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He said he “recognized” Jesus, and he “knew about” Paul.

They are two different words in the Greek, with two different meanings.

If you guessed these are the verses referring to the cloths around the dead faces of Lazarus and Jesus, you were right.

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The previous verse ends by saying that Sceva’s seven sons “were doing this.” The Greek tense for “doing this” means they were in the , the evil spirit they were trying to exorcise rebuked them by replying, “I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you? The evil spirit not only told them off, but immediately turned into the biggest, baddest kitchen blender set to frappe they had ever encountered.

Luke says he leaped on all seven of them and drove them out of the house bruised, bleeding and with their clothing in shreds.

Every English translation I checked indicated that these were not “miracles,” but rather required two words to describe them.

The Greek literally says, “ordinary miracles.” It was important for Luke to make a distinction between the extraordinary miracles of God through Paul’s hands from the “ordinary miracles” of those he describes in the following story.

Luke identifies a Jewish chief priest by the name of Sceva, who had seven sons, all exorcists, who were trying to invoke Jesus’ name in their rituals.

It is curious that Sceva was not only a priest, but a “high priest,” and suggests the level of involvement in the black arts within the Jewish community in Ephesus.

We began the story of Paul in Ephesus in the last post, and today we continue Luke’s narrative of that two-year period.

This passage (Acts -20) opens with the Jewish leadership in Ephesus already having hardened their heart, and Paul having withdrawn from the synagogue to the school of Tyrannus with those who had believed.

Verse 2 gives us a clue concerning what Paul was dealing with.

At the very end of the verse it says, “and the evil spirits went out.” The mechanism that God used is interesting in that it did not require Paul to touch those who were healed or even be in their presence.

So Paul is once again in a position of needing to fight fire with fire, and God enables him to perform miracles as evidence to those who “always seek after a sign” (Matt. As we have often said, the Book of Acts is the history of a transition period between the Kingdom program for Israel and the Age of Grace for all people today.

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