Ephesus was a major travel and commerce center (three main Roman roads ran through the city). Paul preached there for two years, first in the synagogue, then in Tyrannus’ lecture hall.
Luke said that after two years, “everyone living in the province of Asia—both Jews and Greeks—heard the Lord’s word.” Some traveling exorcists tried to “borrow” Jesus’ name as a gimmick. The results showed clearly that “Jesus” was not a magic word, but a real Lord to take seriously.
- Luke’s description of Paul’s ministry showed the presence of what we call “knowing God” (“convincing arguments”), “loving God” (“the Lord Jesus in the highest regard”) and “serving God” (“unusual miracles” of healing). In what ways have you been able to include all three dimensions in your faith journey? If one or two are weak, how might you allow God to strengthen them in you?
- Earlier in Acts, Luke told of a man named Simon who offered to buy the apostles’ power for his own use (cf. Acts 8:9-24). Here the exorcists just assumed that “Jesus” was a magic word—that all they had to do was repeat it, without any understanding or life commitment. Have you or someone you knew ever tried to invoke the name of Jesus to bail you out of a problem or crisis without a life commitment to his lordship?