Seven Sons of Sceva

Seven sons of Sceva wounded

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Seven Sons of Sceva
ACTS 19 COMMENTARY
Acts 19:8-13 Paul in Ephesus

Acts 19:14-22 Seven Sons of Sceva

Acts 19:23-28 Demetrius
Acts 19:29-41 Ephesus Theater
ACTS 19:14  14 Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so.

What "did" the "seven sons of Sceva" (Acts 19:14) do?
Try to cast evil spirits out of people, saying, “We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches” (Acts 19:13).

What is ironic about that?
If the seven sons of "a Jewish chief priest" are going to refer to a preacher, one would have expected it to be "Sceva," their father who is a chief priest, instead of "Paul" (Acts 19:13).

ACTS 19:15  15 And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?”

Who did and didn't the "evil spirit" (Acts 19:15) know?
It knew "Jesus" and "Paul" but didn't know the seven sons of Sceva (the "you" is plural).

Who didn't the seven sons of Sceva know, and in what sense?
They knew about Jesus, but they didn't know - in the sense of having a relationship with - Jesus, and were trying to piggyback on Paul's relationship with Him: "We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches" (Acts 19:13).

ACTS 19:16  16 Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

What was the result?
The seven sons of Sceva lost a 7-to-1 fight: "The man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded" (Acts 19:16).

How is this different today?
It isn't. True Christians are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and win against evil spirits, who win against everyone else. And to be indwelt by the Holy Spirit, you must have a direct and personal relationship with Jesus, not rely on the relationship that your spouse, relative, parent or pastor has with Him.

Is your relationship with Jesus direct and personal?
 

ACTS 19:17  17 This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.

Why did fear fall on "all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus" (Acts 19:17)?
If seven sons of a chief priest were no match for an evil spirit, neither were they.

Why was "the name of the Lord Jesus ... magnified" (Acts 19:17)?
By saying, "Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?" (Acts 19:15) before attacking the seven sons of Sceva, the evil spirit in effect acknowledged the power of Jesus and inferred that it couldn't win against someone like Paul, who was indwelt and protected by the Holy Spirit whom Jesus sent.

ACTS 19:18-20  18 And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds. 19 Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.

Why did "those who had practiced magic ... burn" (Acts 19:18) their books?
They realized that true spiritual power rested with "the Lord Jesus" (Acts 19:17).

What was the value of the books they burnt?
"Fifty thousand pieces of silver" (Acts 19:19) would have equaled the combined annual wages of 200 men. Assuming $50,000 per person, this is comparable to $20 million worth of books on magic, astrology, witchcraft, etc., being gathered today from a city of 250,000 inhabitants ($80 worth per person) and burnt. This was no small spiritual clean up job by the Holy Spirit.

When should you burn your ouija boards, tarot cards, lucky charms, books on magic, horoscopes, sorcery, etc?
 

What about your books or movies that paint magic or sorcery in a positive light, like Harry Potter?
 

ACTS 19:21-22  21 When these things were accomplished, Paul purposed in the Spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome.” 22 So he sent into Macedonia two of those who ministered to him, Timothy and Erastus, but he himself stayed in Asia for a time.

What did "the Spirit" (Acts 19:21) purpose for Paul to do next?
Revisit the churches in "Macedonia and Achaia" (Acts 19:21), and then stop by "Jerusalem" (Acts 19:21) on his way to "Rome" (Acts 19:21).

Why now?
The Lord's work for Paul in Ephesus had been "accomplished" (Acts 19:21).

At least who had come to Ephesus during Paul's stay?
"Timothy" (Acts 19:22), who had ministered in Thessalonica of Macedonia, spent time in Corinth to minister to the church that Paul planted, and was now being sent back to those regions ahead of Paul.

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