Acts 19:35-20:6 – January 14, 2007

January 7, 2007 at 9:23 pm Leave a comment

THE GOSPEL CHALLENGES THE ECONOMY (verses 35-41) and MACEDONIAN BELIEVERS ARE REVISITED (verses 1-6)

We did not get to last week’s challenge:

CHALLENGE: In light of these verses that happen in Ephesus, read Ephesians 4:25-32. What is Paul saying to us now?

Discussion) This selections of verses challenges us to see that Paul did not want us to be like Demetrius and the mob at Ephesus. He was explaining to the Ephesians not to be like them by thoroughly going through what these people were like. This makes these passages come alive and jump off of the page.

Each study will have an error in one of the questions. It is our duty as believers to test everything that we read or hear with the Bible. So this will be a mini exercise in testing what is being said in class.

Q1) In verse 37, the town clerk mentions these men that you have brought forward. They weren’t robbers and they didn’t blaspheme against the goddess Diana. Who were these men and what was their crime?

Discussion) These men were Gaius and Aristrarchus and their crime was being around Paul when he was preaching. The town clerk saw through the thinly vieled charges that Demetrius brought against them.

Q2) Was the city clerk a Christian? What is the city clerk an example of? {This is a tough question so here is a clue: read Romans 13:1 – the last part of the verse}.

Clues) Think about all of the horrible rulers in the world when reading Romans 13:1.

Discussion) The city clerk was a man of high authority (he must have been to silence the mob with the wave of his hand). Since he was in authority he could control the proceedings of all acitivities. In this Paul knew that he should be prayed for and it is for sure that Paul silently was praying for him. The city clerk was not a Christian, as far as we can see, but also he did not believe in Diana, for it says in verse 37, “nor blasphemers of your goddess.” Of this we know that he said that if there was not a charge then everything should be dropped. One thing that was mentioned was that one of the rules in Ephesus was that the officials could loose their city to Rome if there was a mob uprising and also if the person that brought false charges during a mob uprising was found, that person would be put to death.

Q3) In Acts 20:1, Paul leaves Ephesus. Was he leaving due to fear or something else? Please explain.

Discussion) Definitely not. He was not afraid for himself, though it might look this way to the casual observer. Instead he knew that he was in the line of fire by many people in Ephesus, so in order for this new church here at Ephesus to flourish, he would have to be out of the way. He did this so that innocent bystanders of the church would not be persecuted due to Paul being there. If there was persecution, it would then be for the cause of Jesus Christ.

Q4) When Paul was ready to sail to Antioch, what happened?

Clues) This was the trick question. He was ready to sail to Syria.

Discussion) He decided, through the Holy Spirit, to return to Jerusaleam by going through Macedonia. It is knowledge that those that were on the ship to go to Syria were ready to try to “accidentally” throw Paul overboard so that he would never be heard from again. Whether Paul knew this or not, we do not know. What we do know is that God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit know men’s hearts and will change plans based upon the plans of men.

Q5) In Acts 20:5, it says, “the men went ahead of Paul and waited for him in Troas.” Does this mean that during this part of the journey Paul traveled alone?

Discussion) No, this is a trick question. In verse 6 there is a we, which means Luke, the writer of Acts, was with Paul.

What five places did Paul go from Ephesus? Please use the following map:pauls-third-journey.gif

He went five places:

Macedonia – verse 1 – place 5 on the map

Greece – verse 2 – place 6 on the map

Macedonia – verse 3 – place 7 on the map

Philippi – verse 6 – place 8 on the map

Troas – verse 6 – place 9 on the map

CHALLENGE: Romans was written during the three months at Corinth in Acts 20:3. Read Romans 15:22-29 and share how this letter is different than all the letters Paul has written.

Discussion) This letter is different in that it is sent to Rome before Paul got there and he states that he will be going to Rome to see them.

CHALLENGE: Read I Corinthians 15:32. Paul was at Ephesus only one time, in Acts 19:1-41, yet he talks about the “beasts of Ephesus.” What is he talking about here?

Discussion) The beasts mentioned are the demonic forces that overtake mobs that happened at Ephesus. Remember in question 2 that we mentioned there was a rule against mobs. Obviously this was not the first or only time that a mob had happened since there was a rule against it. These people must have had partaken in many mobs.

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Entry filed under: Time in the Word.

Acts 19:21-34 – January 7, 2007 Acts 20:7-16 – January 21, 2007

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