23 About that time there arose a great disturbance about the Way. 24 A silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought in a lot of business for the craftsmen there. 25 He called them together, along with the workers in related trades, and said: “You know, my friends, that we receive a good income from this business. 26 And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus and in practically the whole province of Asia. He says that gods made by human hands are no gods at all. 27 There is danger not only that our trade will lose its good name, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be discredited; and the goddess herself, who is worshiped throughout the province of Asia and the world, will be robbed of her divine majesty.”
28 When they heard this, they were furious and began shouting: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”
Conflict. Persecution. In this passage we see how Paul’s ministry has been fruitful in Ephesus and the whole Asia, but we can also see the opposition that came with it. Whether Demetrius was truly standing for Artemis because of his belief and/or because it was affecting his financial gain, I wonder if those who believed in the words that Paul was proclaiming had to deal with a different kind of conflict- an internal one; a conflict of principles. What if choosing to follow “the Way” meant forfeiting their trade? What if it meant letting go of something that was valuable to them (like those who burned their valuable scrolls in yesterday’s passage)?
What kind of “gods made by human hands” have we been worshipping? Are we willing to let them go? (Su).
Thoughts for the day
- What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
- What is one way you can apply this truth to your life today?
- Who can you encourage with this story/message?
Give thanks for something good; take a moment to be thankful.