While Paul was at Ephesus, God used him to further His kingdom through miracles, performed to reinforce the message taught by missionaries throughout the region.
“11 Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them.” (Acts 19:11-12)
As all miracles stem from the divine power of God, in the hands of Paul, such miracles performed in the name of the Lord became instruments used by Yahweh to magnify the power of faith in the risen Christ. Just as Jesus healed the sick to manifest His power and lead the lost to living water, Paul used miracles to bring hope to the hopeless, to shed light onto darkness and make disciples in the name of Yeshua, the Christ and Savior.
“13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.” (Acts 19:13)
Luke indicates there was a group of itinerant Jewish exorcists, whose art derived from Solomon and involved invoking angels to cast out demons. Because they witnessed the immense healing power bestowed onto Paul, they started expelling demons in the name of Jesus.
“14 Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so. 15 And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” (Acts 19:14-15)
Among the vagabond exorcists, there were seven men who attempted to heal in the name of Jesus. But, the demon spirit spoke through one of the possessed victims and rebuked the sons of Sceva, a former Jewish ruler.
“16 Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17 This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.” (Acts 19:16-17)
The demon possessed man chased the sons of Sceva from his house, leaving them naked and wounded, which made news throughout Ephesus. This occurrence magnified the power of God and led many to believe.
“18 And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds. 19 Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.” (Acts 19:18-20)
Ephesus was an epicenter for magical arts in the region. When they heard of the miracles that stemmed from Paul, and of the incident involving the seven sons of Sceva, many who believed repented of their sinful ways and surrendered to the will of God by burning valuable pagan manuscripts that had distracted them from their Christian mission.
The value of the books that were destroyed was so significant, the sacrificial act in itself contributed to the furtherance of God’s kingdom. Let’s pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Luke,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre