In our passage today, Paul arrives in Ephesus and meets some believers who only know about John’s baptism. We can assume that they believed like Apollos, who was just in Ephesus and “taught others about Jesus with an enthusiastic spirit and with accuracy” (Acts 18:27). These believers are then baptized in the name of Jesus.
As Paul was preaching boldly in the synagogue for three months, some of the Jews in Ephesus rejected the message of the Gospel and spoke publicly against Paul and followers of Jesus. So Paul starts preaching at a Greek lecture hall instead! He preached there every day for two whole years, so that many people heard the message of the Gospel.
We then read about a group of Jews who try to cast out demons by using the name of Jesus! God gave Paul the power to cast out demons, but these guys were trying to do it in name only. The evil spirit attacked them, and the story spread through the city very quickly! This made everyone in the city fearful, so many who became believers confessed their sins and burned sorcery books in a public fire. “So the message about the Lord spread widely and had a powerful effect” (v.20).
What can we take from today?
Notice the faithfulness of Paul to preach the Gospel boldly in Ephesus. He did it in the synagogue and met Jewish opposition. He did it in a public lecture hall for two years! Paul’s faithfulness to share the message of the Gospel with those around him had a great effect in Ephesus, and many people came to know the Lord there. If we are faithful in our city to share the message of the Gospel with those around us, I have no doubt that “the message about the Lord” will “spread widely.” Let’s seek to be a faithful witness in our city for the Gospel.
This morning, think of three people over the course of this year with whom you could begin the process of sharing the Gospel.
Take some time to pray for:
- Boldness to share with them
- Love for them
- Their hearts to be prepared to accept the message of the Gospel
- God to save them from their sins
By: Lucas Taylor — West Campus Pastoral Ministry Apprentice