Verse 13 gives us a clue to the involvement of the Jewish leadership community in the “black arts.” (Ultimate proof of it will come later.) Nowhere else in Scripture is the Jewish community described as having exorcists.These were apparently men who traveled from synagogue to synagogue, if not from town to town, seeking those who were afflicted by evil spirits.
So Paul is once again in a position of needing to fight fire with fire, and God enables him to perform miracles as evidence to those who “always seek after a sign” (Matt. As we have often said, the Book of Acts is the history of a transition period between the Kingdom program for Israel and the Age of Grace for all people today.
If you have not taken the time to read today’s passage (Acts -20), I urge you to do so now and to pay careful attention to the words that the Holy Spirit impressed upon Luke as he wrote. Luke might have written, “And Paul was performing miracles…” But he didn’t! It was always God Himself who performed the miracles, and Paul is merely identified as the tool in God’s hands.
Perhaps the demons recognized them and saw in them their own judgement and raising of their victims to newness of life.
In more common daily use, these cloths were used for wiping the sweat off of one’s face.
Here is an example of how the artifically-imposed system of numbered verses can be misleading.
Luke, of course, did not break his story up into verses!
Perhaps in some cases a larger cloth was needed — one large enough to go completely around the afflicted recipient.
Before moving on to the next verses, we should remember that Luke, aside from being a consummate historian of his day, was a .
I’ve always thought God had a great sense of humor in this situation. But don’t you want to just pump your fist in the air and holler, “Yay, God! ” Little did the evil spirit realize he was going the work of God that day — the backfire!