Acts 19:8-22

Oct 20, 2019 // By:dave cadieux // No Comment

8 ¶ And he entered the synagogue and continued speaking out boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God.

9 But when some were becoming hardened and disobedient, speaking evil of the Way before the people, he withdrew from them and took away the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus.

10 This took place for two years, so that all who lived in Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.

11 ¶ God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul,

12 so that handkerchiefs or aprons were even carried from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out.

13 But also some of the Jewish exorcists, who went from place to place, attempted to name over those who had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, “I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.”

14 Seven sons of one Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this.

15 And the evil spirit answered and said to them, “I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?”

16 And the man, in whom was the evil spirit, leaped on them and subdued all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

17 This became known to all, both Jews and Greeks, who lived in Ephesus; and fear fell upon them all and the name of the Lord Jesus was being magnified.

18 Many also of those who had believed kept coming, confessing and disclosing their practices.

19 And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of everyone; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.

20 So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing.

21 ¶ Now after these things were finished, Paul purposed in the Spirit to go to Jerusalem after he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, saying, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome.”

22 And having sent into Macedonia two of those who ministered to him, Timothy and Erastus, he himself stayed in Asia for a while.

Now lets go back and hit this verse by verse

8 ¶ And he entered the synagogue and continued speaking out boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God.

As was his custom, Paul evangelized in the synagogue, proclaiming Jesus as Messiah. He had already visited the Ephesian synagogue briefly (18:19–21), but now he’s able to stay longer.

Unlike some other synagogue experiences, Paul taught this time for “three months” before opposition ensued. That suggests the Ephesians were more open to Paul’s message than previous Jewish audiences.

Some of them became believers (note the word pursuading)

  • let us remember that only God convicts, calls, and converts a human being into a child of God.
  • Paul offers reason to believe, deals with reasonable objections and questions
  • He does not convert anyone any more than Ezekiel brought dead mens bones back to life In Ezek 37:1-14

9 But when some were becoming hardened and disobedient, speaking evil of the Way before the people, he withdrew from them and took away the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus.

others persisted in unbelief and soon slandered the Way publicly, so Paul leaves after three months to teach elsewhere …

school of Tyrannus, normally used in mornings for regular classes (light but not hot)

“reasoned daily” (kath hemeran dialegomenos; or “had discussions daily,” NIV)

Remains of School of Tyrannus

Ephesus.jpg

10 This took place for two years, so that all who lived in Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.

We have an ancient text that adds information to the end of Acts 19:9, saying that Paul taught there ‘from the fifth hour to the tenth’ [manuscript D Syriac]

mornings the school was used for regular curriculum , and Paul either used it for free or rented it between the hrs of 11am – 4pm for his own teaching.

how long did Paul use the school of Tyrannus ? (vs 10)

11 ¶ God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul,

12 so that handkerchiefs or aprons were even carried from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out.

Here Luke is describing historical events; he is not prescribing an activity that we should mimic.

He is not endorsing selling little pieces of olive wood, or oil, or prayer clothes that have been prayed over.

(also not endorsement of “buy this handkerchief for $10 and God will multiply it back to you 10 fold within the month if you will sow in trust)

Paul is simply the instrument here. He’s not walking around handing out facecloths. In fact, Luke emphatically states that it was “God” who was doing extraordinary miracles. God may choose to do the miraculous today too, but we must not expect him to do so—much less demand it.

In this case, in a city steeped in superstition and interest in magic, God kindly condescended to show the Ephesians his sovereign power in a way that would get their attention and draw them to the Savior.

13 But also some of the Jewish exorcists, who went from place to place, attempted to name over those who had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, “I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.”

ξορκιστῶν “ex-or-kis-tace” means “out with an oath (formula, incantation)

14 Seven sons of one Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this.

15 And the evil spirit answered and said to them, “I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?”

The demon knew about Jesus and knew about Paul but these men were not recognized by the enemy as being a threat or having authority over them (apparently demons can tell who is a real follower of the Lord, who is saved, who had spiritual authority)

Tell story of Chris Kyle

A sniper in Middle East who was so good at his job (four tours) that the enemy had put a bounty on his head

Who among us is known by the enemy as a threat ?

Does any of us have a bounty on our heads in hell ?

16 And the man, in whom was the evil spirit, leaped on them and subdued all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

why were these men overpowered by a demon even though they used the name of Jesus ?

Matthew 7:21–23; “… did we not cast out demons in our name? and I will say depart from me, I never knew you…”

Luke 10:17-19 (He gives the authority to cast out the demons

from Easton’s Bible Commentary:

Jewish exorcists were known for offering strange Hebrew incantations. The Ephesians were attracted to sorcerers, looking to them to provide cures and blessings for a price. It was common for charlatans to borrow names to use in their incantations. So after observing Paul’s ministry, this particular group of pretenders decided to cash in on Jesus’s name (much like Simon Magus wanted to do in 8:9–24), but their attempt backfired. A better title for these guys, as Alistair Begg quipped, would be “The Seven Streakers of Sceva” (“Reaching the City”)!

After trying to add Jesus’s name to their hocus-pocus act in order to cast out evil spirits, the seven sons get utterly humiliated. As demons often do in the New Testament, this one testifies to the power of Jesus—this time to his power working through Paul (Polhill, Acts, 404; cf. Acts 16:17). The demon essentially says, “I know I can’t best Jesus or Paul, but you guys have no power to do anything to me.” Because these wizards didn’t belong to Jesus, the demon wasn’t forced to relinquish control to them. And instead of being exorcised of the evil spirit, the tormented man becomes supernaturally strong and proceeds to whip the sorcerers (cf. Mark 5:3–4). Things got so bad, in fact, that the sons fled the house naked and dripping with blood. So who won the battle? As Matt Chandler commented, “If when the fight started you were wearing pants and when it was over you were no longer wearing pants, you lost” (“Like a Wildfire”).

People should magnify Jesus’s name in worship, never trying to misuse it for witchcraft. Only Jesus’s people have the Spirit of God. This episode shows us the reality and influence of the devil but also the superior power of Jesus over all forms of power (cf. Mark 5:6–7).

17 This became known to all, both Jews and Greeks, who lived in Ephesus; and fear fell upon them all and the name of the Lord Jesus was being magnified.

18 Many also of those who had believed kept coming, confessing and disclosing their practices.

19 And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of everyone; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.

burning the books of their spells was an outward expression of an inward change:

recognizing the incompatibility between what they had been doing and what they recognized God wanted them to do. (i.e. “I am willing to leave this so far behind, that I am burning it to show I will never go back to it)

can also be seen as judging those old habits as condemned and judged as worthless now in Gods economy as those books suffered the same judgement as those who stayed in those books would also suffer

20 So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing.

21 ¶ Now after these things were finished, Paul purposed in the Spirit to go to Jerusalem after he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, saying, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome.”

22 And having sent into Macedonia two of those who ministered to him, Timothy and Erastus, he himself stayed in Asia for a while.

basic theme of this section of scripture:

  • false worship is not tolerated.
  • The enemy will try to fabricate the works of God (but the lure is always to elevate the status of man in the process)
  • God may use familiar things to speak to us and get our attention, but He establishes Himself as the source of power , not the works of man.
  • what are our motives for trying to participate in God’s work, to be part of miraculous things?

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