SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- On his third missionary journey Paul is 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 and there are visible signs of it (such as speaking in "tongues" - or foreign languages). We've seen this before, and learned that it happens each time a new people group is added to Christianity for the first time. The Ephesians represent the first Asian Christians.
- When the number of believers grow, the Jews kick them out of their synagogue. So Paul instead rents a lecture hall at the university to teach the growing number of disciples. He does this for two years.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.
- Think about the significant impact the Christians were having on this community. What kind of impact do you have on those around you? At Verve we say we are about loving God, loving people, and turning the world upside down. When we devote our lives to loving God and people, we start to make a dramatic impact with our lives.
- If you're not having a significant impact with your life, why do you think that is? And what could you do to change that? How could you make your life more about loving God? Loving people? Turning the world upside down?