Miracles Performed by Paul for Authentication

An alcoholic, who became a believer, was asked how he could possibly believe all the nonsense in the Bible about miracles. “You don’t believe that Jesus changed the water into wine do you?” “I sure do, because in our house Jesus changed the whiskey into fu … More

Miracles

For three months Paul had an open door to preach in the Ephesian synagogue (v. 8). In due time the Gospel had both saving and hardening effects. As soon as Jewish unbelief reached the stage of cursing Christ, Paul choose a new meeting place, in the lecture hall of a well known teacher in town named Tyrannus. Possibly he was one of Paul’s Jewish converts, and when things got rough for Paul in the synagogue, Tyrannus invited him to use the facilities of his divinity school.

It appears that Paul used his building from 11 o’clock in the morning until 2 o’clock in the afternoon, which was the heat of the day, and when Tyrannus would not be using it himself. In these Ionian cities, because of the heat, all worked stopped at 11 a.m. and did not resume again until late afternoon. We are told that there would actually be more people asleep in Ephesus at 1 p.m. than at 1 a.m. This shows us two things: (1) The eagerness of Paul to teach and (2) the eagerness of the Christians to learn. Paul continued in this arrangement for two years (v. 10). It may well shame many of us because of our petty excuses for not studying the Word of God.

Ephesus was known for its magic, and apparently the Christians had not yet put away all such evil practices (vv. 11-12). However we need to take note that these were special miracles (v. 11) and not to be duplicated by others. There was no New Testament in existence in those days, so God enabled Paul to perform miracles so that the people might realize that God was putting his stamp of approval on them. Today we do not need to see miracles in order to know if God approves it or not, because we have God’s Word as our authority. This is why it is so important that we understand that the book of Acts is a history book, and not a doctrinal book. This does not mean that God is not capable of performing miracles today, but simply that He does not authenticate His work by performing miracles.

Application

Paul did not give up just because people gave him a hard time. He just moved on to another location.  I have had to do that at various times in my life, and I trust that my family has also learned from these experiences.

Acts 19:8-16 (English Standard Version)

And he entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God. But when some became stubborn and continued in unbelief, speaking evil of the Way before the congregation, he withdrew from them and took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the hall of Tyrannus. This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks. And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them. Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, "I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims." Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. But the evil spirit answered them, "Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?" And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

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