GOSPEL MEDITATION # 58
The Sons of Sceva
- Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions.
- Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
- Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer
- Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
- Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
- Reread it. From memory, determine the central points.
- Ephesus would have been typical of the ancient world, which was much engaged with magical practices.
- Now Paul, through Paul, God was doing incredible miracles, primarily power over unclean spirits. There were healings and the casting out of demons. Shocking to the Ephesians.
- It was thought that the covenant name of God, given to Moses at the Burning Bush, Yahweh, had magical powers. 7 sons of a supposed Jewish high priest named Sceva, used this name to perform miracles.
- Seeing what Paul did, they tried using “the name of the Lord Jesus” when they saw the evil spirits subject to Paul.
- The evil spirits knew who Jesus was, of course, the same today, and they recognized Paul, who they knew was wrecking havoc among them.
- This did not work, indeed, it backfired, and an evil spirit, or demon, attacked them and wounded them.
- Such authority over the demonic realm brought even more attention by the Ephesians to Paul. An awakening was under way already, and now it increased to a great degree.
- Word quickly spread in Ephesus and the hand of God is evident in that the citizens brought together a large pile of their magical books and burned them, publically.
- The magical materials, Luke tells, totaled 59,000 pieces of silver—a staggering amount.
- This all abounded to the glory of God and the Word spread.