Acts 19:11-22 no other name
“11 God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them. 13 Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15 One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” 16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding. 17 When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor. 18 Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed what they had done. 19 A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas.[a] 20 In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power. 21 After all this had happened, Paul decided[b] to go to Jerusalem, passing through Macedonia and Achaia. “After I have been there,” he said, “I must visit Rome also.” 22 He sent two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia, while he stayed in the province of Asia a little longer”. NIV
It is a fact that when God is powerfully at work, you can expect the devil to turn up in the same neighbourhood, causing mischief. ‘Revivals’ have often been accompanied by works of the flesh and manifestations of the demonic. At such a time, great discernment is needed. Counterfeits may be expected.The enemy loves to ‘piggy-back’ onto a move of God. ‘The devil is a great imitator, but in this case, his attempt was a humiliating failure.’ Warren W. Wiersbe: ‘With the Word’, p.721.
Christianity is not about nice, neat, polite church services. It involves frighteningly great power at work: ‘’God did extraordinary miracles through Paul…’ (11). However, in the wake of this, there were problems to be faced (13-15). The demons turned up to the party, uninvited.
Nevertheless, what the devil meant for harm, God used for good (17-20). Someone once observed that fighting God (or attempting to) is like playing chess against a grand master. He will even use your moves against Him to defeat you.
(By the way, ‘’Fifty thousand drachmas’’ was a huge amount, and shows how deeply enmeshed in occult practices the Ephesians were. The drachma was a silver coin representing the average wage for a day. As someone pointed out, this represents over 135 years’ wages.)
I find the words attributed to an ‘’evil spirit’’ (15) to be quite remarkable: ‘’Jesus I know…’’ He could also say that he knew ‘’about’’ Paul, but Jesus he knew.
‘Jesus the Name high over all, in hell or earth or sky;
Angels and men before it fall, and devils fear and fly.’
‘’You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder’’ (James 2:19).
There is a major emphasis in this passage on the Name of Jesus and its superiority over every other name; its power over every other authority.
‘’…there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved’’ (4:12b).
PRAYER: Lord, I pray that your Name will be ‘held in high honour’ in my community.