Acts 19: Protection Amid Mob Mayhem
Acts 19:30 Though Paul wanted to go in before the people, the disciples did not let him. Even some of the provincial officials of Asia, who were his friends, sent word to him, pleading with him not to take a chance by going into the amphitheater.
A riot occurred in Ephesus while Paul was there. A silversmith names Demetrius, who made silver shrines of Artemis, stirred up the people saying Paul was misleading others into believing that gods made by hand are not gods. He was afraid of losing his business, of having the temple of Artemis in Ephesus come into disrepute. People began to cry out “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” (Artemis was the Greek goddess believed to control fertility.) As people were yelling, the city was filled with confusion, and they rushed into the amphitheater, dragging some of Paul’s travelling companions with them, Gaius and Aristarchus, who were from Macedonia.
The disciples did not let Paul go into the amphitheater. Provincial officials did not want Paul to go into a dangerous situation. It was the city clerk who calmed the mob by saying that Artemis was great and that everyone knew it, so what was the fuss. He then sent everyone home. He did not want his city charged with rioting, he did not want Roman soldiers coming in to quell a riot.
Paul wanted to defend the gospel. However, the disciples understood there was no reason for Paul to risk his life in this situation.
I am grateful for the disciples’ protection of Paul. It leads me to a question: am I protecting those over me in the Lord? Am I praying for them? Am I encouraging them? Am I trying to make their work a joy?
Prayer: Father, I pray for the Pastor and Elders over me. I thank you for how they have ministered to me. Keep them safe. Bless them and their families. Amen.
CC: K Carswell 2022
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