School Tools – Calculator

Rev. Andrew Prin
September 1, 2019

GodSpeak for the Week of September 1

We kick-off the new school year with a short sermon series about “school tools”…school supplies, that is, and how they help us to illustrate and understand parts of God’s Word.

Day 1…Read Acts 19:13-20

  • Consider this – take a general look at this lesser-known, yet very interesting story from Luke’s second volume.
  • Answer this – who are the primary characters in this story?  What’s the problem?  How is it resolved?

Day 2…Read Acts 19:13

  • Consider this – pay particular attention to what Luke records these Jewish exorcists saying (and, what they don’t claim)!
  • Answer this – what do their words/their declaration to the demons say (and, NOT say) about their faith in Jesus Christ?
    • Interesting note…other, secular historians have commented that this kind of declaration was not uncommon in the ancient world!

Day 3…Read Acts 19:14

  • Consider this – Luke tells us that the Jewish men who were performing these exorcisms were “Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest…”
    • The Greek word “sceva” means “mind reader.”
  • Answer this – how does Luke’s inclusion of these details better help to understand what’s going on here?

Day 4…Read Acts 19:15

  • Consider this – Luke tells us that one day, while applying this declaration to a particular demon, the demon answers them back, saying: “’Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?’”
    • The Greek word Luke uses for “know” in terms of Jesus is “ginosko” – the demon is saying it knows the character, mind of and plans of Jesus!
    • The Greek word Luke uses for “know about” in terms of Paul is “epistamai” – which tells us the demon is saying it’s acquainted with the work Paul has been doing.
  • Consider this – but, then the demon asks who the Jewish brothers are!  That is, the demon doesn’t recognize them!
  • Answer this – what does the demon’s comment about “knowing” Jesus and “knowing about” Paul’s work tell us about the POWER of Jesus?
    • Why is it important that the demon then says it doesn’t know who these brothers are?  What’s the implication there?

Day 5…Read Acts 19:16-17

  • Consider this – the result of the demon not recognizing the Jewish brothers (despite their use of His name) is violent.
  • Consider this – the result of that violence is that the Jews and Greeks in Ephesus are “seized with fear” and “the name of the Lord Jesus” is held in “high honor.”
    • Re. Luke’s mention of “seized with fear” – Luke is trying to convey the idea that fear fell upon them (perhaps they were “sore afraid” as the shepherds were on the first Christmas Eve).
    • Re. Luke’s idea that Jesus’ name was held in “high honor” – what he’s saying is Jesus’ name was “declared great” and highly esteemed by the people.
  • Answer this – what do the Jews and Greeks in Ephesus therefore understand about the nature of and power in Jesus’ name?

Day 6…Read Acts 19:18-20

  • Consider this – the people are moved to personal faith in Jesus Christ and openly confess their sins!
  • Consider this – even those who had practiced sorcery/magic end up putting their scrolls into a pile and burning them!
    • Luke tells us the VALUE of those magic resources was 50,000 drachmas…that is, about $84,000 today!
  • Answer this – despite how scary and violent the brothers’ encounter with the demon was, how do these people end up calculating the value of their magic books in comparison to the value of Jesus’ holy name and true, personal faith IN His name?

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