Paul in Ephesus

Acts 19 tells us that Paul was in Ephesus, a city my sister and I visited. There we saw the tomb of John the apostle and the house of Mary, Jesus’ mother .  It was here that Paul taught the Word of God, letting the people know about Jesus.  It was here that God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul so that handkerchiefs or aprons that touched him healed many and drove evil spirits from them.

It was here that many believed and came confessing and telling their deeds.  It was here that many who practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in front of many.  It was here that the Word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.

It was in Ephesus where the people worshipped the goddess Diana.  A man named Demetrius profitted from the sales of silver shrines he made of the goddess.  He was upset with Paul because he turned many people away, saying that they are not gods which are made with hands.  Demetrius feared that the temple of Diana may be despised and her magnificence destroyed.  According to him Diana was worshipped by all of Asia and the world.

Apparently religion was a prominent feature in the life of Ephesus.  The temple of Artemis (or Diana, her Roman name) ranked as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.  The Ephesians took great pride in the beautiful temple, which was supported by scores of stone columns (New Open Bible, page 1389).  Needless to say, rather than see his profits go down the drain, Demetrius caused an uproar.  However, the city clerk managed to quiet things down and dismiss the assembly.

Thanks to Paul, the one true God was revealed to the Ephesians and many of them turned from their idolatry and magic.


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