As Paul spends time at Ephesus, a very important lesson is learned by some who were not seeking to learn anything. Some Jews who knew that “God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hand of Paul” (Acts 19:11), took it upon themselves “to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits” (19:13). This did not go well for them as they were “overpowered” by the man with the evil spirit. What made the difference between Paul and these men? They used the name of the Lord Jesus as Paul did. Wasn’t that enough?
There is a major difference between knowing a method and having a personal relationship with the Person whose name carries with it the power to accomplish a miracle. Paul knew the Person! They only wanted the fame from doing a miracle with a method.
This stark difference is witnessed by those in Ephesus watching these things take place. “And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled” (19:17b). Notice carefully: Paul was not exalted by the people, but the Lord Jesus, even though God used Paul as His instrument. This must be the governing principle in every ministry – that the name of Jesus in lifted up, not the servant or instrument!
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