You ever see a crowd in a frenzy, and yet, you’re unsure of what’s happening? It often happens at sporting events or in high school hallways when a fight breaks out. Or when there’s an unruly customer at Walmart. Or on college campuses with those awkward street-preachers. All you know is that there is a commotion, and you want to know why. So you follow the crowd.
That’s the situation in Acts 19:21-41.
Demetrius was mad at Paul, and really, at Christianity (the Way) in general. His idol-creation business had suffered fiscal woes, due to many repenting and turning to Jesus. He wasn’t thrilled, so he started inciting a riot. The Bible tells us that people followed along with this, but that they were confused and not even sure what they were rioting about. Really, it was all about one thing: idolatry.
Paul and his companions were in the middle of a dicey situation. God saved them from immense harm. The mayor of Ephesus diffused the situation, and the gospel preaching band kept moving.
How can we respond to this passage/story?
When Jesus comes into our lives, our idols must leave. There’s only room for one ruler in our lives. It’s either idol worship or Jesus. Demetrius not only worshiped idols, but he made them for others too. Have you been guilty of that as well (bringing others down in your sin)? What idols do you have in your life that need to disappear? How can you take steps in the right direction today?
By: Todd Thomas — Worship & College Pastor