary knows his days are numbered and he is a defeated foe! Satan knows that he has no real power. He must, therefore, resort to trickery and cunning deceit operating through the spirit of this present world system. The devil is not only ignorant of God’s ways; he wants us, believers and non-believers alike, to be ignorant and blind to God’s ways as well.
Paul exhorts the Ephesian Christians in Ephesians 4:17-24 to no longer walk in the futility of a “darkened understanding (vs. 18), but to “put off the old man” (our sin nature, corrupt and bound in spiritual darkness – vs. 22), and “be renewed in tire spirit of your mind” (vs. 23). In Paul’s letter to the Romans, the Holy Spirit uses the same idea and makes it a command: “And do not be conformed [fashioned, modeled, patterned] to this world , but be transformed by the renewing of your mind ” (Rom 12:2).