Text: Acts 19; Judges 3-4
One of the stories in Acts that stands out is about the seven sons of Sceva. They are itinerant Jewish exorcists who, upon hearing about miracles God is doing through Paul’s ministry, decide to try their hand at casting out evil spirits. They are apparently practicing without a license, because when they go to cast out a spirit, they get into trouble:
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. (Acts 19:15-16).
On the one hand this cracks me up as the scene is almost like an old slapstick comedy. But there are serious matters here, too. Demons are real, and the evil, supernatural forces that are all around us are not to be trifled with. And, as I thought about this I had to ask myself, why was it that the evil spirit knew Jesus and recognized Paul, but not these seven men?
In our relationship with Jesus, as adopted sons of God the Father, we indeed have special standing. Not only have we entered into the reality of the unseen realm, but we have prominence there. I have a movie scene in my head as I think about this. You walk into the hotel in a dusty old western town. You’ve never been there and recognize no one. Yet, when you go to the desk and give the clerk your name, he looks up at you and days, “Oh, we know who you are.” Even the demons know who we are, because we are in Christ Jesus. Think about that.
in Him, Mike