“I recognize Jesus, and I know of Paul, but who are you?”
Acts 19:13-41 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
But also some of the Jewish exorcists, who went from place to place, attempted to use the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had the evil spirits, saying, “I order you in the name of Jesus whom Paul preaches!” 14 Now there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, doing this. 15 But the evil spirit responded and said to them, “I recognize Jesus, and I know of Paul, but who are you?” 16 And the man in whom was the evil spirit, pounced 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 who lived in Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks; and fear fell upon them all and the name of the Lord Jesus was being magnified. 18 Also many 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 added up the prices of the books and found it to be fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So the word of the Lord was growing and prevailing mightily.
21 Now after these things were finished, Paul resolved 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 after he sent into Macedonia two of those who assisted him, Timothy and Erastus, he himself stayed in Asia for a while.
23 About that time a major disturbance occurred in regard to the Way. 24 For a man named Demetrius, a silversmith who made silver shrines of Artemis, was bringing considerable business to the craftsmen; 25 he gathered these men together with the workmen of similar trades, and said, “Men, you know that our prosperity depends upon this business. 26 You see and hear that not only in Ephesus, but in almost all of Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away a considerable number of people, saying that gods made by hands are not gods at all. 27 Not only is there danger that this trade of ours will fall into disrepute, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be regarded as worthless, and that she whom all of Asia and the world worship will even be dethroned from her magnificence.”
28 When they heard this and were filled with rage, they began shouting, saying, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” 29 The city was filled with the confusion, and they rushed together into the theater, dragging along Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul’s Macedonian traveling companions. 30 And when Paul wanted to go into the assembly, the disciples would not let him. 31 Also some of the Asiarchs who were friends of his sent word to him and repeatedly urged him not to venture into the theater. 32 So then, some were shouting one thing and some another, for the assembly was in confusion and the majority did not know for what reason they had come together. 33 Some of the crowd concluded it was Alexander, since the Jews had put him forward; and having motioned with his hand, Alexander was intending to make a defense to the assembly. 34 But when they recognized that he was a Jew, a single outcry arose from them all as they shouted for about two hours, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”
35 After quieting the crowd, the town clerk said, “Men of Ephesus, what person is there after all who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is guardian of the temple of the great Artemis and of the image which fell down from the sky? 36 So, since these are undeniable facts, you ought to keep calm and to do nothing rash. 37 For you have brought these men here who are neither temple robbers nor blasphemers of our goddess. 38 So then, if Demetrius and the craftsmen who are with him have a complaint against anyone, the courts are in session and proconsuls are available; have them bring charges against one another. 39 But if you want anything beyond this, it shall be settled in the lawful assembly. 40 For indeed, we are in danger of being accused of a riot in connection with today’s events, since there is no real reason for it, and in this connection we will be unable to account for this disorderly gathering.” 41 After saying this he dismissed the assembly.
Philippians 2:10-11 says: At the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. In today’s text it says: Some of the Jewish exorcists, who went from place to place, attempted to use the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had the evil spirits, saying, “I order you in the name of Jesus whom Paul preaches!” Now there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, doing this. But the evil spirit responded and said to them, “I recognize Jesus, and I know of Paul, but who are you?” And the man in whom was the evil spirit, pounced 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 who lived in Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks; and fear fell upon them all and the name of the Lord Jesus was being magnified. There is power in the name of Jesus, but those who invoke it better know Him and be known by Him. In Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus says: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; leave Me, you who practice lawlessness.’” In John 14:12-14 Jesus says: “Truly, truly I say to you, the one who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I am going to the Father. And whatever you ask in My name, this I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” There is power and authority in the name of Jesus. It is still Jesus though who has the power. He is the one who does the works. In verse 15 He adds: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” We cannot ask for anything in Jesus name if we continue to practice lawlessness and show that we do not love Him by choosing not to keep His commandments. He will not lend His power to those He does not know.
Romans 8:31 says: If God is for us, who is against us? In Luke 9:26 Jesus says: “Whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory and the glory of the Father and the holy angels.” God will not be for us if we are ashamed of or bring shame to Christ His Son. Rather than being for us, in Isaiah 5:20 God says: Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! In Acts 26:14, when Jesus confronted Saul on the road to Damascus, He said: ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ If we oppose Jesus and His commandments, we choose to make our lives hard. If we are against Him, God will be against us. Romans 8:35-39 says: Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or trouble, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? … in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. The only one who can separate us from the love of God is we ourselves. It is only by our own choosing, by calling evil good and darkness light.
Thank You heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit. May I know You and be known by You. May I walk in obedience to Your will and Your word and may I have the power and authority of Your name. May others see and know that You are with me and for me. In Jesus name, Amen.