friends in high places
Acts 19:23-41 (JDV)
Acts 19:23 About that period there was a major disturbance about the Way.
Acts 19:24 You see, a person named Demetrius, a silversmith who made silver shrines of Artemis, provided a great deal of business for the craftsmen.
Acts 19:25 When he had brought them together, as well as the workers engaged in this type of business, he said: “Men, you know that our prosperity is derived from this business.
Acts 19:26 You observe and hear that not only in Ephesus, but in almost all of Asia, this man Paul has persuaded and misled a considerable number of people by saying that gods made by hand are not gods.
Acts 19:27 Not only do we run a risk that our business may be discredited, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis may be despised and her magnificence come to the verge of ruin – the very one all of Asia and the world worship.”
Acts 19:28 When they had heard this, they were filled with rage and began to cry out, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”
Acts 19:29 So the city was filled with uproar, and with the same passion they rushed into the amphitheater, dragging along Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians who were Paul’s traveling companions.
Acts 19:30 Although Paul wanted to go in before the people, the disciples did not let him.
Acts 19:31 Even some of the provincial officials of Asia, who were his friends, sent word to him, pleading with him not to venture into the amphitheater.
Acts 19:32 Some were shouting one thing and some another, because the assembly was in uproar, and most of them did not know why they had come together.
Acts 19:33 Some Jews in the crowd gave instructions to Alexander after they pushed him to the front. Motioning with his hand, Alexander wanted to make his defense to the people.
Acts 19:34 But when they recognized that he was a Jew, they all shouted in unison for about two hours: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”
Acts 19:35 When the city clerk had calmed the crowd down, he said, “People of Ephesus! What person is there who doesn’t know that the city of the Ephesians is the temple guardian of the great Artemis, and of the image that fell from the sky?
Acts 19:36 Therefore, since these things are undeniable, you must keep calm and not do anything rash.
Acts 19:37 You see, you have brought these men here who are not temple robbers or blasphemers of our goddess.
Acts 19:38 So if Demetrius and the craftsmen who are with him have a case against anyone, the courts are in session, and there are proconsuls. Let them bring charges against one another.
Acts 19:39 But if you seek anything further, it must be decided in a legal assembly.
Acts 19:40 In fact, we run a risk of being charged with rioting for what happened today, since there is no justification that we can give as a reason for this mob.”
Acts 19:41 After saying this, he let the assembly go.
friends in high places
The gospel had prevailed over the Jewish exorcists, and had led to the destruction of the books of magic. But that did not mean that the conflict was over. Now, the craftsmen who created the idols that littered the land took up the fight. This passage reveals that the Adversary — the devil — has more than one group of people that he can manipulate to cause conflict and seek to destroy the gospel. But it also shows that the gospel has friends in high places as well. Paul was warned not to go to the amphitheater both by the disciples and by some government officials who were his friends. The city clerk also pleaded for the unlawful assembly to disperse. He was apparently not a believer, but God did use him to prevent the injustice of a mob attack against Paul.
Lord, thank you for the friends of the gospel which you put in high places.