Summary: A devotion for growing believers
“AND GOD WAS PERFORMING EXTRAORDINARY MIRACLES BY THE HANDS OF PAUL, 12 SO THAT HANDKERCHIEFS OR APRONS WERE EVEN CARRIED FROM HIS BODY TO THE SICK, AND THE DISEASES LEFT THEM AND THE EVIL SPIRITS WENT OUT. 13 BUT ALSO SOME OF THE JEWISH EXORCISTS, WHO WENT FROM PLACE TO PLACE, ATTEMPTED TO NAME OVER THOSE WHO HAD THE EVIL SPIRITS THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS SAYING, “I ADJURE YOU BY JESUS WHOM PAUL PREACHES.” 14 AND SEVEN SONS OF ONE SCEVEA, A JEWISH CHIEF PRIEST, WERE DOING THIS. 15 AND THE EVIL SPIRIT ANSWERED AND SAID TO THEM, “I RECOGNIZE JESUS, AND I KNOW ABOUT PAUL, BUT WHO ARE YOU?” 16 AND THE MAN, IN WHOM WAS THE EVIL SPIRIT, LEAPED ON THEM AND SUBDUED ALL OF THEM AND OVERPOWERED THEM, SO THAT THEY FLED OUT OF THAT HOUSE NAKED AND WOUNDED. 17 AND THIS BECAME KNOWN TO ALL, BOTH JEWS AND GREEKS, WHO LIVED IN EPHESUS; AND FEAR FELL UPON THEM ALL AND THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS WAS BEING MAGNIFIED.”
These verses give us an excellent example of someone misunderstanding spiritual things.
These men talked about in verse 13 have seen and heard of the miracles God was doing through Paul, and assumed that Paul was doing the miracles himself. So naturally, because he was just a man, and they were just men, they thought they could do anything Paul could do, and become famous also.
The difference was, Paul was not doing it. See verse 11? “God worked...” Also, Paul was not seeking his own glory; he was seeking God’s glory. Paul was not doing his own will; he was doing God’s will.
When people mess around with spiritual things in ignorance, they can get themselves in a great deal of trouble. Ouiji boards, seances, witchcraft, Satan worship, these things will destroy a person and many around him.
God made the angels, and some of those angels rebelled when Lucifer rebelled, and they are what we call demons.
Angels are not people who have died and gone to Heaven, as many people think. Angels are created beings; made to serve God around His throne, and sent out to minister to God’s people. Read the first chapter of Hebrews carefully, and you’ll understand better.
So since God existed before all things, and is the owner of all things, and made all things...including the angels, wouldn’t it be much better and safer to leave spiritual things to His control and leading?
Enough about that. The thing I’d like to focus on is what is said by the demons in verse 15. “I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?”
Now, it’s not that I’d be especially proud to have the demons know me; but they knew Jesus because He created them and they served God as angels before they rebelled and fell. And they knew Paul because he was so submitted to the will of God and always doing the work of Jesus in the world, and God was using him so powerfully, that he was a threat to them. I wouldn’t mind if the spiritual world knew of me because of that; because I was so close to Jesus.
Because you see, if they knew me for that reason, then the people in the world would also see Jesus in me and His work through me, and the “name of the Lord Jesus” would be magnified. There can be no higher purpose in life, than to glorify the name of the One who shed His blood to pay for my sin.