The Way speaks of a course or path, a way of life that is definable and distinguishable by belief in Christ. Acts 19 paints a picture of believers following Christ and the trouble that develops in Ephesus when believers are fruitful for Jesus.
- Demetrius– a silversmith who had a large and profitable business making shrines of the Greek goddess Artemis
- Artemis– a pagan deity, a goddess of fertility, she was represented by a carved female figure with many breasts. The festival of Artemis involved wild orgies and carousing.
- Paul– preached in Ephesus against false gods and if people began to believe in God they would disregard their idol worship which would affect the profitable business of the craftsmen.
- Demetruis– stirred up the people for fear of losing his business
Early Christians known as the Way moved from town to town sharing the Good News. They model what being a believer looks like naturally. We are compelled to share Christ and tell others!
- “their anger boiled…”
- “soon the whole city was filled with confusion”
- “everyone rushed to the amphitheater”
When there is momentum, there is trouble, often in the form of adversity. It is a spiritual reality. Such difficulty requires our faith and perseverance. This trouble and momentum are about Jesus. This is what it looks like when you jump in the game. And we should get off the sidelines and jump in the game.
The battle is spiritual and we are meant to engage as believers.
Anger and confusion caused such a riot, it was dangerous for Paul to be around, so his companions refused his desire to go into the amphitheater. Paul’s safety was their concern.
Note that Paul wants to go in. He has no fear. His focus is on Jesus, and he knows the Lord protects him.
What about our own reactions? What are we afraid of? Can we move towards such freedom where we are ready to jump in?
Jesus commands us not to be anxious, afraid or worried. We are to look to him. His perfect love casts out fear.
- everything was in confusion, so much so, that most of the people didn’t know why they were there.
- The riot went on for about 2 hours
- The crowd would not quiet down
v. 35-37 The mayor was able to quiet the crowd and reassure them that Paul and his companions have done nothing wrong.
v. 38-39 Demetrius and the craftsmen can make a formal charge and take the case to court to settle legally. The Roman Empire gave responsibility to maintain peace and order through the city leaders.
False gods will eventually fade away from the mere fact that they are not real. However, Christianity will never fade away because it is the Truth.
v. 40-41 There was fear of being charged with rioting for no reason so they dismissed Paul and his companions.
- Where anger, confusion and fighting are, the Lord is not present. Are you experiencing relationships like this? Have you been the person who stirs the pot to an unwarranted commotion?
- How do you see Paul and his companions handling the anger and confusion they were experiencing?
- Our enemy speaks loud through voices of distraction. What does that look like in your life right now? In your personal life, what voices are trying to shut you down?
- When the Lord is speaking , you will know it by His peace in prayer, through one another, by the Holy Spirit and through God’s word. Do you hear Him speaking to you? Jesus is always speaking to us. Are you listening?
- What does it look like to listen? (Reference- Proverbs 8:32-36)
The voice you may be falling for is deception. Be careful not to be deceived. Come back to the Word. Spend time with Jesus so you can discern the voices that are spoken into your life. In your relationship with Jesus, you become discerning.
Lord, in our confusion and anger may we be slow to speak and quick to listen. Father, may you give us discerning ears to hear the voice of truth over our enemies voice of distraction. Quiet our hearts and minds and open up our ears to listen to your Spirit.