Acts 19:28–41 (ESV)
A RIOT AT EPHESUS (Part 2)
When they heard this they were enraged and were crying out, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” 29 So the city was filled with the confusion, and they rushed together into the theater, dragging with them Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians who
were Paul’s companions in travel. 30 But when Paul wished to go in among the crowd, the disciples would not let him. 31 And even some of the Asiarchs, who were friends of his, sent to him and were urging him not to venture into the theater. 32 Now some
cried out one thing, some another, for the assembly was in confusion, and most of them did not know why they had come together. 33 Some of the crowd prompted Alexander, whom the Jews had put forward. And Alexander, motioning with his hand, wanted to make a
defense to the crowd. 34 But when they recognized that he was a Jew, for about two hours they all cried out with one voice, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”
35 And when the town clerk had
quieted the crowd, he said, “Men of Ephesus, who is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is temple keeper of the great Artemis, and of the sacred stone that fell from the sky? 36 Seeing then that these things cannot be denied, you ought
to be quiet and do nothing rash. 37 For you have brought these men here who are neither sacrilegious nor blasphemers of our goddess. 38 If therefore Demetrius and the craftsmen with him have a complaint against anyone, the courts are open, and there are proconsuls.
Let them bring charges against one another. 39 But if you seek anything further, it shall be settled in the regular assembly. 40 For we really are in danger of being charged with rioting today, since there is no cause that we can give to justify this commotion.”
41 And when he had said these things, he dismissed the assembly.
In yesterday’s reading, the craftsmen, who made and sold idols, were raising a stink over Paul because he was hurting their business
of selling idols. It was a money and greed problem, but they tried to make it a religious argument. They stirred up the people and today the crowds are in confusion. The town clerk stepped in and reasoned with the people and said if they
had a problem, take it to the courts and he broke up the crowds.
I pray: O Lord, I love how the Holy Spirit works. Sometimes the Spirit works through believers and sometimes through nonbelievers.
Your will always prevails. Help me to trust you and to let the Holy Spirit guide me. Amen.