Paul continues the work, preaching in the synagogues, baptizing believers, and contending with hostile Jews.
“God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.”v.11-12
Luke then recounts a wild incident in which a group of Jewish exorcists, referred to as the Seven sons of Scheva, attempt to drive a demon out of someone “In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches…”
“Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” 16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.” v.15-16
The news of the failed exorcism spreads, prompting magicians and sorcerers to burn their books in the street!
Meanwhile, idol makers are in distress. They recognize the threat of Christianity to their livelihood and incite an ultimately fruitless riot.
Let’s Talk About It
Addressing the Issue
In Ephesians, Paul addresses spiritual warfare due to the amount of occult activity in Ephesus. It is in Ephesians where Paul urges us to put on the “armor of God” and reminds us that ” we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12