11 God did amazing miracles through Paul. 12 Even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to those who were sick. When this happened, their sicknesses were healed and evil spirits left them. 13 Some Jews went around driving out evil spirits. They tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus to set free those who were controlled by demons. They said, “In Jesus’ name I command you to come out. He is the Jesus that Paul is preaching about.” 14 Seven sons of Sceva were doing this. Sceva was a Jewish chief priest. 15 One day the evil spirit answered them, “I know Jesus. And I know about Paul. But who are you?” 16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on Sceva’s sons. He overpowered them all. He gave them a terrible beating. They ran out of the house naked and bleeding. 17 The Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus heard about this. They were all overcome with fear. They held the name of the Lord Jesus in high honor. 18 Many who believed now came and openly admitted the evil they had done. 19 A number of those who had practiced evil magic brought their scrolls together. They set them on fire out in the open. They added up the value of the scrolls. They found that it would take more than two lifetimes to earn what the scrolls were worth. 20 The word of the Lord spread everywhere. It became more and more powerful.
This story inspires me to take hold of more of Jesus. We’re told in V15 that evil spirits know Jesus and know Paul but in effect they said “who the hell are you?” to the sons of Sceva.
It would seem that the sons of Sceva had seen Paul deliver people of evil spirits in the name of Jesus and thought they would give it a go too.
They found that the name of the Lord Jesus is not a chant, a good luck charm or something to be tacked on to the end of a prayer but that it is powerful and comes loaded when the person using it is a
believer and in relationship with Jesus, as Paul was.
The passage goes on to say that those who actually practiced magic
understood the significance of the name of the Lord Jesus & repented, so overwhelming is His authority in the spiritual realm.
Lord Jesus I know that I don’t fully appreciate and understand the power and authority you have given me in the spiritual realm. I pray that I will have the confidence to use your name and not doubt the authority I have in you, just as Paul did, to see people set free, your name glorified and your Kingdom come.
Written by Suzie Hodgson