“…I know Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?”
On my first day of teaching a religion course at a local university I asked the students a simple question: Who do you know? I drew a chart with two columns on the board. I titled the first column “Know of” and the second column “Know”. The students were to come up to the board and list people they knew and people they knew of. Under the “know of” column they placed names such as: Barack Obama, Chris Brown and a few other media known figures. Under the “know” column they placed names of family members and friends. After they were through I placed “Jesus” under both columns and asked the question: Which column does He fall into for your life?
In today’s text a demon was speaking to a group of Jewish brothers, also known as the seven sons of Sceva, they were going around attempting to cast out demons in others. According to verses 13 and 14 their father was among the leading priest at that time. These brothers “tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus to make the evil spirits go out of people. They all said, ‘By the same Jesus that Paul talks about, I order you to come out!” The demon basically laughed at these men and then attacked them leaving these brothers beat up and tore up. The same demon they were trying to cast out jumped on them. Be careful trying to fix someone else’s problem when you haven’t fixed your own.
The seven sons of Sceva were trying to accomplish a task in the name of Jesus but without Jesus. They saw and heard of Paul healing the sick and freeing people from their demons so they figured they could do the same thing too. They wanted the gifts that Paul had but did not have the connection with Christ like Paul had. They knew of Jesus but didn’t know Jesus for themselves. It’s dangerous to do Jesus’ work without Jesus’ power. Although these brothers were sons of a Jewish priest and were most likely keeping the laws of God they didn’t have a relationship with Jesus to cast out demons in His name. Even the demon in the text knew of Jesus.
Do you know Jesus or do you just know of Jesus? Just because we may have grown up in the church or attended every church service possible with our grandmother doesn’t mean that we know Jesus. Knowing Jesus is a lot more simple than some try to make it. Talking to Jesus just like you would a close friend help us to get to know Jesus. Reading about Jesus in the Bible help us to get to know Jesus. Doing what Jesus did help us to get to know Jesus. As we get to know Jesus we also get to know ourselves; the good the bad and the ugly. Those things that we must change and alter about ourselves only come by knowing Jesus. Paul did some amazing things in the name of Christ. He helped transform people lives by the power of Christ. We too can do amazing things in the name of Christ. We to can help make a positive impact in people lives. There are many people in this world hurting and they are as close to you as in your house, work with you on your job, take classes with you in school, live on your block, sit next to you in church. Stop hoping to help others and starting helping others with the power of Christ. Get to know Christ more today. Ask for the Holy Spirit to use you today to make a positive impact in someone else life. Do you know Jesus? #LivingTheLife