The Threatened Goddess
The Korean Word of Life Bible Institute students I taught were walking Wednesday in the ruins of Ephesus. Steve Nicholes, their Old and New Testament professor, has taken the classroom to Turkey. They are on tour tracing the Apostle Paul’s missionary journeys. After they toured the ruins of Ephesus, Steve posted this on Facebook. “We had a good day in Ephesus. It is hard to believe that the temple of Artemis (Diana) was 4 times bigger than the Parthenon in Athens (which is huge).”
“Now about that time there arose no small commotion over the issue of the Way. For a man named Demetrius, a silversmith by trade, who made replica silver temples to Artemis (a manufacturing that brought in not a small amount of profit for the craftsmen) gathered together those working in this business and said, ‘Men, you are well aware how this trade has brought us prosperity. You also are now seeing and hearing that not only here in Ephesus, but almost throughout all of Asia, this Paul fellow has persuaded and led astray a large crowd of people. He claims that these ‘made by human hands’ gods are not gods at all. This not only means that human made gods are not gods, but also the success of his teaching raises the risk that our business could fall into disrepute and the temple of the great goddess Artemis may be reckoned as nothing. She potentially could be brought down from her magnificence, the one who has been worshiped throughout all of Asia and the world.’” Acts 19:21-27
Demetrius makes a case that if the Apostle Paul keeps teaching he will be out of business and his goddess will be dethroned. He never even consider that maybe something you make with your hands, either a statute or a building, or a god threatened with extinction by a competitor isn’t worthy of getting down on your knees for.
LORD, the Korean students couldn’t see the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus because it’s only ruins. Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you remain King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Thanks that you are the one who created the skilled craftsman but nothing humans will ever make is worthy of the worship that you alone deserve.
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