Daily Word

But who are you? | Acts 19:13-20

13 A group of Jews was traveling from town to town casting out evil spirits. They tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus in their incantation, saying, “I command you in the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, to come out!” 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a leading priest, were doing this. 15 But one time when they tried it, the evil spirit replied, “I know Jesus, and I know Paul, but who are you?” 16 Then the man with the evil spirit leaped on them, overpowered them, and attacked them with such violence that they fled from the house, naked and battered.

17 The story of what happened spread quickly all through Ephesus, to Jews and Greeks alike. A solemn fear descended on the city, and the name of the Lord Jesus was greatly honored. 18 Many who became believers confessed their sinful practices. 19 A number of them who had been practicing sorcery brought their incantation books and burned them at a public bonfire. The value of the books was several million dollars.[c] 20 So the message about the Lord spread widely and had a powerful effect.

Acts 19:13-20 (NLT) 中文

3rd Missionary trip

Paul is on his 3rd missionary journey to visit his church plants and “strengthen all the disciples” – like what he did on the start of the 2nd journey. Apollos, another spiritual leader – like Paul, is mentioned by Luke. He teaches in Ephesus, gets gently corrected, then is sent over to Corinth. Later Paul arrives in Ephesus after correcting the belief of some disciples then shares in the synagogue for 3 months, gets frustrated and sets up shop for 2 years in a school where he taught daily.

But who are you?

The name of Jesus was spreading in Ephesus and all Asia minor. Some Jews used to be traveling exorcists – what a job! They heard about the powerful name of Jesus and tried to improve their success using His name. This group of brothers tried it – but were met with a huge surprise. The spirit was real, first of all. It responded to them. It acknowledged Jesus (and Paul) but asked “Who are you guys?” Then beat them all up – 1 vs 7. 

Big news

Word like this spreads quickly – even without telephones or the internet. So everyone in Ephesus heard about it – Jews and Greeks alike. And people revered the name of Jesus – there is power in that name! As those in this very evil and spirit-worshiping culture became followers of Christ, they confessed their former wicked ways of witchcraft and, as a visible testimony of this newfound faith, burned their books. In a way, it was like a group baptism, but by fire. This also was noticed which spread the Gospel even more greatly.


  • Who are we? If we attempt to do good works for the Lord in our own name, what will be the effect? Who’s tried to do this? Raise your hand with me! If any good comes, it’s by His grace alone. And who are we to then take credit – even indirectly? Do we respond to “Great ministry outreach Mike!”, with a humble external, “Nah, it was nothing.” or, “Glory to Jesus.” but inwardly, we take delight? Be careful! All glory is to Him. He gives the abilities, resources, etc. – even the very breath, the ideas!
  • Have you turned from an old, sinful practice? It’s quite OK to, like the Ephesians, have a ceremony (beyond baptism) to renounce your old ways quite visibly. When I accepted Christ in college, I broke all my Rock and Roll albums in our fraternity basement as other brothers walked by and called me crazy. I’m here today to tell the story.
Chess piece in mirror. Image from pxfuel.com

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  1. Doug, Thank you for sharing how you broke all your rock and roll records. You knew those records were preaching for the “other guy”, Satan. I never really got caught up in rock and roll but I watched my sister’s generation and much of my generation swept away by it. When I hear those songs at a local Culver’s I still remember how they lead astray so many.
    Before I came to Jesus, my god was sex. And when I found Jesus, and I like to say, He found me, I contacted every woman that I had been with to apologize and explain that I was saved and was following Jesus now. All of them accepted what I said and some sincerely appreciated it and some I have completely proper relationships with to this day – glory to God and Hallelujah!

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