Good morning! Today concludes our final reading in Acts chapter 19 and the discourse we read over the two previous post. Join me as we read the mayor’s response to the assembly. Have a blessed and fruitful Monday.
“35 At last the mayor was able to quiet them down enough to speak. “Citizens of Ephesus,” he said. “Everyone knows that Ephesus is the official guardian of the temple of the great Artemis, whose image fell down to us from heaven. 36 Since this is an undeniable fact, you should stay calm and not do anything rash. 37 You have brought these men here, but they have stolen nothing from the temple and have not spoken against our goddess.
38 “If Demetrius and the craftsmen have a case against them, the courts are in session and the officials can hear the case at once. Let them make formal charges. 39 And if there are complaints about other matters, they can be settled in a legal assembly. 40 I am afraid we are in danger of being charged with rioting by the Roman government, since there is no cause for all this commotion. And if Rome demands an explanation, we won’t know what to say.” 41 [f]Then he dismissed them, and they dispersed.” Acts 19:35-41 NLT
The mayor of Ephesus used persuading speech to break up the assembly. He implied the image of Artemis had fallen from heaven and was not man-made. He also pointed out the proper way to dispute the matter – a legal hearing, formal charges being established, and a legal assembly would occur. Finally, he pleaded because of the Roman oversight and the potential optics on the matter and actions by the Roman Empire.
As a result, Paul was not charged or beaten, and his travel companions were released. While the commotion did not change the fact that Christians and Jews did not purchase idols/false gods, because handmade gods are not really gods at all (v.26), there was a clear understanding that riots/commotion would create unnecessary and unwarranted attention. I don’t know if the mayor was a believer or not, but based on these verses God still used him to end the attacks against his faithful followers.
Sinters and brothers, there are many people who do not believe or understand the Good News of Jesus Christ. There are also some bad actors who portray to be Christians. While we desire to live for Christ we should always remember to keep our eyes focused on him and not be persuaded to the left or the right. Note, while Paul desired to go into the assembly (v.30), he didn’t need to do anything, God came through. -He only need to be still.
Things to Remember this week:
- God has called you to be salt and light in this chaotic world.
- He has called you to be his disciple to point others to the Good News of Jesus Christ. As Christians we should make sure our speech, our social media posts, and our influence correctly reflects Christ in us.
- People need to be reminded of the hope we have in Christ Jesus. Will you be the example?
- Finally I want to remind you of Daniel 2:21: “Praise the name of God forever and ever, for he has all wisdom and power. 21 He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars.”
Keep pressing in. Keep praying. Trust God.
Father God we thank you for letting us experience your grace and mercy. Lord, we thank you for the protection you provide that we are aware of and protection you provide that we aren’t aware of. Lord, we thank you for stepping in for us and covering us even when the enemy has tried to create barriers or conflict against us. Lord, we lift up our nation to you and ask that you continue to bless and keep us. Lord, you know many of us are anxious for the results of the election, are concerned with potential after math, and are fearful of the division that has stirred the nation and your Western church. Lord, we know that you did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. Lord, we pray for peace to flow through our nation. We pray for Heaven’s Armies to begin/continue to fight the battle against the enemies plans to undermine and destroy people. Lord, our hope is in you alone. Lord, go before us and straighten out the crooked paths. Be with us this week and help us to be great representatives of you in the world. In Jesus name, amen.
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