Paul's Missionary Journeys

Mission in Ephesus

Acts 18:24-19:41

Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. Acts 19:1b



City: "Ephesus was on the western coast of Asia Minor, at the mouth of the Cayster River and between the Koressos mountain range and the Aegean Sea. Ephesus relied upon two important assets for its wealth and vitality. The first was its position as a center of trade, linking the Greco-Roman world with the rich hinterland of western Asia Minor. But because of excessive lumbering, charcoal burning, and overgrazing the land, topsoils slipped into streams, streams were turned into marshes, and storm waters raced to the sea laden with silt that choked the river's mouth...deepening economic decline...The second factor the life of Ephesus depended on was the worship of Artemais (the Lat. Diana), the multibreasted goddess of fertility whose temple was one of the seven Wonders of the ancient world. The relation of Artemais of Ephesus to the Greek goddess Artemais is very vague...temple...stood till the Goths sacked Ephesus in A.D. 263" (Longenecker 1981:492-3)

Summary: Apollos was a Diaspora Jew, with a great knowlege of the scriptures, and who is said to have been a great orator. He taught with Great fervor, but knew only of the baptism of John, and nothing of Jesus. He began teaching in the synagogues, which is where Priscilla and Aquila heard him speak, and they invited him to their home where they explained to him the way of God according to Jesus. When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and sent word to the disciples there to welcome him. When he arrived, he was a great help to the believers there, for he energetically debated with the Jews in public.
When Paul arrived at Ephesus he came upon a group of disciples and asked them if they had recieved the Holy Spirit. They told him that they had not even heard of the Holy Spirit and that the only baptism they had received was John's baptism. Paul told them about Jesus, who came after John. They believed and were baptized and recieved the Holy Spirit. Paul spoke in the synagogue there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God. Paul left due to much opposition to the gospel, taking the disciples with him. He rented the lecture hall of Tyrannus and preached there for two years. As a result, all of the Jews and Greeks in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.
At this time some of the Jews were going around and attempting to drive out demons, saying, "In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out." The Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest were attempting this one day and were severely beaten by a demon-possessed man who recognized the power of Jesus but not them. As a result of this many came forward and publicly admitted their evil deeds. A number of those who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly.
Also at this time, a silversmith named Demetrius called together the other craftsmen and began telling them the danger of what Paul was preaching. Since much of their livelihood depended on idols to false gods, they were angered at Paul for hurting their trade and discrediting their godess, Artemis. They began shouting and threw the whole city into an uproar. Paul wanted to go and speak to them, but the disciples and officials of the province begged him not to go to where they were. Eventually a city clerk was able to quiet them by saying that Paul had not actually attacked Artemis and that if they felt otherwise they could take the matter to the city courts.

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