I Must See Rome Also
Comments for Study 21
Memory Verse: 21
BEFORE READING PLEAE CLICK HERE TO ANSWER THE QUESTIONS.
BEFORE BEGINNING PLEASE CLICK HERE TO VIEW A MAP OF PAUL'S THIRD MISSIONARY JOURNEY.
I. In the Lecture Hall of Tyrannus (1-10)
>1. What were the characteristics of Paul's ministry in Corinth? (18:1-17)
* Paul left Athens on his second missionary journey and arrived at Corinth all alone. He was waiting for others to join him when he meet Aquila and Priscilla, Jews who had left Rome due to a Roman ban on Jews in Rome. While in Corinth Paul supported himself with tent making with Aquila and Priscilla who were also tent makers. Paul preached the gospel every Sabbath in the Jewish synagogue with some converts, but mostly rejection until he was forced to leave because of their unbelief. Paul stayed in Corinth for eighteen months preaching in the home of the former leader of the Jewish synagogue and new convert to Christianity. Paul was eventually forced to leave the city and new converts. Aquila and Priscilla left with Paul.
>Who succeeded Apostle Paul's ministry in Corinth? (19:1; 18:24-26; 1 Cor. 1:12)
* Acts 19:1 "While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples"
* Acts 18:24-26 "Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately."
* 1 Corinthians 1:12 "What I mean is this: One of you says, "I follow Paul"; another, "I follow Apollos"; another, "I follow Cephas"; still another, "I follow Christ."
* Shortly after Paul was forced to leave Corinth, Apollos became the pastor (Latin for shepherd) of Corinth. While Paul was in Ephesus on this journey Apollos came to learn from him and then returned back to Corinth. (1 Cor. 16:12)
* Acts 18:27-28 "When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. On arriving, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed. For he vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ."
* Achaia is the region of Greece that Corinth was located in. Apollos wanted to go there most likely because he realized that when Paul, Aquila and Priscilla left the only believers left in Corinth were new converts. He had compassion for them. All the believers in Ephesus thought he would make a good shepherd (pastor) for the Corinthians.
>2. What might have motivated Paul to take the road through the interior and arrive at Ephesus? (19:1; Rom. 15:20)
* Acts 19:1 "While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples"
* Romans 15:20 "It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else's foundation."
* "Paul took the road through the interior" -Paul at the start of this third missionary trip was revisiting the cities he had been through on his first two missionary trips. Luke only mentions some of the stops, but no doubt Paul made an effort to meet and perhaps preach in every congregation that he knew.
* "Ephesus" -One of the largest and most impressive cities in the ancient world, a political, religious, and commercial center in western Asia Minor, on the coast of the Mediterranean. Being the capital of proconsular Asia the citizens were constantly reminded of the power of Rome by the presence of the proconsul. Its location near the mouth of the Cayster River on the main trade route between Rome and the east made Ephesus the greatest commercial center in Asia at that time. It was also a free city with its own Senate and Assembly. The temple of Diana and its religious prostitutes gave Satan much power in the city. Ephesus is associated with the ministries of Apollos, Paul, Timothy, and the apostle John. The city played a significant role in the spread of early Christianity. Ephesus and its inhabitants are mentioned more than twenty times in the New Testament.
* Paul was kept from initially going into the region that Ephesus was in at the beginning of his second missionary trip. At the end of that missionary trip Paul was able to stop in Ephesus for only a short time. At that time he had promised them, "I will come back if it is God's will." (18:21)
* "he found some disciples" -Paul had a personal connection with the very small congregation in Ephesus.
>3. What kind of disciples did Apostle Paul meet in Ephesus? (2-3)
* Acts 19:2-3 "and asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" They answered, "No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit." So Paul asked, "Then what baptism did you receive?" "John's baptism," they replied."
* "receive the Holy Spirit" -All people who accept that Jesus is both Messiah and Lord, believing in his death for the forgiveness of sins and his physical resurrection from the dead are given the gift of personal presence of the Holy Spirit.
* "We have not heard that there is a Holy Spirit" -It is possible that these men had learned from Apollos before he knew of Jesus himself. (See previous chapter and study.)
