On his third missionary journey Paul is again in Ephesus, which is on the west coast of modern Turkey. Shortly after arriving he continues where Apollos had left off and preaches about Jesus. Upon hearing about Jesus, those that had received John’s baptism are filled with the Holy Spirit. When the number of believers began to grow, the Jews kicked them out of their synagogue.
This would be a great time to pout. But Paul instead rents a lecture hall at the university to teach the growing number of disciples. He does this for two years. After this he decides to travel back to Jerusalem and eventually to Rome. Then he embarks north and around the Aegean Sea into Greece.
As Paul is leaving Ephesus things get rowdy. The Christians in Ephesus are growing so numerous that local idol sales are plummeting. In response, an angry mob mobilizes. The group grabs Paul’s traveling companions and collect in the amphitheater, continuing to grow more violent. During all this Paul wanted to speak to the crowd. Paul was probably thinking, “If all those people are gathered into one place then they can all hear about Jesus if I preach to them.” But the believers there wouldn’t let one-track-mind Paul go through with his plan.
At the end of the day the angry mob is appeased by the city clerk and calm down. But can you imagine what kind of impact the Christians were having on that community? What kind of impact do you have on those around you? Could Vegas (or your town) be turned upside down by the impact of believers? That’s what we want to do at Verve. We want to love God and love people in such a way that we have a positive impact on our city and beyond.
- Written for Verve by Mike Zimmerman