TODAY’S SPECIAL: Acts 19:23-41

TO CHEW ON: "About that time there arose a great disturbance about the Way." Acts 19:23

"Paul preaching before the Temple of Diana at Ephesus" - by Adolf Pirsch, 1885

It didn’t take long for the people in Ephesus to notice the enthusiastic Christians. Demetrius, a man who made and sold silver idols of the goddess Artemis, saw that if people kept believing in Jesus there would soon be no one left to buy his idols.

He called a meeting of other silversmiths and crafts people and complained about Paul and this new religion.

"Demetrius the silversmith stirs up a riot" by Edward H. Corbould, 1894

Quickly the crowd turned ugly. They rioted, shouting, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians.” When Paul tried to go into the theater where they were having their meeting and talk to them, his friends held him back. They knew the crowd was so angry they could easily hurt or kill Paul.

"The riot at Ephesus" - Artist unknown

In case you think this kind of thing only happened in Bible times, look around the world. In Sudan, government officials have torn down more than ten Christian churches. In India, people demonstrated outside a police station against a Christian man who rescued teenage girls from abuse and gave them Bibles. Believing in “The Way” (to God through Jesus) still sparks riots and violence.

Let's pray for people who live in countries where talking about Jesus is a crime and where doing that gets them in big trouble. Let's pray for courage to live and speak boldly for Jesus wherever we live.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, please help me to have the courage to follow You even if the crowds are against You. Amen.

MORE: Ephesus

  • The ruins of the city of Ephesus where Paul preached are in modern-day Turkey. Go here to see a panorama of the Ephesus ruins.