* "when you believed" -The disciples Paul found in Ephesus had accepted the truth as they had heard it. Yet they had not yet heard all that was needed to be saved. I have a pastor friend who is a minister in Evangelism Explosion. He has told me that on average people need to hear the gospel seven times before they come to saving grace in Jesus. Though this is just an estimate I can see in these men's cases and Apollos case that often people slowly come to a proper understanding of Jesus. In fact our life of faith in Jesus is a continual revelation of who he is. For more on this read the manuscript The Believer's Future - Hope That Inspires.
* "John's baptism" -John the Baptist had proceeded Jesus' ministry by around six months. He had prepared Israel's heart for Jesus by preaching repentance and baptising in the Jordan River. John's ministry lasted around a year before he was jailed and beheaded. Yet his impact reached to far lands and well past his death.
>How did he help them? (4-5)
* Acts 19:4-5 "Paul said, "John's baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus." On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus."
* "baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus" -John knew the limited nature of his baptism compared to Jesus'. He said, "I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire." (Matt. 3:11) At this time no water in connection with these disciples. This is not a baptism like John's water baptism which they had already received.
>How did God help them? (6-7)
* Acts 19:6-7 "When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. There were about twelve men in all."
* "Paul placed his hands on them" -Laying on of the hands was used in the Old Testament period to confer blessing (Gen. 48:13-20), to transfer guilt from sinner to sacrifice (Lev. 1:4), and to commission a person for a new responsibility (Nu. 27:23). In the New Testament period, laying on of hands was observed in healing (28:8, Mk. 1:4), blessing (Mk. 10:16), ordaining or commissioning (Acts 6:6, 13:3, and 1 Ti. 5:22), and imparting of spiritual gifts (Acts 8:17; 19:6; and 1 Ti. 414 2 Ti. 1:6). (from NIV Study Bible)
* "the Holy Spirit came on them" -Jesus said that he would send the Holy Spirit. He did not mean only on Pentecost, but to each person that believes in him with saving faith. Each person must realize that Jesus is watching all the time for anyone to have saving faith. Even right now, if you are reading this, you can turn to Jesus in heart and mind and believe that he is the Son of God, the Promised Messiah, the Sanctifier, the Coming King. Accepting his death and resurrection right now and Jesus will send to you the Holy Spirit.
* "they spoke in tongues and prophesied" -Just as the apostles and other Jewish disciples did on Pentecost and the Gentiles in Caesarea. Speaking in tongues is sometimes used as a testimony that the person has saving faith when it is needed. Since Ephesus was a very large city with people from many different speaking nations, speaking the gospel in all those languages would be important for the spread of the word of God. The Book of Acts records many people coming to saving faith in Jesus, not all of them spoke in tongues. There are some believers today insisting that a person must speak in tongues or that person isn't saved. The Book of Acts does not support this claim. The Bible does state again and again that we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus. When it does so it does not add that it must be confirmed by speaking in tongues.
* The sign was not for the converts as confirmation for they already believed. Rather, the sign was for others to see that they not only believed in the Jewish Messiah, but that they believed that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah.
* "about twelve men" -The exact number is not given because later when Luke wrote this he either didn't know the number, or more likely some may have fallen away so that the count of those truly saved will not be known until Jesus comes again.
>4. How did Apostle Paul initially try to build God's church in Ephesus? (8)
* Acts 19:8 "Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God."
* Paul entered the synagogue" -Whenever there was a Jewish synagogue in the city he began his ministry by going to the synagogue. In an early study I wrote the good logic of this.
* "spoke boldly" -Usually Paul meet resistance by some in the synagogue sooner or later. The resistance turned into persecution and even prison. Yet, Paul was not deterred when he went to the next city. He spoke boldly even though he knew that eventually persecution would come.
* "for three months" -Paul was able to speak a long time in the synagogue compared to previous cities.
* "arguing persuasively" -Since later Paul wrote to Timothy to avoid meaningless quarrels about words it is possible that he learned that here. Without the touch of the Holy Spirit all the arguing in the world, no matter how logical and clearly spoken will not move a person to saving faith in Jesus. We speak, but we do not save. We witness, but we do not move men's hearts.
