God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them. Acts 19:11-12
Luke makes clear in our verses that what is happening is about God and his power. God authenticates his message through miraculous healings as Paul preaches about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Paul’s clothing has no special power, but the message of Christ dying for our sins does. We see miracles in the Bible typically occur when God is doing something new. The culture of Ephesus is influenced by pagan worship and “magic.” Therefore, God uses his power in this supernatural atmosphere to authenticate Paul’s message in a way that gets noticed.
These miracles look a lot like what Jesus did in his ministry to authenticate his identity and his message. When John the Baptist’s disciples ask Jesus if he really is the Messiah, he answers, “The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor,” (Matthew 11:5).
God wants to be known and authenticates the Gospel according to the needs of those hearing the brand-new message that all people can be a part of his Kingdom through Jesus. In our time, he uses the Bible (1 Timothy 3:16), the Holy Spirit (John 15:26) and the Christian community (Hebrews 10:24-25) to make his name known to us.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
How is God revealing himself to you? As you meet with him, consider an area of your life where you want to see him at work. Write this in your journal on page 37, and then write how you will depend on the Bible, Holy Spirit and Christian community to help you make God known.
NEW TESTAMENT READING PLAN
Join us this year as we read through the New Testament.
Today’s reading is Titus 2.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.