POWER ENCOUNTERS

Scripture Reading:  Acts 19:11-20

“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.” (Acts 19:17,18)

For most of us, encounters with demons is rare or non-existent.  However, the Bible makes it clear that demons are real.  They are fallen angels who are led by the chief demon, Satan.  I have experienced the presence of demons on some of my international trips.  I’ll never forget the oppression I felt in a Hindu temple in India!  I saw people who were obviously deeply troubled by the presence of demons in their lives.

In our passage today, some Jewish exorcists, the sons of Sceva, attempted to tap into the power of the name of Jesus (v. 13) when they tried to deliver people from evil spirits.  They knew there was something powerful about Jesus’ name.  They had heard of the people who had been healed by Jesus’ name and so they tried it themselves.

What happened was a bit humorous.  When the sons of Sceva attempted to deliver a person from a demon, the evil spirit spoke to them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” (v. 15).  Then the demon possessed man attacked the sons of Sceva and overpowered them so that they ran out of the house naked (v. 16).  People in Ephesus were filled with fear and the name of Jesus was extolled (v. 17).

There is no question that the name of the Lord Jesus is powerful.  The apostles drove out demons and healed people in the name of Jesus.  The name of Jesus is holy.  The sons of Sceva misused it and they paid a price.  The name of Jesus brings salvation:  “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).  The name of Jesus is above every name:  “Therefore also God highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name” (Philippians 2:9).  The name of Jesus is to honored by all:  “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10,11).

Lord Jesus, I bow before Your powerful and majestic name.  I know that Your name is holy and is to be lifted up and extolled.  Today, I desire to bring honor to Your name in all that I do.

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