Our passage today, Acts 19:21-41, focuses on a disturbance in Ephesus. A group of silversmith were upset about Paul’s mission work in Ephesus and the fruits of that mission. The reason is that Paul’s work was starting to impact their finances.
The silversmiths were dependent upon the worship of Artemis, one of the gods of Ephesus at the time. They would build silver shrines to be used in worship. When Paul began to make disciples in Ephesus is meant fewer and fewer people would be available to buy these shrines. A smaller marketplace means less financial resources for the silversmiths.
So, what do they do? They caused a riot. They gathered together, organized, and created a great confusion within the city about who to truly worship. Because they felt threatened the silversmiths decided to respond by doing whatever they could to limit Paul’s influence and, thus, the church’s mission.
The Good News of Jesus Christ is a challenging message. It challenges us to our core and forces us to wrestle with our identities, pasts, and, even, livelihoods. Once we have heard the message of Jesus it demands of us a daily response focused upon how we will live with the revelation of the Good News that Christ is alive and Christ is love.
For the silversmiths, their response was to promote a panic and cause fear among the people. It prevented them from seeing the grace and truth that comes from the Lord. What about us? We might not respond in such drastic ways, but our response might be equally hindering our ability to grow closer to the Lord.
So, how have you responded to the Good News of Jesus Christ today? How will you live life in response to God’s love?