* "the kingdom of God" -A phrase often repeated in the Bible referring to Jesus' rule. Jesus is the Majestic Prophet Priest King. His kingdom is the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God should be no small topic for those who belong to it. The phrase the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven is repeated almost three hundred times in both Old and New Testaments. It is referred to 1,845 times in the Old Testament. Many of Jesus' parables concern the Kingdom of God. Jesus stated that he preached the good news of the Kingdom of God from town to town. (Luke 4:43, 8:1, 9:11) Jesus sent out his disciples to preach about the Kingdom of God. (Luke 9:1) Jesus often told people, “The Kingdom of God is near you,” or at least something similar to it. (Matt. 12:28, Mark 1:15, Mark 12:34, Luke 10:9, 11, 20) When the disciples asked Jesus how to pray, the second subject (after honoring God our Father) he told them to pray for was The Kingdom of God. “Thy kingdom come,” he taught his disciples to pray, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. For more on this read the manuscript The Believer's Future - Hope that Inspires where this was taken from.
>What was the result? (9a)
* Acts 19:9a "But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way."
* "obstinate" -Stubbornly refusing to change one's opinion or chosen course of action, despite attempts to persuade one to do so.
* "publicly maligned" -Not just private in love but they publicly spoke in a spitefully critical manner.
* "the Way" -The Jews recognized that the Christian Jews were different then they. The people of the Way believed different, acted different, worshiped different, and lived different. This phrase to describe believers in Jesus is first used in 18:25-26 in a general sense. Here it is used in as a proper nown to describe the Jesus people. In Antioch several years earlier the believers were called Christians for the first time. (11:26) In Ephesus they were called the Way. Paul used this title to describe followers of Jesus when he explained about his conversion. (22:4; 24:14) Felix, who was sitting as the Roman judge over his case, knew of the title "The Way" as referring to Christians. (24:22) In fact, The Way is used more than Christian to describe believers in Jesus in Acts.
>5. To what extent did apostle Paul change the methods of his preaching and the direction of his devotion? (9b)
* Acts 19:9b "So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus."
* "So Paul left them" -Paul stopped going to the Jewish synagogue. He took all Jesus' disciples to a new place so that they would not be interrupted by those who wanted to argue with him.
* Jesus often left the disbelieving and argumentative Pharisees and other Jewish religious leaders to be with his disciples alone as Paul was doing now. Jesus taught his followers, "Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces." (Matthew 7:6)
* "lecture hall of Tyrannus" -Tyrannus was a man who ran a school for the Ephesians from 8 AM to evening with a five hour break from 11 AM to 4 PM. Paul used the hall during these five hours.
* "discussions daily" -Bible teaching is not to be a one way conversation. Paul did not stand up in front of the hall and lecture as teaching is done with children today. In those days everyone would sit down to discuss matters of importance. Paul later states that they also went from house to house at this time, perhaps witnessing. (20:20) Everyone recognized the person who was the wisest and more learned. The Jews called this person a Rabbi, meaning teacher. However, Jesus taught, "But you are not to be called 'Rabbi,' for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called 'teacher,' for you have one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted." (Matt. 23:8-12)
* Most commentaries state that Paul made tents in the morning until the hall was available to him.
>What was its importance and the overall effect? (10)
* Acts 19:10 "This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord."
* "two years" -This is the longest that Paul stayed in any city during a missionary trip. This whole missionary trip was a three and a half years (mid 53 to early 57 A.D.).
* "the providence of Asia" -aka Asia Minor. Today this is the south west area of Turkey.
* "all the Jews and Greeks" -everyone. Those who learned in the lecture hall were sent out and went out to surrounding areas preaching the word of God. For example Epaphras went to Colosse due east of Ephesus. (Col. 1:7) This made the ministry in Ephesus different that most of Paul's earlier journey stops.
* "Greeks" -Perhaps a term to describe all Gentiles.
* "the word of the Lord" -Jesus told us to preach the word.
II. I Must Visit Rome Also (11-22)
>6. How did God bless and strengthen Paul's ministry? (11-12)
* Acts 19:11-12 "God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them."
* "God did" -The source of all good is God.
