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! Seven sons of Sceva, a leading priest, were doing this. But one time when they tried it, the evil spirit replied, “I know Jesus, and I know Paul, but who are you? 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.ACTS OF THE APOSTLES 19:13-16
The above account tells us about men of time past who recognized that the name of Jesus is potent, they had seen Apostles of Jesus use the name to cast out demons, to heal the sick, to do the miraculous. And they thought to themselves that they could use the name of Jesus in the same way as these apostles did.But they knew not or chose not to believe that except for the mercy of God, the name of Jesus is only potent in the mouth of one who believes in Jesus wholeheartedly.
So this one time, as they engaged in their incantations and tried to mix up the name of Jesus somewhere in there, the evil spirit they were trying to cast out questioned their identity, authority and even more so pounced on all of them, leaving them all battered.
I find it interesting that one man possessed with an evil spirit, one man!!! was able to over power about 7 men who were trying to save the man with the evil spirit. This is a pointer that these evil spirits, the kingdom of darkness do posses power but very noteworthy that it comes nowhere close to the potency of Jesus’s power. Imagining the life one who doesn’t have Christ in Him just leaves me shuddering; such a life may just be so susceptible and preyed upon by the power of darkness. Accept Jesus into your life today if you haven’t, you have so much to gain from accepting Him into your life., I promise.
The focal points for me as drawn from reading this chapter of the bible are as follows:
People Recognize Power when they see it:From the above story of the seven sons of Sceva, the priests and Jews that tried to use the name of Jesus to cast out demons, it is evident that they recognized the power in the name of Jesus. But I think it is sad that they did not give themselves to truly knowing Jesus for themselves because in so doing, they could have accessed the power in His name freely and perhaps not have to go through such a horrible ordeal of being overpowered by demons.
In the same way today in the world we live in right now there are so many evidences and proofs of the supreme power of God,many people recognize it but choose to be adamant to sticking with the heresy that Jesus is a fallacy. At this point it is salient to note that without Jesus nothing was made and everything that was made, was made through Him. – John 1:2-3. Yes! even the dark kingdom and its cohort were all created through Him, for Him and His glory. –Colossians 1:16. He created them all but they chose what they choose to do what they want with the power that they possess. To bring everything to a wrap,The name of Jesus is the source & ulimate of every forms of Power that ever existed, exists or that will exist.
Knowing that Jesus Christ is King over all these dark forces: new age movement, witches, crystal kings & queens and so on, don’t you think it only makes perfect sense to come over to the winning side. The side that truly cares for your wellbeing, whose love isn’t self-seeking, whose love is patient, keeps track of no wrongs, and only wants the best for you and loves you unconditionally!
The Kingdom of Darkness Recognize the Potency of name of Jesus & Respect Him:
Look at Acts 19:14, the demon said to the seven sons of Sceva, Jesus I know! Paul I know! Who are you? I think the question was profound and perhaps was loaded with many unasked questions like “Who are you to use the name of Jesus?” “How dare you use the name of Jesus like that?” “What effrontery?” “Do you even know this Jesus?”.
I think it makes absolute sense that the name of Jesus cannot and should not be abused or misused by just anybody. I would not go lay claims on the resources, wealth or affluence that Jeff Bezos has when I have no form of relationship with Him. So strangers like the sons of Sceva laying claims to the name of Jesus or trying to use it to their advantage was more less imposter behaviour and the demons knew it.
This for me is a pointer to the fact that just as Jesus knows His sheep ( His true friends) so does the devil. We cannot “bobo” (deceive) these demons to thinking or believing that we possess the true identity of Christ by just calling His name. They know their sheep too! By our fruits, Jesus knows us, the devil knows us too.
Moreso, the demons do acknowledge that Jesus’ power is the supreme power that is why they obey Him when the true friends of Jesus like Apostle Paul cast out demons in His name. But from the unclean lips of the sons of Sceva, they wouldn’t. I mean c’mon! the bible tells us that handkerchiefs and aprons that touched Apostle Paul’s skin were used to heal the sick and caused evil spirits to leave bodies of men and women. – Acts 19:11-12
Demons cannot cast out demons: To be fair, I admit that perhaps these sons of Sceva did mean well, they meant to do good. They wanted to release the possessed man from the bondage he was in by casting out the evil spirits inside of him. But apparently, every power, spirit contrary to that of Jesus is of no good. It is like cancelling a debt by incurring another debt, the debt doesn’t go away, it may just defer the time to which you have to pay for it but you’d still have to pay for it eventually.
But inviting Jesus for real into a dark situation cancels the debt for real, for real!
Demons know themselves, have the same goal- to kill, steal and destroy. They will never work contrary to this goal, so everytime they are invited to help out, they actually do the worst. It may appear that they did some good initially but on the long run it is all evils. I believe this is why the bible tells us in Acts 19:13 that the Jews who tried to cast out demons….. the keyword there is try never succeeded at it. You cannot be 50% demon and 50% Jesus, you have to choose a side. It is either you are on the Lord’s side or not,strangers cannot access or use the power in the name of Jesus loosely.
There is a system of accessing Jesus’ Power: It is noteworthy that the Apostles did not just wake up to working in the authority of Jesus Christ. There was a process and I believe the process still holds true to date. Utilizing the power given to humanity by Jesus Christ starts by first believing in Him,Confessing that He is Lord, being friends with Him and being baptised in His name. For example, Apostle Paul who is more less the spotlight Apostle in this chapter went through the same process. Acts 9:3-5:17-18
Baptism in the name of Jesus is so Essential for Every Believer to work in the authority and power of Jesus Christ.
Even moreso, Apostle pointed out the importance of every believer being baptised in the name of Jesus which is also the baptism of the Holy spirit in Acts 19:2-7. If it wasn’t I doubt that he would have asked the disciples at Ephesus if they had been baptised in the Holy spirit. Furthermore, he prayed for them to be baptised in the Holy ghost and immediately all twelve disciples were baptised with the evidence of speaking tongues.
Therefore, as we come to the knowledge of Jesus, believe in Him, accept Him into our lives, we should also receive His baptism with the evidence of speaking in tongues. Because it is through the Holy spirit inside of us that we are able to express and exercise the authority Christ has given to humanity through His death and resurrection.
And Ultimately the name of Jesus should be held in high honor just as the Ephesians did after they saw what happened when the name is misused.- Acts 19:17