SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
19:8 So Paul entered the synagogue and spoke out fearlessly for three months, addressing and convincing them about the kingdom of God. 9 But when some were stubborn and refused to believe, reviling the Way before the congregation, he left them and took the disciples with him, addressing them every day in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. 10 This went on for two years, so that all who lived in the province of Asia, both Jews and Greeks, heard the word of the Lord.
11 God was performing extraordinary miracles by Paul’s hands, 12 so that when even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his body were brought to the sick, their diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them. 13 But some itinerant Jewish exorcists tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were possessed by evil spirits, saying, “I sternly warn you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.” 14 (Now seven sons of a man named Sceva, a Jewish high priest, were doing this.) 15 But the evil spirit replied to them, “I know about Jesus and I am acquainted with Paul, but who are you?” 16 Then the man who was possessed by the evil spirit jumped on them and beat them all into submission. He prevailed against them so that they fled from that house naked and wounded. 17 This became known to all who lived in Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks; fear came over them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was praised. 18 Many of those who had believed came forward, confessing and making their deeds known. 19 Large numbers of those who had practiced magic collected their books and burned them up in the presence of everyone. When the value of the books was added up, it was found to total 50,000 silver coins. 20 In this way the word of the Lord continued to grow in power and to prevail.
21 Now after all these things had taken place, Paul resolved to go to Jerusalem, passing through Macedonia and Achaia. He said, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome.” 22 So after sending two of his assistants, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia, he himself stayed on for a while in the province of Asia.
23 At that time a great disturbance took place concerning the Way. 24 For a man named Demetrius, a silversmith who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought a great deal of business to the craftsmen. 25 He gathered these together, along with the workmen in similar trades, and said, “Men, you know that our prosperity comes from this business. 26 And you see and hear that this Paul has persuaded and turned away a large crowd, not only in Ephesus but in practically all of the province of Asia, by saying that gods made by hands are not gods at all. 27 There is danger not only that this business of ours will come into disrepute, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be regarded as nothing, and she whom all the province of Asia and the world worship will suffer the loss of her greatness.”
28 When they heard this they became enraged and began to shout, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” 29 The city was filled with the uproar, and the crowd rushed to the theater together, dragging with them Gaius and Aristarchus, the Macedonians who were Paul’s traveling companions. 30 But when Paul wanted to enter the public assembly, the disciples would not let him. 31 Even some of the provincial authorities who were his friends sent a message to him, urging him not to venture into the theater. 32 So then some were shouting one thing, some another, for the assembly was in confusion, and most of them did not know why they had met together. 33 Some of the crowd concluded it was about Alexander because the Jews had pushed him to the front. Alexander, gesturing with his hand, was wanting to make a defense before the public assembly. 34 But when they recognized that he was a Jew, they all shouted in unison, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” for about two hours. 35 After the city secretary quieted the crowd, he said, “Men of Ephesus, what person is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is the keeper of the temple of the great Artemis and of her image that fell from heaven? 36 So because these facts are indisputable, you must keep quiet and not do anything reckless. 37 For you have brought these men here who are neither temple robbers nor blasphemers of our goddess. 38 If then Demetrius and the craftsmen who are with him have a complaint against someone, the courts are open and there are proconsuls; let them bring charges against one another there. 39 But if you want anything in addition, it will have to be settled in a legal assembly. 40 For we are in danger of being charged with rioting today, since there is no cause we can give to explain this disorderly gathering.” 41 After he had said this, he dismissed the assembly.
20:1 After the disturbance had ended, Paul sent for the disciples, and after encouraging them and saying farewell, he left to go to Macedonia. 2 After he had gone through those regions and spoken many words of encouragement to the believers there, he came to Greece, 3 where he stayed for three months. Because the Jews had made a plot against him as he was intending to sail for Syria, he decided to return through Macedonia. 4 Paul was accompanied by Sopater son of Pyrrhus from Berea, Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, Gaius from Derbe, and Timothy, as well as Tychicus and Trophimus from the province of Asia. 5 These had gone on ahead and were waiting for us in Troas. 6 We sailed away from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread, and within five days we came to the others in Troas, where we stayed for seven days. 7 On the first day of the week, when we met to break bread, Paul began to speak to the people, and because he intended to leave the next day, he extended his message until midnight. 8 (Now there were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting.) 9 A young man named Eutychus, who was sitting in the window, was sinking into a deep sleep while Paul continued to speak for a long time. Fast asleep, he fell down from the third story and was picked up dead. 10 But Paul went down, threw himself on the young man, put his arms around him, and said, “Do not be distressed, for he is still alive!” 11 Then Paul went back upstairs, and after he had broken bread and eaten, he talked with them a long time, until dawn. Then he left. 12 They took the boy home alive and were greatly comforted.