* "extraordinary miracles" -The apostles were given the gift of miracles. Yet it seems that the miracles performed in Ephesus was more impressive than others performed elsewhere. God blesses faith with miracles, acts beyond normal works as Jesus said, "Your faith has healed you."
* "through Paul" -The apostles message was confirmed by miracles when people had faith in the word preached.
* "handkerchiefs and aprons" -dirty and sweaty work cloths. Paul's priority was to teach the word. He was not called to and so did not want to start a healing clinic and neither did Jesus. Yet, he cared for those he was preaching and teaching. He did not want them to miss a day of study. So he sent a representation of him, a part of him he could detach. I am the same as that apron. I am a dirty sweaty stinky part of Jesus that he is using to heal by the power of his word.
* "were taken to the sick" -Thus the healed could return to the source of the miracle to hear what they had to say.
>What does the incident in verses 13-16 teach about the reality of Satan and the powerful work of God through Paul?
* Acts 19:13-16 "Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, "In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out." Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. [One day] the evil spirit answered them, "Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?" Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding."
* "Jewish chief priest" -This does not mean that they were the chief priest in Jerusalem who served in the temple. Rather, in Greek culture often the head of a household was considered the chief priest of that household's family God.
* "the name of Jesus" -Everyone recognized that the miracles done by Paul was done because of the name of Jesus, not the name of Paul.
* "driving out evil spirits" -A practice done with incantations. They decided to use Jesus' name because they heard that it was working for Paul. They did not understand that Jesus' name only is important because of the person of Jesus who watches over all of his people as they conduct their ministry.
* "evil spirit" -Satan's power over people is real. Evil spirits can be in a human body. Their point is to keep people away from God. They are in rebellion of God.
* "Jesus I know" -The Greek word here for "know" is "ginosko". It does not imply a knowledge by faith. It means simply that the evil spirit knows who Jesus is. James wrote that the demons know there is a God and shutter. Yet they are against God's Son.
* "who are you" -Because the sons of Sceva did not know Jesus they were not blessed by Jesus.
* "overpowered them all" -People possessed with evil spirits can have extra-ordinary strength and agility.
* A humanistic person who goes by the name of Jesus but is not a true believer may ask why this human endeavor to help others fell to such a shameful ruin and no one was helped. Understand this, if it doesn't glorify God and lead to salvation from sin and death, God will not only neglect it, but allow it to go to come to ruin. Jesus wants his people to stayed focused on the gospel work as of first importance.
>7. What does the ministry in the lecture hall of Tyrannus reveal the power and influence of the gospel and the subsequent resistance against the gospel in the city of Ephesus? (17-19; 23-41)
* Acts 19:17-19 "When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor. Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds. A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas."
* "all seized with fear" -Imagine the reaction is the local television, radio, and newspaper had such a story. The reaction today would be similar.
* "the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor" -No other name. Not even the congregation as a whole. It's all about Jesus.
* "Many... confessed their evil deeds" -These people believed but it had not impacted their lives with practical repentance. Jesus' message was repent and believe. Both are needed.
* "practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them" -Sorcery and magic seem like harmless things to most people. They are fooled into believing so. The demons behind such deception do not what their victums know their true intent. Yet now it was made plain to the Ephesians that sorcery is not Mickey Mouse games and fun. Sorcery brings great harm to all involved. If you practice sorcery and/or magic repent completely and ask the Lord's forgiveness, mercy, and protection.
* "drachma" -Around a days wage.
* The Lord work powerfully in this way because the disciples were studying for two years and obeying Jesus' commands by witnessing house to house, and evangelizing neighboring towns.
>8. How does the author Luke describe the ministry in Ephesus? (20)
* Acts 19:20 "In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power."
* The greatness of God's work can be determined by the word spreading and growing in power.
>9. In the midst of great accomplishment and uproar what did Apostle Paul plan to do? (21-22)
* Acts 19:21-22 "After all this had happened, Paul decided to go to Jerusalem, passing through Macedonia and Achaia. "After I have been there," he said, "I must visit Rome also." He sent two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia, while he stayed in the province of Asia a little longer."
