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In the climactic sequence of Constantine, Lucifer and John Constantine face off. John tells "Lou" that the archangel Gabriel is in the other room with Lou's son. Lucifer steals his son away from Gabriel, sends him back to hell, and burns Gabriel's wings off. He then comes back to John and grants John a wish. Specifically, he says, "What do you want?"

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Why does Lucifer do that? Why doesn't he just drag John down to hell? Lucifer can't have a sense of moral obligation ("he did me a favor so now I have to do him a favor"), can he?

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    Why can't Lucifer have a sense of obligation to do a favour to those who did him one? Even the devil can quote scripture, after all. – Steve-O May 14 '18 at 18:19
  • God and Lucifer had a bet. They would not directly interfere with Earth and see wether it would be destroyed or not eventually in the future or something along those lines. They could just send representatives to influence the crowd. John saved the bet from being nullified from Lucifer's side. – Avnish Kabaj May 15 '18 at 2:50
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Lucifer offers John a favor for helping stop his son from ruling Earth.

Lucifer wants John's soul for all of the demons he's sent back to hell, but Earth is the overall goal of his ambitions.

Lucifer explains his motivations for the exchange in question below.

Lucifer: [To Gabriel] This world is mine, in time. You, best of all of us, Gabriel, should understand ambition.

Lucifer's son was attempting to work with Gabriel to come to Earth through Angela Dodson via the Spear of Destiny. Had Gabriel pierced Angela's stomach with the spear, Lucifer's son would have reigned over Earth instead of Lucifer.

Gabriel: [Gabriel sits on top of John Constantine, explaining her rebellion] You're handed this precious gift, right? Each one of you granted redemption from the Creator – murderers, rapists, molesters – all of you just have to repent, and God takes you into His bosom. In all the worlds and all the universe, no other creature can make such a boast, save man. It's not fair. [Gabriel leans closer to Constantine's face]

Gabriel: If sweet, sweet God loves you so, then I will make you worthy of His love. But it's only in the face of horror that you truly find your nobler selves – and you can be so noble. So … I will bring you pain. I will bring you horror. [Gabriel lifts up Constantine from his collar]

Gabriel: So that you may rise above it. So that those of you who will survive this reign of hell on earth will be worthy of God's love.

Constantine alerted Lucifer of the events transpiring in the adjacent room; at first Lucifer is hesitant to trust Constantine.

John Constantine: [Regarding Lucifer's son] He's in the other room.

Lucifer: Boys will be boys.

John Constantine: With Gabriel.

Lucifer: [disgusted] Huh? No accounting for taste, really.

John Constantine: They have the Spear of Destiny.

Lucifer: [mocking, mimicking] "They have the Spear of Destiny." [becomes serious, leans in] Or is it another one of your cons?

Lucifer then stops Gabriel, sends his son back to Hell, and offers a favor in exchange for stopping his son from ruling Earth instead of him.

  • I'm giving you an upvote, but I'm not going to mark it as The Answer until I see how some other people answer this too. I'm really having a hard time seeing Lucifer as feeling gratitude, especially gratitude towards John! Lucifer hates John more than any other soul. For years and years, John has been interfering with Lucifer's plans and foiling them, so even though John gave him a big favor a minute ago, it's hard to believe that that would overrule decades of hatred. – BrettFromLA May 14 '18 at 23:10
  • John commited a mortal sin, he tried to commit suicide. Lucifer knew that John's soul was his, it was only going to be a matter of time. A small extension of his life is meaningless in the big picture (which is what he offered - "Lucifer: What do you want, an extension?") Like I said, Earth was destined to be his, John did him a favor by telling him about his son and Gabriel's plot, so he offered a favor in return, regardless of his hatred towards John. – DarkSkyForever May 15 '18 at 14:12
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Lucifer is often protrayed as having a sense of obligation. (e.g. The Devil Went Down To Georgia - "The Devil bowed his head because he knew that he'd been beat and he laid that golden fiddle on the ground at Johnny´s feet.") Satan begrudgedly asked Constantine what he wanted as a reward for alerting him to Gabriel's attempt to free Satan's son Mammon. He felt that Constantine had done him a favor and owed him something in return. That feeling of being in Constantine's debt would be galling to Lucifer. Granting Constatine a favor would make them square.

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