Children's Bible - New Testament - Sherman and Kent

Paul's Trials and Victories at Ephesus

After spending some time at Antioch Paul went off on a trip to Galatia and Phrygia to strengthen the faith of all the disciples; then he returned to Ephesus. There Paul entered the synagogue, and spoke out fearlessly for three months, arguing and trying to convince people about the Kingdom of God. But as some were stubborn and refused to be convinced and publicly slandered the Christian way of thinking and living, Paul, taking the disciples with him, left the synagogue and continued his teaching every day in the lecture-room of Tyrannus. This continued for two years, so that all the people who lived in the province of Asia, both Jews and Greeks, heard the message of the Lord.

And God did wonderful miracles through Paul, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor. Many who believed in him came to confess and to tell all the wicked things they had done.

About that time a great disturbance arose over the Christian way of teaching and living. A silversmith, by the name of Demetrius, made silver models of the temple of Artemis which brought much profit to his workmen. He gathered the workmen together, and others who were in the same kind of business, and said to them, "Men, you know that we get our wealth from this business of ours. You also see and hear that, not only at Ephesus but throughout the whole province of Asia, this Paul has drawn away many people by telling them that gods made by human hands are not gods at all. There is danger not only that this business will be hurt, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be neglected, and that she will even lose her importance in all the province of Asia and throughout the world."

When they heard this they were greatly enraged, and shouted, "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!" The uproar spread throughout the whole city until the people all rushed into the theatre, dragging along Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, who were Paul's travelling companions. Paul wanted to enter the assembly, but the disciples would not let him. Some of the leading religious officers of the province of Asia, who were friends of his, also sent messages begging him not to risk going into the theatre.

Some of the people shouted one thing and some another, for the assembly was all in confusion, and most of those present did not know why they had come together. For about two hours they shouted, "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!" When the city recorder had quieted the mob, he said: "Men of Ephesus, what man is there who does not know that this city is the guardian of the temple of the great Artemis and of the statue that fell from heaven? As these facts cannot be denied, you should keep calm and do nothing reckless. You have brought these men here who are neither robbers of temples nor blasphemers of our goddess. If Demetrius and his fellow workers have a complaint against anybody, there are the courts and the Roman officials; let both sides state their charges. But if there is anything else you want, it must be settled in the regular assembly. We are indeed in danger of being charged with riot because of what we have done to-day, for there is no good reason that we can give for this gathering." With these words he dismissed the assembly.

When the uproar had ceased, Paul sent for the disciples and encouraged them. Then, after bidding them good-by, he started for Macedonia.