11 Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them.
Verses 11-20 demonstrate how Jesus’ power prevailed over fake exorcists.
Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul,
God performed “unusual miracles,” or miracles that were not normal, by Paul while he was in Ephesus. The miracle used inanimate objects to carry healing power.
so that even handkerchiefs [sweat headbands] or aprons were brought from his body to the sick,
This verse describes the “unusual” miracles of the previous verse. “Handkerchiefs” and “aprons” had no magical power. These items were tangible evidence of God’s power through Paul.
and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them.
Miracles confirmed the authenticity of an apostle, as here (2 Co 12:12; He 2:3-4).
Only apostles had the power of signs and wonders.
Apostles, not the general Christian population, had the authority and power to perform signs and wonders. Miracles were proof of apostleship, establishing their right to write Scripture and establish the church. The launch of the church by the apostles verified to the Jews that God had transitioned to the church and away from dealing with Israel as a nation. No one today can duplicate apostolic miracles; that power was only for the transition between Israel and the church.
Within biblical history, there were only three periods of miracles: (1) Moses’ time, (2) Elijah and Elisha’s period, and (3) the period of Jesus and the apostles. Each time frame was less than 100 years. All three periods established the authority of those who performed miracles.
It is essential to distinguish between the apostles of Christ and the apostles of the church. The apostles of Christ possessed the right to do signs and wonders, whereas the apostles of the church only had the authority to proclaim the message of Christ to the world.