Acts 19:11,12 – God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were even carried from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out.
Luke seems to be saying that these were miracles of a different caliber than the ones seen in Paul’s ministry. Apparently the Lord had something special up His sleeve for Ephesus and the surrounding region and was stepping up the power of signs and wonders. We see unusual miracles in the ministry of Jesus that would effect regions of His world. I think of the amazing deliverance of the demoniac of Gadara, his testimony touched the area called “Ten Cities”. Then there was the miracle of Lazarus being raised from the dead, this miracle was the catalyst the Lord used to bring His ministry to a crescendo. Here is how Bishop Ellicott describes these miracles.
“So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons.—Both words are, in the original, transliterated from the Latin, the former being sudaria, used to wipe off sweat from brow or face; the latter semicincta, the short aprons worn by artisans as they worked….The picture suggested is that of devout persons coming to the Apostle as he labored at his craft, and carrying away with them the very handkerchiefs and aprons that he had used, as precious relics that conveyed the supernatural gift of healing which he exercised. The efficacy of such media stands obviously on the same footing as that of the hem of our Lord’s garment, and the shadow of Peter, and, we may add, of the clay in the healing of the blind. The two conditions of the supernatural work of healing were a Divine Power on the one hand, and Faith on the other, and any external medium might serve to strengthen the latter and bring it into contact with the former.”
Maybe, just maybe we are heading into a season characterized by special miracles. The Lord does unusual things in unusual times. Our current season definitely qualifies as unusual and difficult times. So what is our role in these unusual miracles? If we look to what happened in Ephesus saturation is critical. Paul was holding five hour daily services for two years when these special miracles began to happen. All of Asia Minor was effected. Maybe its time to saturate.