Acts 19:1 “…passed through the upper regions…”
Paul had taken the land route through Cilicia, Galatia, Phrygia, and into Asia to get to Ephesus.
4 “…John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance…”
John the Baptist’s message had been one of repentance because the kingdom of God was at hand. He proclaimed the coming of the Messiah. But his message was like that which they’d had from the beginning. Repent and have your sins covered. Now Jesus had come and had paid for sins by dying on the cross and rising from the dead. Believing on Him for salvation brings the indwelling of the Holy Spirit which happened to these people.
9 “…he departed from them and withdrew the disciples…”
Paul realizes he’s not getting anywhere with the unbelievers in the synagogue. Best to move on and get the new believers out as well.
9 “…the school of Tyrannus”
Not told who this was. Commentary suggests a local believer.
10 “…two years…”
Long time in Ephesus. Was able to spread the word of Christ throughout all of Asia Minor.
11 “…God worked unusual miracles…”
Text is quick to remind us that God was doing the miracles. He may have used Paul as an instrument, but the power was from Him and Him alone.
13 “…itinerant Jewish exorcists…”
Interesting title. Apparently some who went around casting out demons. They tried to use the power of Jesus’s name to cast out a demon, and the demon called them on it. They didn’t belong to Jesus so He was under no obligation to express His power through them.
16 “…they fled out of that house naked and wounded”
The beating was bad enough to tear off clothing and leave them all wounded. Sounds like quite a brawl.
19 “…and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver”
The old ways no longer mattered to the new believers. The money wasn’t as important to them as the treasure they found in Christ.
21 “…Paul purposed in the Spirit…”
Desire or decision he had made which he either received from God or was confirmed by God. I find that the Spirit’s leading is sometimes a strong desire to do something. The difficulty comes in recognizing whether it is truly the Spirit leading or just my own selfish desires. I trust Him, I don’t trust me.
21 “…I must also see Rome”
Commentary confirms this is the first mention of Paul’s desire to travel to Rome. Perhaps brought about by his encounters with those who had been forced out. I’m sure it was also a divine compulsion. Interesting that he says he must go to Jerusalem. I wonder if his compulsion was to go to Jerusalem with a desire to at some point travel to Rome, not realizing that was what the Spirit had in mind. I’m sure going to Rome as a prisoner wasn’t what Paul had in mind. Given that those freely living in Rome had been forced out, going in as a Roman citizen who had appealed to Caesar might have been the best way for him to get back in.
27 “…not only is this trade…Diana may be despised…”
Main motivation was money, but he had to throw in the religious angle to make sure he got the reaction he desired.
30 “…Paul wanted to go in to the people…”
His desire was always to attempt a reasoning with people. Fortunately other believers retrained him. He even had some friends in official capacities who didn’t want him in there. They must have recognized the mob mentality of what was happening.
32-34 “…most of them did not know why they had come together…Great is Diana of the Ephesians”
Nothing but confusion. Even though most didn’t know why they were there, all they had to hear was someone make a divisive statement, and they were fired up again.
35-41 “…the city clerk…if Demetrius…if you have any other inquiry…we are in danger of being called in question…”
Smart man. Amazed that the people listened. I suppose when he stood up they recognized they should listen to him. He spoke immediately to their supposed grievance which was baseless and reminded them they should have brought their cases to court if they had any foundation. The foolish mob scene was going to get them in trouble with the Romans if they continued. See much of this today. Interesting that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Those who have no real case must stir up the mob mentality in others to gain any interest in their cause. And people today still fall for it.
I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word. May it accomplish what He desires. Please feel free to comment or post questions. Thanks for reading!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.