Summary: One of the most difficult things for people in the 21st Century to do or so it seems is to have an accurate view of themselves. This question, asked by a demon, brings us face to face with reality.
Who Are You
• There is an old story that I’ve heard, read, and told many times. It’s about a fellow named Bill who was always bragging about who he knew and how he was friends with many popular and powerful people. He said to his boss one day, "You name anyone you want to and I know them." His boss decided to challenge his claims. He said, "I guess you know Tom Cruise." Bill answered, "Sure, Tom and I are old friends." The boss asked him to prove it. So Bill and his boss flew to Hollywood and walked up to the door of Tom Cruise's house and knocked. Tom Cruise answered the door and shouted, "Bill, great to see you! You and your friend come on in." Although impressed, Bill's boss is still a little skeptical, so he asks Bill if he knows the president. "I sure do, let's fly to Washington to see him," replied Bill. They flew to Washington and were admitted into the White House. About that time President O’bama came walking down the hall and seeing Bill shouted, "Bill, what a surprise. I was just on my way to a meeting, but you and your friend come with me and we'll have a cup of coffee first." Bill's boss is very shaken, but still not totally convinced. As they left the White House he asked Bill if he knew the Pope. "Do I know the Pope? Sure! We have been friends for years. Why don't we go and see him." They flew to Rome and when they arrived thousands were packed into Vatican Square for mass. Bill said, "There are too many people here for the Pope to see me. You wait here. I know the guards. They will let me in and I'll come out on the balcony with Pope." Bill disappeared in the crowd and sure enough, in about half-an-hour the Pope walked out with Bill following behind him. When Bill finally got back to his boss he found the paramedics working with him. "What happened?" asked Bill. His boss said, "I was doing fine until you and the Pope walked out and the man next to me said, 'Who's that on the balcony with Bill?'"
• Our question for this message is the final question of our series. Each of these 5 questions have come directly from God’s word. (Recap the 1st four questions) This last question raises the bar for each of us. It is a personal question which speaks to the very core of who we are, what we want, where her heart is, and the legacy we will leave. We find this question in Acts 19. (READ vs 15) PRAY.
• Can you imagine what it would be like to be performing some kind of ministry, to be helping some person in need, or doing some other ‘spiritual work’ only to hear that statement & question directed at you in an evil voice, “I know Jesus, I even recognize the preacher, I know the deacons, I know your Sunday School teacher, but WHO ARE YOU?” This question comes in the middle of a very interesting event. Let’s read from verse 11.
• There are so many subjects & lessons from this text that chasing rabbits could be very easy. For instance, it would be easy to develop the subject of the “Dangers of Invoking the Name of Jesus.” Trying to do spiritual business in the name of Jesus can be hazardous to your health if you don’t possess his support and power. The man possessed by the demon was caused by the demon to (read text) – but the southern translation would be ‘jump on them & beat the dog out of them.’ They left naked & wounded.
• This, in itself, would be an interesting message, but let’s stay with the sobering question which the ‘evil spirit asked the boys. “Who are you?” or “What am I?” is a question that each of us asks ourselves when we are young. After we get more years behind us, not so much, which is a tragedy because the Bible tells us to ‘examine ourselves, test ourselves, and even KNOW ourselves.’ God’s word tells us it is vital that we ‘know ourselves’. We need to recognize ‘if we are straddling the fence between two opinions’, we need to know what we are doing here, we have to come to grips with “What we are actually doing with Jesus”, & we need to rightly know if we ‘love Jesus more than all this stuff.’ I offer a warning to each of us tonight: “IF we refuse to ask this difficult question of ourselves, we will be the ones in the dark because others ask the hard questions about YOU. It is sad to say, but many if not most, believe they know all about other people.