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Acts 19:11-20 – Paul’s Extraordinary Deeds in Ephesus

Summary

Paul heals the sick and casts out evil spirits during his time in Ephesus. These miracles lead some practitioners of magic to renounce their former ways.

Analysis

The unsurpassable power of God, a power that cannot be manipulated by human beings, becomes so evident to everyone in Ephesus that people burn magic books. Likewise, lesser spirits are not deceived by the attempts of itinerant exorcists who attempt to use Jesus' name. When the seven sons of Sceva, well-known exorcists, try to use Jesus' name and power for their own gain, the spirits recognize Jesus and drive the exorcists into the streets.

Acts 19:11-20

The Sons of Sceva

11 God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12so that when the handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were brought to the sick, their diseases left them, and the evil spirits came out of them. 13Then 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.’ 14Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. 15But the evil spirit said to them in reply, ‘Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?’ 16Then the man with the evil spirit leapt on them, mastered them all, and so overpowered them that they fled out of the house naked and wounded. 17When this became known to all residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks, everyone was awestruck; and the name of the Lord Jesus was praised. 18Also many of those who became believers confessed and disclosed their practices. 19A number of those who practised 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. 20So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.

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10 February 2011

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