Is Jesus a threat to you? … Well, maybe you’ll know what I mean, once you’ve joined me in working through Luke’s account of Paul in Ephesus, found in Acts 19.21-41.
In this passage, the Spirit is stirring up Paul to go to Rome. It’s been a nice season in Ephesus—daily work and teaching. We get the summary in 19.20: So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily. Then, we’re told that Paul “resolved in the Spirit” to go to Rome. How will God accomplish Paul’s passage to Rome? Well, God will begin by showing Paul what it looks like when Jesus changes things: Paul’s plans, for starters, then places (like Ephesus), and, finally, peoples’ hearts. In the face of the rulers of the day and the cultures of power, Paul will sometimes be in chains. Other times Paul will be a spectator as JESUS actively changes things through the power of His gospel. Paul’s part is to be faithful.
And, in our passage for this week, JESUS will start with a riot. Probably not something Paul planned on!
Have a read through Acts 19.21-41. Join us at Woodland on Sunday. And, then, have a talk through these questions with others.
Questions to discuss with others:
- Jesus and the gospel, preached by Paul, pose a threat to the established order in Ephesus. What did Jesus threaten in Ephesus? What does Jesus threaten in our society when people trust in Him?
- What can we gather about Paul’s strategy for change in Ephesian society? How can we relate this to the way God uses individual Christians and churches to bring about change in our society?
- How does the first point of the message (about Paul’s plans) and the second point of the message (about the reaction in Ephesus) relate? How does the scene in Ephesus foreshadow the way God will protect Paul and accomplish His purpose as the gospel goes to Rome?
See you Sunday, at Woodland!