It is more than just saying the name

Acts Bible Background

07.15.2018 – New Testament: Acts 19.13–17

To read the Bible in a year, read Acts 19.1–20 on July 15, In the year of our Lord 2018

By Don Ruhl

Saying the name of Jesus is not a magical formula or a secret password. However, some people, even in the first century, thought that it was:

Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.” Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified (Acts 19.13–17).

This hilarious episode happened because the sons of Sceva believed that just saying the name of Jesus would drive the demons away. In the case of casting out demons, it means receiving authority from Jesus to cast out demons, which the sons of Sceva discovered.

Questions:

  • What does the name Jesus mean to you?
  • Does Jesus know you as one of His followers?

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