Today’s passage: Acts 19:11-20
- These miracles were extraordinary. Luke spent a great deal of time with Paul and was familiar with the Apostolic gifts. This period of miracles was even unusual in their time. It wasn’t expected then. It shouldn’t be expected today.
- The seven sons of Sceva were not typical Jewish men from the synagogue who one day decided to give exorcism a shot. These men were “itinerant exorcists.” They would be better compared with Simon the Magician from Acts 8. They were using religiosity and trickery to make a living off of people and tried to tap into some power that could take them to the next level.
- When sinners come to repentance they change and continue changing. Followers of Jesus follow Jesus.
- A piece of silver was a day’s wages for laborers. 50,000 pieces of silver shows how widespread the repentance was.
Questions to consider:
- Given the prevalence of magic being pursued in Ephesus, why might God have used Paul to show these supernatural powers? How could the episode with the Jewish itinerant exorcists have even pointed people to the truth?
- What did these sons of Sceva desire to do with this power? When miracles happen, is it a sure thing that it results in repentance and holiness? What do these types of events reveal about our hearts? Are miracles proof of godliness or would our responses to them (or the lack thereof) be the better indicator?
- Could a person in Ephesus have become a Christian and continued to practice magic? Can a person today become a Christian and still live like the world? People in our day and culture don’t have libraries full of magic spells…But what kinds of things would our society “burn” if they came to Christ? How are you progressing at “putting off the old?”