we’re still doing our study on the book of Acts and i just had to share this paragraph because, firstly i find it quite amusing and secondly it made me reflect a bit.
Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15 One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, 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.
Just before this passage we read how the name of Jesus was being spread throughout the region by the Apostle Paul, so the people there would know of the miracles being performed in the name of Jesus.
These opportunistic Jews were then using Jesus’ name in order to exorcise people. We don’t know how successful they were but I guess they might have been for a while. Till they came to this far more stubborn evil spirit. The spirit knew the name of Jesus and he knew Paul but he did not know these sons of Sceva. Therefore he wasn’t going to take any nonsense from them and gave them a beating.
(cue hilarious chase music as the demon possessed man chases them, grabs them beats them and they flee naked).
By the way there were seven of them and even then they were no match for one demon-possessed man. spooky
The name of Jesus does have power and demons (as evidenced by this one) do know of Him and submit to His authority. They also know of the Apostle Paul who himself was a disciple of Christ. As a result Paul was given authority to cast out demons and heal sicknesses, which is what he was doing. This is something that Jesus gives to all those who love and follow Him.
Unfortunately for the sons of Sceva, they knew of Jesus and knew that in using the name Jesus demons would be cast out. However they did not know him as their personal Lord and Saviour. Therefore they had no real authority over the demons, hence the demon did not know them or respect their act of exorcising them. Hence the above mentioned beating.
So just because you can say the name ‘Jesus’ doesn’t mean that it’s going to save you. You have to really be in a relationship with Jesus so that He knows you too and the Holy Spirit will then give you the necessary gifts to continue His ministry here on earth.
In the same way knowing the President’s name and using it to get places is completely different from actually being known by the President. Sooner or later you’re going to be found out as a fraud and receive a severe beating.
So next time when you’re dealing with demons, make sure you know the Lord personally. Else all you’ll end up is naked, beaten and running..