Day 46: The Answer Is JESUS (Acts 19:11-20)
Today’s Passage: Acts 19:11-20
There is this old joke.
The pastor has kids gathered around him for the children’s sermon. He begins his story.
“Now, I want to describe to you something, and see if you can guess what it is.” He begins, “It’s small, and can run up and down trees.” One child’s answer, “It’s Jesus”. The pastor smiles and says, “No, and it is also grey”. To which another child yells out, “It’s Jesus”. The pastor, straining a little more this time to smile, says, “No, and it also has soft fur”. Now there are several more back-and-forth attempts (all with the answer Jesus) until one of the children says, “Pastor, it sure sounds like you are describing a squirrel, but the answer with you, is always Jesus!”
In some ways Jesus is the only answer—but let’s be specific—the answer to what?
Today in the Scriptures we see some very well-meaning exorcists. They are trying to free people from demonic possession. They have witnessed the power of Jesus’ Name, and they choose to use it. The results are the opposite of what they expected.
Jesus and His Name, while powerful, are not some magical words like “Abracadabra”.
Some folks say, “Jesus is the answer to everything”, and I get why they would say that, but he is not some “tool” to be used.
So, how can Jesus be the answer to everything, yet not be turned into a “tool”?
I tend to think of it as follows: I think that once you come into a relationship with Jesus, you find that He orders your world. The world begins to make sense. You and your life begin to have an ultimate aim and meaning. The idea of truth, where it comes from, etc. falls into place. The issue of evil in our world comes into focus. Indeed, God pours his Holy Spirit into you, and equips you with spiritual gifts to do work that He, God, has prepared in advance. My list could go on…so much so that Jesus is seemingly the answer to…everything.
But here is the situation. All that happens after you come into a relationship with him.
Consider a human-to-human analogy. Once you are in a relationship with someone as their friend, you don’t think of how you can “use” them. You simply engage in a friend-to-friend relationship.
When this is now a God-to-human//human-to-God relationship—WOW!
The Seven Sons of Sceva have no such relationship.
Their motives are good—they are trying to free people from demonic possession, but here’s the deal. They are engaged in a spiritual battle, and they are unprepared. (No surprise then that in the Letter to the Ephesians, Paul highlights this situation of spiritual warfare.)
Compare the Seven Sons with those who have come to call Jesus Lord and friend:
18 Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. 19 And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver.
Jesus has become their answer, and the result is the rejection of all that pretends to connect them to God.
Jesus is the person who is the answer to the question, “How can I know God?” And when you come into relationship with him, then He truly is the answer to everything.