Third Missionary Journey Antioch
Series: Pauline Letters
Acts 19:1-4 ESV
Acts 18:21 (God willing I will return)
Acts 19:8-10 ESV
Ephesians 3:1-6 ESV
Ephesians 3:14-21 ESV
Ephesians 6:10-20 ESV
We remember from the previous passages about Apollos that when Aquila and Priscilla met him he was teaching about John the Baptist. When they heard that, they went to Apollos and told him about Jesus, the Christ (who was John’s cousin).
It’s worth noting that at this point in time even though the word about Jesus was spreading quickly, communication was slow (especially by today’s standard). We are told in Acts 19:1-4, “And it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inland country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John's baptism.” And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.”
Paul was the key figure in that region who clarified and ministered to the body of believers. The remarkable thing about that is the depth and breadth of Paul’s knowledge and the power of God in him that was revered in that region.
We understand the power was not Paul’s power…it was the power of the Holy Spirit in Paul. When Paul asked the disciples he met in Ephesus if they received the power of the Spirit and they knew nothing about it, Paul point blank asked them about their baptism of repentance.
Paul knew exactly what questions to ask them.
When Paul found out they were baptized in the name of John, he told them John taught about repentance but Jesus is the focus.
Even with John the Baptizer, Jesus was always the focus.
Paul did not waste any time in telling them about the Holy Spirit. We have to remember this was Paul’s second time to visit this region and he made a promise in Acts 18:21 that he would return if God was willing.
We read in Acts 19:8-10, “And he entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God. But when some became stubborn and continued in unbelief, speaking evil of the Way before the congregation, he withdrew from them and took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the hall of Tyrannus. This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.”
I found it interesting that the Apostle Paul made such a bold move. I applaud him for holding fast to his belief that when some people in the synagogue became stubborn and refused to believe, he withdrew support. From that point on instead of teaching in the synagogue he moved to the hall of Tyrannus.
The way I read that scripture instead of apologetics (arguing to justify a religious doctrine), Paul packed up and told all the believers to follow him to the hall of Tyrannus. Truly, God sent Paul to teach and reach gentiles.
From scripture we know that “Paul preached in Ephesus for at least two years, including at the school of Tyrannus. In a pattern repeated in the cities where he ministered, Paul initially preached in its synagogue. But when the Jews rejected why Jesus was crucified and the proof of His resurrection, Paul turned to the gentiles, “reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus.”” (https://www.israeljerusalem.com/school-of-tyrannus.htm).
Paul didn’t argue with them. He made his case to the Jews present at the synagogue and when they spoke out against the teaching, he moved the class out of the synagogue.
Later, in Paul’s statement to the gentiles in Ephesus he wrote in Ephesians 3:1-6, “For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles— assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.”
Paul wrote his letter from prison in Rome around A.D. 62 to encourage the believers there.
We read Paul’s prayer for spiritual strength written to the believers in Ephesus (Ephesians 3:14-21), “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
I wrote an unpublished children’s book (written for my warrior grandchildren) using this passage. I may choose to publish it someday but haven’t decided when. In Ephesians 6:10-20, Paul wrote, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.”
I love the picturesque way Paul wrote to the church. I think Paul saw himself as a mighty fellow warrior and servant of Jesus!
Spiritual Practice: Warrior
See yourself as a warrior for Jesus!
In God, Deborah’s