Paul I Recognize, But Who Are You?
There might not be a more humorous story in all of Scripture than an account given in the 19th chapter of Acts where some “itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of Jesus over those who had evils spirits, saying, ‘I adjure you by the Jesus who Paul proclaims.’” The evil spirit’s response was “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?”
After this 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” (Acts 19:13-16).
I should hesitate to make light of this since this, no doubt, would have been a terrifying event to observe. In fact, Luke records that “fear fell upon” all the residents of Ephesus “and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled” (Acts 19:17).
It is no small thing to speak for God. Those who do so ought to do so with quivering lips.
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness (James 3:1).
How much greater judgment on those who might recklessly claim to have the office (not merely of teacher) but of prophet or apostle! For prophet or apostle was not merely one who wrestled with the meaning of God’s word (the way we all might), they spoke God’s word as if they were an extension of the lips of God itself.