“Who are you?” It was a leading question pointing to an obvious conclusion… “Nobody! That’s who we are. We’re nobodies.” The evil spirit nodded in agreement, wickedly smiled and warned, “That’s right! Jesus and Paul are somebody, but you are nobody. Prepare for a thrashing.”
The seven sons of Sceva were in over their heads. They earned their beating. They thought they knew what they were doing but, when faced with the reality of pure evil, these boys were forced to understand... they knew nothing at all.
The sons of Sceva held to “the appearance of godliness, but denied its power” (2nd Timothy 3.5 ESV, NAS). They had the right idea but failed to execute. Why? Because they knew not, but thought they did. The demon’s question was legitimate. These guys should have re-read Solomon’s advise:
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.”
Proverbs 16.25 NIV
…or, subscribed to Paul’s counsel:
“Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself
with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.”
Romans 12.3 NIV
Lord, open my eyes to my true self. May I possess the right mixture of faith and humility leading to an honest self-appraisal. Deliver me from the evil guaranteed to produce pain when I overreach my God-imposed limitations. Grant me the grace to know who I am in Christ and the authority to stand my ground in the face of the evil I confront daily in and around me.