Faith causes quite a stir!
- Artemis is the name of a Greek goddess in mythology; Rome “borrowed” her, like they “borrowed other Greek gods/goddesses, and Rome calls her “Diana.”
- When people forbid “religion and politics” from table discussion, we ought to realize that these topics often have a very passionate place in people’s hearts.
- Sometimes the law actually favors Christianity—sometimes. Most times the world uses the law against Christianity—after all, “those Christians” can’t make us accountable to their God if we can find “some law against what they are doing”—all of us already are accountable before God whether we acknowledge it.
- Starting with me:
When was the last time that my faith caused “no small disturbance” with a person, a group, or a work-place? Was it when . . . ?
What might the Lord need to do in order that my faith causes quite a stir?
- Conclusion: Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ today have exactly the same power available from God the Holy Spirit that was available to believers in the 1st-century, so it is not His fault that we do not see similar results!
(21) Now after these things were finished, Paul purposed in the Spirit to go to Jerusalem after he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, saying, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome.” (22) And having sent into Macedonia two of those who ministered to him, Timothy and Erastus, he himself stayed in Asia for a while.-Acts 19:21-41
(23) About that time there occurred no small disturbance concerning the Way. (24) For a man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, was bringing no little business to the craftsmen; (25) these he gathered together with the workmen of similar trades, and said, “Men, you know that our prosperity depends upon this business. (26) You see and hear that not only in Ephesus, but in almost all of Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away a considerable number of people, saying that gods made with hands are no gods at all. (27) Not only is there danger that this trade of ours fall into disrepute, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis be regarded as worthless and that she whom all of Asia and the world worship will even be dethroned from her magnificence.”
(28) When they heard this and were filled with rage, they began crying out, saying, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” (29) The city was filled with the confusion, and they rushed with one accord into the theater, dragging along Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul’s traveling companions from Macedonia. (30) And when Paul wanted to go into the assembly, the disciples would not let him. (31) Also some of the Asiarchs who were friends of his sent to him and repeatedly urged him not to venture into the theater. (32) So then, some were shouting one thing and some another, for the assembly was in confusion and the majority did not know for what reason they had come together. (33) Some of the crowd concluded it was Alexander, since the Jews had put him forward; and having motioned with his hand, Alexander was intending to make a defense to the assembly. (34) But when they recognized that he was a Jew, a single outcry arose from them all as they shouted for about two hours, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” (35) After quieting the crowd, the town clerk said, “Men of Ephesus, what man is there after all who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is guardian of the temple of the great Artemis and of the image which fell down from heaven? (36) So, since these are undeniable facts, you ought to keep calm and to do nothing rash. (37) For you have brought these men here who are neither robbers of temples nor blasphemers of our goddess. (38) So then, if Demetrius and the craftsmen who are with him have a complaint against any man, the courts are in session and proconsuls are available; let them bring charges against one another. (39) But if you want anything beyond this, it shall be settled in the lawful assembly. (40) For indeed we are in danger of being accused of a riot in connection with today’s events, since there is no real cause for it, and in this connection we will be unable to account for this disorderly gathering.” (41) After saying this he dismissed the assembly.