“Who are you?”
Scripture reading for February 17th: Acts 19, Psalm 35, Proverbs 4
Acts 19:13-17 “Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke 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 answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the Name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices.”
This amazing story took place over twenty years after Pentecost. Earlier, Paul had lead twelve disciples who were only familiar with John’s baptism of repentance into the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues and prophesy. Miracles were being done with just aprons from Paul’s clothing being placed on the sick and infirmed and healing taking place. Some sons of the Jewish high priest had evidently observed Paul and other believers invoking the Name of Jesus. They tried to use the same formula, but the demon addressed them with a question: “Who are you?” These exorcists knew about Jesus that Paul preached, but they did not know Jesus! The evil spirit did know Jesus and Paul, but did not see Jesus in them! The result was a bad beating and humiliation but growth for Christ’s Church!
Psalm 35:27-28 “Let those who delight in My righteousness shout for joy and be glad and say evermore, “Great is the Lord Who delights in the welfare of His servant!” Then my tongue shall tell of Your righteousness and of Your praise all the day long.”
Prayer: Thank You Father, for the amazing stories of the Gospel spreading and the gradual unfolding of Your plan among Jew and Gentiles. The joy and delight of people healed of sickness and infirmity and delivered from evil spirits brings joy to our hearts as Your children. May evil spirits not ask the question “Who are you?” of us as we confront them in faith and the wisdom and insight of Your Holy Spirit.
Proverbs 4:7-9 “The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight. Prize her highly, and she will exalt you; she will honor you if you embrace her. She will place on your head a graceful garland; she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.”