* "After all this had happened" -Paul decided it was time to leave after these events. I believe that Paul did not like the implications of the resent events and decided his leaving would be the best thing to do. After all, the gospel had spread through the whole region and many Bible teachers and preachers were well equipped for the great work ahead. As mentioned at the beginning of this study, Ephesus became a very important city for the advancement of the gospel.
* "go to Jerusalem" -We are not told why here. Most likely to fellowship with the other apostles and elders there, to give them a report of the work of God done amongst the Gentiles, to bring gifts to the poor, and to worship at the temple. (24:17) After all that is what Paul did as it is recorded in chapters 21 and 22.
* "passing through Macedonia and Achaia" -Paul went to the cities he had already visited earlier backtracking his steps.
* "I must visit Rome also" -The first time Rome is mentioned in Acts. Paul had plans for his next missionary trip, that is after his visit to Jerusalem. Perhaps he wanted to go their right now, but decided to visit Jerusalem first. Rome was important for it was the center of the western world, the world Paul was concentrating his gospel work. All roads led to Rome, and more importantly to Paul, all roads lead out of Rome.
* "two of his helpers" -Paul did not work alone very often in the gospel work. He had others who assisting him much of the time.
* "Timothy and Erastus" -Paul had known these young men for a long time.
* "Macedonia" -The area that the Holy Spirit directed him to go during his second missionary trip. This is the time that he wrote the first letter to the Corinthians and sent it to them via these two mature believers. Philippi and Thessalonica would have gotten a copy of the letter though it was addressed to the Corinthians. Corinth and Athens were in Achaia. In the letter Paul explained how a great effectual door was opened in Ephesus causing him to stay there. He mentioned there were many adversaries, which we see here were satanic.
* "stayed... a little longer" -Before Paul went to Macedonia and then back to Jerusalem as was his plan he stayed a little longer in Ephesus.
>Why? (Rom. 15:23-29)
* Romans 15:23-29 "But now that there is no more place for me to work in these regions, and since I have been longing for many years to see you, I plan to do so when I go to Spain. I hope to visit you while passing through and to have you assist me on my journey there, after I have enjoyed your company for a while. Now, however, I am on my way to Jerusalem in the service of the saints there. For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews' spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings. So after I have completed this task and have made sure that they have received this fruit, I will go to Spain and visit you on the way. I know that when I come to you, I will come in the full measure of the blessing of Christ."
* The gospel did not come to Rome directly by Paul. He always desired to spread the gospel to know areas. Yet, he did want to visit Rome for a short while on his next planned missionary journey which he planned would go as far as Spain.
III. A Great Disturbance About The Way (23-41)
10. Who was getting rich in the name of religion?
* Acts 19:23-25 "About that time there arose a great disturbance about the Way. A silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought in no little business for the craftsmen. He called them together, along with the workmen in related trades, and said: "Men, you know we receive a good income from this business."
* "About that time" -The time that Paul had decided to leave and he sent a letter off to Corinth via two disciples.
* "a silversmith... brought in no little business" -The tradesmen made sovereigns to sell to all the pilgrims visiting the many temples in the city similar to the trinkets that can be bought at some Christian book stores today. Ever since Nimrod artists and craftsmen have been filling the demand for religious memorabilia. Some have said that if you take all the money spent on war you could feed all the hungry in the world. I believe we could get more if we collected all the money spent on religious trinkets.
* "a great disturbance" -They were disturbed because the people of the Way were not buying silver shrines of Jesus and Mary. The believers in Ephesus lived a life without such distractions; it was not their way.
>What was his concern about The Way?
* Acts 19:26-27 "And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus and in practically the whole province of Asia. He says that man-made gods are no gods at all. There is danger not only that our trade will lose its good name, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be discredited, and the goddess herself, who is worshiped throughout the province of Asia and the world, will be robbed of her divine majesty."
* "a large numbers of people" -The Lord Jesus was working greatly in this city as he told Paul he would.
* "the whole province in Asia" -The spread of the word of God was known by all in the area.
* "man-made gods are no gods at all" -A truth repeated over and over again in the Old Testament, which is all they had at the time.
* "our trade will lose its good name" -True for only a short while. Later the same trades made Christian artefacts, to the disgrace of the truth.
