ImmerseMessiah NLT - Flipbook - Page 107
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Afterward Paul felt compelled by the Spirit to go over to Macedonia and
Achaia before going to Jerusalem. “And after that,” he said, “I must go
on to Rome!” He sent his two assistants, Timothy and Erastus, ahead to
Macedonia while he stayed awhile longer in the province of Asia.
About that time, serious trouble developed in Ephesus concerning the
Way. It began with Demetrius, a silversmith who had a large business
manufacturing silver shrines of the Greek goddess Artemis. He kept many
craftsmen busy. He called them together, along with others employed in
similar trades, and addressed them as follows:
“Gentlemen, you know that our wealth comes from this business. But
as you have seen and heard, this man Paul has persuaded many people
that handmade gods aren’t really gods at all. And he’s done this not only
here in Ephesus but throughout the entire province! Of course, I’m not
just talking about the loss of public respect for our business. I’m also concerned that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will lose its influence
and that Artemis—this magnificent goddess worshiped throughout the
province of Asia and all around the world—will be robbed of her great
At this their anger boiled, and they began shouting, “Great is Artemis of
the Ephesians!” Soon the whole city was filled with confusion. Everyone
rushed to the amphitheater, dragging along Gaius and Aristarchus, who
were Paul’s traveling companions from Macedonia. Paul wanted to go in,
too, but the believers wouldn’t let him. Some of the officials of the province, friends of Paul, also sent a message to him, begging him not to risk
his life by entering the amphitheater.
Inside, the people were all shouting, some one thing and some another.
Everything was in confusion. In fact, most of them didn’t even know why
they were there. The Jews in the crowd pushed Alexander forward and told
him to explain the situation. He motioned for silence and tried to speak.
But when the crowd realized he was a Jew, they started shouting again and
kept it up for about two hours: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians! Great
is Artemis of the Ephesians!”
At last the mayor was able to quiet them down enough to speak. “Citizens of Ephesus,” he said. “Everyone knows that Ephesus is the official
guardian of the temple of the great Artemis, whose image fell down to us
from heaven. Since this is an undeniable fact, you should stay calm and not
do anything rash. You have brought these men here, but they have stolen
nothing from the temple and have not spoken against our goddess.
“If Demetrius and the craftsmen have a case against them, the courts
are in session and the officials can hear the case at once. Let them make