Spend time in prayer and silence with God, asking Him to meet with you and speak to you.
And during 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. 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 worshipped throughout the province of Asia and the world, will be robbed of her divine majesty.” 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.
– Acts 19:23-31
It was in Ephesus that the Holy Spirit gave Paul extraordinary miracles to show that the power of the Gospel is superior to the power of pagan magic. So powerful was the Gospel that it began to have a significant economic impact on the silversmiths of Ephesus. They made their living selling shrines of Artemis, the patron goddess of Ephesus. A riot occurred, forcing Paul to flee from the city. This story shows how men who are alienated from God make all life centered around the material. So long as the Gospel disturbed the thought of men, or even changed some of their habits, it mattered little; but when these changed habits touched the wealth of the craftsmen, opposition resulted.
The Big Question
Has the truth of the Gospel reoriented your life toward material things? If so, how? What is the difference between the Centrality of Christ and the Supremacy of Christ? What did Jesus mean when He said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me?” How do you live out this truth in your everyday life?
Conclude your time in prayer and silence, reflecting on what God revealed to you today.