* "will be robbed of her divine majesty" -In a way he is stating that her divinity is only upheld by their work; true of idols.
* "Idolatry is attachment and devotion to anything that dethrones God from the heart. For example covetousness is idolatry (Eph. 5:5; Col. 3:5). The person or thing which one most honors, upon which one most strongly sets his affection, to which one gives first place in his life, is the persons or thing which that individual worships. If that person is not God, such worship is idolatry." (Irving L. Jenson, Acts-A self study guide) The Bible says repeatedly, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength." And Jesus said the second greatest command is, "Love your neighbor as yourself." These are not how we are saved, they are how we are to live after salvation.
>Why did people rush into the theatre?
* Acts 19:28-34 "When they heard this, they were furious and began shouting: "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!" Soon the whole city was in an uproar. The people seized Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul's traveling companions from Macedonia, and rushed as one man into the theater. Paul wanted to appear before the crowd, but the disciples would not let him. Even some of the officials of the province, friends of Paul, sent him a message begging him not to venture into the theater. The assembly was in confusion: Some were shouting one thing, some another. Most of the people did not even know why they were there. The Jews pushed Alexander to the front, and some of the crowd shouted instructions to him. He motioned for silence in order to make a defense before the people. But when they realized he was a Jew, they all shouted in unison for about two hours: "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!"
* "furious" -His words was something that they have been thinking and perhaps even discussing for awhile.
* "Gaius and Aristarchus" -They must have traveled from Macedonia either asking Paul to visit their congregations (springing the need for the letters to the Corinthians) or they returned from Macedonia with Timothy and Erastus. Perhaps this man saw that they were not from the area and assumed that they were at his booth to buy something. When they declined telling them why, it would have been the straw that broke the camels back. I am speculating trying to understand why these men where in Ephesus, in the market, the man knew that they were of the Way, and he suddenly started a riot. They traveled with Paul from Corinth to Jerusalem (Acts 20:3-4) and Jerusalem to Rome (Acts 27:1-2; Col. 4:10)
* "the assembly was in confusion" -A mob. Recently there have been many mobs erupting all over the world. Many sins are committed in a mob riot.
* "theater" -The theater (theatre) in Ephesus seated thousands a good place for the growing numbers to organize.
* "the Jews pushed Alexander to the front" -Some say he might have been a believer. I don't because the people of the Way were advising Paul not to speak. Why would they want this unknown Jewish guy to speak. I believe he and those who pushed him forward were not of the Way. They wanted him to say that they are not responsible for the teachings of Paul and had no desire to stop their idol worship. Shows the mindset of unbelievers that Jesus rebuked.
* "realized he was a Jew" -The Romans had at times persecuted Jews and their sect known as the Way because of the trouble the non-believing Jews were causing wherever the gospel went. When the mob learned these men were Jews they knew they would have some lea way in dealing with them.
>How was the riot finally ended?
* Acts 19:35-41 "The city clerk quieted the crowd and said: "Men of Ephesus, doesn't all the world know that the city of Ephesus is the guardian of the temple of the great Artemis and of her image, which fell from heaven? Therefore, since these facts are undeniable, you ought to be quiet and not do anything rash. You have brought these men here, though they have neither robbed temples nor blasphemed our goddess. If, then, Demetrius and his fellow craftsmen have a grievance against anybody, the courts are open and there are proconsuls. They can press charges. If there is anything further you want to bring up, it must be settled in a legal assembly. As it is, we are in danger of being charged with rioting because of today's events. In that case we would not be able to account for this commotion, since there is no reason for it." After he had said this, he dismissed the assembly."
* "the city clerk" -One of a group of men of wealth and influence elected to promoted and regulated the regions religious business and propaganda.
* "we aught to be quiet... legal assembly" -If the riot got any more crazy the Roman soldiers would come. No one wanted that.
>10. Through Paul's ministry in Ephesus what can we learn abut the power of disciple-making ministry and the meaning of Jesus world mission command?
* The impact of the gospel is positive and life giving. The impact of those who reject the gospel is negative and destructive.
Click the house to go to the Bible Study HOME Page