Monday, August 22, 2011

Acts 19:1-41

Chapter 19:1-7
     Paul returns to Ephesus keeping his promise to the people that he had made a few months earlier. After  arriving he meets a group of men. He asks them if they had received the Holy Spirit and they said they had not. They didn't know the whole story. They had been baptised in the name of John the Baptist and not Jesus. Paul is quick to tell them the truth and baptise them in their Savior's name.
Chapter 19:8-20
     Paul once again tries to preach in the synagogues and did so for three months but because their hearts were still harden to the truth he withdrew from them. He began to teach in a school like setting run by Tyrannus. Even though the Jews were not listening, the Gentiles were receiving the Truth.God was not only using Paul to reach the people but He was also using items of clothing to help heal the sick and possessed. This is like the time when the woman touched the hem of Christ robe and was healed instantly. God can use anything to bring His people to Him. This next part of the passage is very key to understand. Many of the people were saying prayers in order to heal like they using magic. The were expecting their empty prayers to heal the possessed without God's help. When we pray we need to let the Lord take control and understand that He might not answer it in the way we had thought. He knows what is best for us. The so called exorcists had tried to cast out demons from a man  using the Lord's name. The demon responded back to them that he knew Jesus and he knew Paul but he didn't know him. Even the demons know who is fighting against them. The people once seeing the truth collected all their magic books and burned them.
Chapter 19:21-22
     These verses are written in a way by Luke to almost summarize a lot of events that happened back to back.  Being guided by the Spirit, Paul sets out to Jerusalem but not before he stop off at a few other places. In other letters from Paul we find out more details about these stops.
Chapter 19:23-41
     There were many men who made a living off of making little idols or shrines for their false gods. Since Paul and other believers had been spreading the good news all over the need for these silversmiths had dwindled. One man that was outraged the most was a man named Demetrius. He gathered together other silversmiths and random people and formed a mob. It is important to notice that there were some people who had joined the mob and had no clue as to why. They were only doing so because everyone else was. During their rage they grabbed Gaius and Aristarchus who were traveling companions of Paul and put them in the middle of the mob. The people wanted a man named Alexander to speak against Paul but when the crowd realized that he was Jewish they dismissed him. It took a town clerk to quiet the crowd. He showed them how their actions would bring nothing but trouble for their free city. If they insisted on bringing charges against these men then they should do so in a lawful way. Either way the mob needed to disperse and get under control. The important thing to notice here is that even in that large crowd it only took one voice to quiet them. If something is wrong stand firm on what you believe and speak out when it is appropriate.

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