Paul heads through Galatia again. In the meantime, a Jew named Apollos is a believer but does not have the full testimony of the death and Resurrection.
- Think about the details on that though
- He was named after Zeus’ (very steeped in Greek culture)
- The word from the Passover events had really spread
- People just need gaps filled in who missed the 2nd feast (Pentecost)
- Aquila and Priscilla, friends of Paul, who spent some time with Apollos and filled in the gaps, he immediately began a preaching ministry and was used to share the gospel.
Chapter 19- Ephesus
Ephesus becomes the new “headquarters” for Paul. As you read chapter 19 you will see the gaps are being filled in regarding the Gospel. Now that people know that John’s message has been fulfilled in the death and resurrection they can now fully understand the gift of the Holy Spirit. As predicted many times in the Old Testament, false prophets come on the scene BUT we also see the miraculous work of the Gospel spread.
He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. 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.
“All the Jews and Greeks heard the Word”- Paul uses the lure of this city to spread the Gospel. Look at this map. Look at the location of Ephesus. Now, look at some of the major churches that grew in the area that Paul never even walked through! (if you don’t recognize the names…you will 😁)
21 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.” 22 He sent two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia, while he stayed in the province of Asia a little longer. (Sadly he will visit Rome…but not like he wants to)
So why were so many people coming to Ephesus?
What was the #1 activity on the Trip Advisor app??
The Temple of Artemis!
Artemis (the Roman name was Diana) was a goddess worshiped in the ancient world. The Greeks considered her the twin sister of Apollo (daughter of Zeus). She was the goddess of hunting and wilderness and the protector of unmarried girls. Her temple in Ephesus was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Artemis was a “queen of heaven” emphasizing fertility, virginity, and the protection of childbearing. It employed many priests in the temple to perform animal sacrifices. There were many priestesses, too. It is uncertain whether or not the priestesses engaged in ritual prostitution. (Being it was a popular place, I assume probably). The temple became a MAJOR tourist attraction and place to worship, so just like today, it was filled with souvenir shops. Idols were sold so that they could worship Atememis after they left (I grew up in a superstitions house, so I totally understand this). This is the idol of Atemesis. She is a multi-breasted figure. Women would pray to her when they had fertility issues.
The Riot in Ephesus-
The silversmith knew that each convert meant less money in his pocket. If people believed in the ‘One True God’, not only will they NOT come to the temple, but certainly they would not buy the fake idols. So a riot began. Oh, and just to show you history repeats itself:
verse32 The assembly was in confusion: Some were shouting one thing, some another. Most of the people did not even know why they were there. (ha)
The city clerk is just looking out for his best interest. If the local government officials cannot control a providence, Rome will come in and replace the local leaders with new ones.
What a great read!!