I recognize Jesus, but who are you?
Acts 19:13-22 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
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 Seven sons of one Sceva, 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 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. 18 Many also of those who had believed kept coming, confessing and disclosing their practices. 19 And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of everyone; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing.
21 Now after these things were finished, Paul purposed in the Spirit to go to Jerusalem after he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, saying, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome.” 22 And having sent into Macedonia two of those who ministered to him, Timothy and Erastus, he himself stayed in Asia for a while.
Philippians 2:10 says: At the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth. In John 14:13-14 Jesus says: “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.” Luke 10:17 says: The seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name." There is indeed power and authority in the name of Jesus. Yet in today’s text it says: 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.” Seven sons of one Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. And the evil spirit answered and said to them, “I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” 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. 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. There is more to it then than just naming the name of Jesus. The evil spirit said: “I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” It is not only the name of Jesus on our tongue which gives us authority. It is the very presence of Jesus in us that causes every knee to bow. In John 14:23 Jesus says: “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.” It is the indwelling and abiding presence of God, walking in step with Him that is the source of power and authority in our lives. It is more than naming Him. It is knowing Him and being known by Him.
In Psalm 91 the psalmist says: He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust!” For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper
And from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions, And under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.
You will not be afraid of the terror by night, Or of the arrow that flies by day; Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon. A thousand may fall at your side And ten thousand
at your right hand, But it shall not approach you. You will only look on with your eyes And see the recompense of the wicked. For you have made the Lord, my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place. No evil will befall you, Nor will any plague come near your tent. For He will give His angels charge concerning you, To guard you in all your ways.
They will bear you up in their hands, That you do not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and cobra, The young lion and the serpent you will trample down.
“Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name. “He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. “With a long life I will satisfy him And let him see My salvation.” Our protection, our provision, our power and authority is actually God working for us, because we have known His name, but also because we love Him.
Look again at what Jesus says in John 14:13-15: “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” It is not we, by the power of Jesus name that accomplishes the work. It is Jesus Himself, He says: “I will do it.” Again in John 14:23 Jesus says: “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.” If we are to have the abiding presence of God and Christ in us and with us we must keep His word, His commandments. The commandments we keep are both those concerning righteousness, avoiding sin and also those concerning how we relate to others, in love, mercy and forgiveness. James 2:10-20 says: Whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. For He who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not commit murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but do commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment. What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? The demons believe in God, they recognize Jesus, but for us to have the power and authority that is in the name of Jesus, Christ must be in us. He will only be in us as we walk with Him, as we like Jesus, do the things that the Father does, keeping His commandments, walking in righteousness, compassion, forgiveness, mercy grace and love.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit thank You that through the redemption, the reconciliation and the restoration of Jesus finished work on the cross, I can have Your indwelling presence. You abide with me. Thank You that as I keep Your word, Your commandments, as I walk with You, it is You who will do the work. Jesus You said: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” You have also given me authority in Your name, not my authority, nor my works, but You working through me, to do the works of the Father. In the name of Jesus, the name above every other name I pray. Amen.