Study Guide

Acts of the Apostles Chapter 19

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Chapter 19

Paul In Ephesus

  • After this, Paul comes back to Ephesus.
  • When he arrives, he runs into a dozen followers of Jesus who don't even know what the Holy Spirit is. Seriously, what are Christians teaching in Ephesus?
  • Paul helps them understand and then baptizes them in the name of Jesus. Then he lays his hands on them and they get the Holy Spirit and start to speak in tongues and prophecy. It's pretty cool.
  • Paul keeps on preaching about Jesus in the synagogues around Ephesus. Some folks are into it and some are pretty dead set against him. Go figure.
  • But Paul's got the power. He stays in Ephesus for two years and manages to convert and heal loads of people. Take that, naysayers.

The Exorcists

  • One day, there are some random Jewish exorcists who are trying to cast out evil spirits in Jesus's name.
  • The evil spirit is unimpressed. It tells the men that it knows Jesus and it knows Paul, but who are you guys again? The man who's possessed attacks them and runs them out of the house.
  • After this, lots of people who practice magic (the kind that doesn't come from God) repent of their evil ways and start following Jesus.
  • Paul decides that's he's ready for another trip. He plans to go through Macedonia, Achaia, Jerusalem, and then onto Rome. An ambitious itinerary.

We Predict A Riot

  • Paul sends Timothy and Erastus ahead of him and stays back in Ephesus.
  • Good thing too, because a crisis breaks out.
  • There's an Ephesian named Demetrius who worked as a silversmith. His main job was to make statutes of Artemis. Since Paul started preaching about Jesus, production has been down.
  • Demetrius gathers some other silversmiths together and they wring their hands about the danger this poses to their industry (oh, and to the proper worship of the goddess).
  • The men start shouting, "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians" and they drag two of Paul's companions, Gaius and Aristarchus, into a huge theater. It's chaos.
  • Paul wants to try to calm things down, but his friends urge him to stay away. He does have a habit of creating riots after all.
  • The people are all shouting and carrying on. Some of them don't even know why they're there. We guess they just like a good mob scene.
  • Some of the Jews try to have a man named Alexander come forward to silence the crowd, but he doesn't have any luck. Two hours of chanting follows. Seriously. Two hours.
  • Finally the town clerk gets everyone to quiet down.
  • Look, he tells them. Everyone knows how great Artemis is. No one is disputing that. These Christians aren't some crazy criminals or blasphemers, so what's the big deal? If anyone wants to try to take them to court, go ahead. Otherwise, people need to shut up about it.
  • Surprisingly this works and the crowd goes on its way. You go, town clerk.

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