Thursday, January 10, 2013

Advent Archive: Acts 19


- Alan O'brien
Acts 19 is clearly about the Word of God prevailing over a pagan society. I love this! Paul visits Ephesus for the first time as part of his third missionary journey. When he got there he went to the synagogue to teach and did so for 3 months! Then the Bible says that some were hardened to the Gospel and would not believe so they kicked him out. He then spent 2 years teaching about Jesus in a nearby school and developed quite the gathering of Jews and Greeks.
God performed miracles through Paul that drew even more attention than before. As Paul preached the Gospel in Ephesus, the Word of God grew mightily began to completely change peoples’ hearts and lives to the point that they were burning everything they had from their old lifestyles. That, my friends, is something only the Gospel can do!
A man named Demetrius rose up who was a seller of statues. He was furious with Paul because Jesus was prevailing over the old pagan beliefs and people were getting saved and not buying idols any more. Demetrius and his boys were about to go out of business, so, he started a crazy riot. You have to go read about how silly this riot was. People were yelling and screaming at each other and they didn’t have a clue what they were yelling about. It is very funny, but extremely sad at the same time.
In Acts 19, notice this comparison of Paul vs. Demetrius:
One was eternally minded; the other was temporally minded.
One sought the benefit of others; the other sought his own benefit.
One sought to install in people a heart of love for God; the other sought to provoke wrath.

Food For Thought: When the gospel is presented, do all who hear it accept it? What reactions were shown in Acts 19?