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Then some itinerant Jewish exorcists tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. But the evil spirit said to them in reply, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” Then the man with the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered them all, and so overpowered them that they fled out of the house naked and wounded. When this became known to all residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks, everyone was awestruck; and the name of the Lord Jesus was praised. Also many of those who became believers confessed and disclosed their practices. A number of those who practiced magic collected their books and burned them publicly; when the value of these books was calculated, it was found to come to fifty thousand silver coins. So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.
Now after these things had been accomplished, Paul resolved in the Spirit to go through Macedonia and Achaia, and then to go on to Jerusalem. He said, “After I have gone there, I must also see Rome.” So he sent two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia, while he himself stayed for some time longer in Asia.
Want to dig deeper? Additional Scripture Suggestions:
2 Thessalonians 1:11-12
1 Corinthians 16:5
Time for Reflection
In addition to the 4 questions found on the attached bookmark consider the following:
Nt Wright writes that the point of this section is that Ephesus was a center of power: magic power, political power, religious power. Paul’s ministry demonstrated that the power of the name of the Lord Jesus was stronger than all of them.
In today’ world the question of power is at play everyday. How do you see the power in the Lord’s name now-is it still seen as more powerful than others?
How would you explain the difference between magic and the power of the gospels?