How It All Began In Ephesus. January 9, 2011. Paul’s 2 nd Missionary Journey. Acts 16:6-10
How It All Began In Ephesus
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6Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. 7When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. 8So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. 9During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.
Paul’s Route of Travel
Paul wanted to go into Asia
Its center of activity was Ephesus
Yet Paul was prohibited by the Holy Spirit from going there
Why would the Spirit keep Paul from going there?
Paul was then prohibited from entering Bithynia by the Spirit of Jesus
Why would Jesus want to keep them from going there?
For whatever reason, the time was right to carry the Gospel to Greece, with Asia coming later
Paul’s First Visit to Ephesus
18Paul stayed on in Corinth for some time. Then he left the brothers and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. Before he sailed, he had his hair cut off at Cenchrea because of a vow he had taken. 19They arrived at Ephesus, where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila. He himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. 20When they asked him to spend more time with them, he declined. 21But as he left, he promised, “I will come back if it is God’s will.” Then he set sail from Ephesus.
Paul’s 3rd Missionary Journey
23After spending some time in Antioch, Paul set out from there and traveled from place to place throughout the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.
1While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus.
This may have been Paul’s intended plan for the 2nd Journey
Ephesus was a major hub in Asia
Second largest city in the world in Roman times
On major trades routes
Was a port city in Paul’s day
Major cultural center
Education highly valued
Home to the Library of Celsus
Also known for its attentionto the “magic arts”
Home to one of the SevenWonders of the World
Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
Colossus at Rhodes
Great Pyramid of Giza
Hanging Gardens of Babylon
Lighthouse at Alexandria
Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
Statue of Zeus at Olympia
Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
Paul’s Companions in Ephesus
Paul has no Barnabas or Silas on this 3rd Journey, but he is not alone
Timothy and Erastus (Acts 19:22)
Gaius and Aristarchus from Macedonia (Acts 19: 29)
Sosthenes (1 Cor 1: 1)
Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus from Corinth (1 Cor 16:17)
Aquila & Priscilla (1 Cor 16:19)
Titus (2 Cor 12:18)
Paul’s Teaching in Ephesus
8Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God. 9But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. 10This 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. 11God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12so 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.
Paul’s Broader Work …
The whole province of Asia heard the Message
While the specific cities where theMessage spread are not stated, wedo have John’s record fromRevelation 1:10-11
It is likely that these churches were planted during this time
Seven Churches of Asia
Paul and the Sons of Sceva
13Some 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.” 14Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” 16Then 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.
Paul and the Sons of Sceva
17When 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. 18Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds. 19A 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.20In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.
Demetrius the Silversmith
23About that time there arose a great disturbance about the Way. 24A silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought in no little business for the craftsmen. 25He called them together, along with the workmen in related trades, and said: “Men, you know we receive a good income from this business. 26And 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. 27There 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.”
Demetrius the Silversmith
What sort of disturbance breaks out?
Who is upset by Paul’s teaching?
What is the issue?
How was Paul involved?
What is their major concern?
“When religious devotion and economic interest were simultaneously offended, a quite exceptionally fervid anger was aroused” F. F. Bruce
Artemis of the Ephesians
Who was Artemis?
Artemis is was the “mother goddess”, the nurse of all life, a symbol of fertility
Possibly the most-worshipped deity inthe world in Paul’s time
The image of Artemis was said to have“fallen from heaven”
Ephesus was supposedly under herpatronage
The Temple of Artemis
The Temple of Artemis was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
However, it was built in a swamp
Springtime festival of Artemisian was held at Ephesus each year
Many came to worship
Perhaps this had been a badyear for the festival?
Low pilgrim turnout?
Low idol demand?
Temple of Artemis
28When they heard this, they were furious and began shouting: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” 29Soon 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. 30Paul wanted to appear before the crowd, but the disciples would not let him. 31Even some of the officials of the province, friends of Paul, sent him a message begging him not to venture into the theater.
How does the situation escalate?
Whom does the crowd seize? Why?
What is Paul’s intent?
Who stops him?
Where does the mobend up?
The Theater atEphesus seats 24,000
At the Theater
32The assembly was in confusion: Some were shouting one thing, some another. Most of the people did not even know why they were there.33The 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. 34But when they realized he was a Jew, they all shouted in unison for about two hours: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”
How would you expect the Jews’ feelings about Artemis to differ from Paul’s?
Calming the Situation
Read Acts 19:35-41
35The 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? 36Therefore, since these facts are undeniable, you ought to be quiet and not do anything rash. 37You have brought these men here, though they have neither robbed temples nor blasphemed our goddess. 38If, then, Demetrius and his fellow craftsmen have a grievance against anybody, the courts are open and there are proconsuls. They can press charges. 39If there is anything further you want to bring up, it must be settled in a legal assembly. 40As 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.” 41After he had said this, he dismissed the assembly.
Paul Says “Good Bye”
1When the uproar had ended, Paul sent for the disciples and, after encouraging them, said good-by and set out for Macedonia.
Paul’s Sufferings in Ephesus
Read Acts 20:17-21
17From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church. 18When they arrived, he said to them: “You know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I came into the province of Asia. 19I served the Lord with great humility and with tears, although I was severely tested by the plots of the Jews. 20You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house. 21I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.
Paul’s Sufferings in Ephesus
30And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour? 31I die every day—I mean that, brothers—just as surely as I glory over you in Christ Jesus our Lord. 32If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus for merely human reasons, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”
Did Paul really fight wild beasts?
Thought to be a figurative reference in challenge to Epicurean thinking
Paul’s Sufferings in Ephesus
2 Corinthians 1:8-11
8We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. 9Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our£ behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.
Paul’s Later Reflections
2 Timothy 1:15
15You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes.
2 Timothy 4:14-15
14Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done. 15You too should be on your guard against him, because he strongly opposed our message.