Apollos Speaks Boldly in Ephesus 24 Now a Jew named h Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, i competent in the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in j the way of the Lord. And k being fervent in spirit, 1 he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only l the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when m Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him n the way of God more accurately. 27 And when he wished to cross to o Achaia, p the brothers encouraged him and q wrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, r he greatly helped those who through grace had believed, 28 for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures s that the Christ was Jesus. Paul in Ephesus 19 1 And it happened that while t Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed u through the inland 1 country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. 2 And he said to them, v “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, w we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 And he said, x “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into y John’s baptism.” 4 And Paul said, y “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people z to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, a they were baptized in 1 the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And b when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and c they began speaking in tongues and d prophesying. 7 There were about twelve men in all. 8 And e he entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them f about the kingdom of God. 9 g But when some became stubborn and h continued in unbelief, speaking evil of i the Way before the congregation, he withdrew from them and took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the hall of Tyrannus. 1 10 This continued for j two years, so that k all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks. The Sons of Sceva 11 And l God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, 12 l so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and m the evil spirits came out of them. 13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish n exorcists o undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, p “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” 14 Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. 15 But the evil spirit answered them, q “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” 16 And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all 1 of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17 And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and r the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. 18 Also many of those who were now believers came, s confessing and divulging their practices. 19 And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So the word of the Lord t continued to increase and prevail mightily.
24 Ἰουδαῖος δέ τις Ἀπολλῶς ὀνόματι, Ἀλεξανδρεὺς τῷ γένει, ἀνὴρ λόγιος, κατήντησεν εἰς Ἔφεσον, δυνατὸς ὢν ἐν ταῖς γραφαῖς. 25 οὗτος ἦν κατηχημένος τὴν ὁδὸν τοῦ κυρίου καὶ ζέων τῷ πνεύματι ἐλάλει καὶ ἐδίδασκεν ἀκριβῶς τὰ περὶ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ, ἐπιστάμενος μόνον τὸ βάπτισμα Ἰωάννου• 26 οὗτός τε ἤρξατο παρρησιάζεσθαι ἐν τῇ συναγωγῇ. ἀκούσαντες δὲ αὐτοῦ Πρίσκιλλα καὶ Ἀκύλας προσελάβοντο αὐτὸν καὶ ἀκριβέστερον αὐτῷ ἐξέθεντο τὴν ὁδὸν [τοῦ θεοῦ]. 27 βουλομένου δὲ αὐτοῦ διελθεῖν εἰς τὴν Ἀχαΐαν, προτρεψάμενοι οἱ ἀδελφοὶ ἔγραψαν τοῖς μαθηταῖς ἀποδέξασθαι αὐτόν, ὃς παραγενόμενος συνεβάλετο πολὺ τοῖς πεπιστευκόσιν διὰ τῆς χάριτος• 28 εὐτόνως γὰρ τοῖς Ἰουδαίοις διακατηλέγχετο δημοσίᾳ ἐπιδεικνὺς διὰ τῶν γραφῶν εἶναι τὸν χριστὸν Ἰησοῦν. 19 1 Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ τὸν Ἀπολλῶ εἶναι ἐν Κορίνθῳ Παῦλον διελθόντα τὰ ἀνωτερικὰ μέρη [κατ]ελθεῖν εἰς Ἔφεσον καὶ εὑρεῖν τινας μαθητὰς 2 εἶπέν τε πρὸς αὐτούς• εἰ πνεῦμα ἅγιον ἐλάβετε πιστεύσαντες; οἱ δὲ πρὸς αὐτόν• ἀλλʼ οὐδʼ εἰ πνεῦμα ἅγιον ἔστιν ἠκούσαμεν. 3 εἶπέν τε• εἰς τί οὖν ἐβαπτίσθητε; οἱ δὲ εἶπαν• εἰς τὸ Ἰωάννου βάπτισμα. 4 εἶπεν δὲ Παῦλος• Ἰωάννης ἐβάπτισεν βάπτισμα μετανοίας τῷ λαῷ λέγων εἰς τὸν ἐρχόμενον μετʼ αὐτὸν ἵνα πιστεύσωσιν, τοῦτʼ ἔστιν εἰς τὸν Ἰησοῦν. 5 ἀκούσαντες δὲ ἐβαπτίσθησαν εἰς τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ, 6 καὶ ἐπιθέντος αὐτοῖς τοῦ Παύλου [τὰς] χεῖρας ἦλθεν τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον ἐπʼ αὐτούς, ἐλάλουν τε γλώσσαις καὶ ἐπροφήτευον. 7 ἦσαν δὲ οἱ πάντες ἄνδρες ὡσεὶ δώδεκα. 8 Εἰσελθὼν δὲ εἰς τὴν συναγωγὴν ἐπαρρησιάζετο ἐπὶ μῆνας τρεῖς διαλεγόμενος καὶ πείθων [τὰ] περὶ τῆς βασιλείας τοῦ θεοῦ. 9 ὡς δέ τινες ἐσκληρύνοντο καὶ ἠπείθουν κακολογοῦντες τὴν ὁδὸν ἐνώπιον τοῦ πλήθους, ἀποστὰς ἀπʼ αὐτῶν ἀφώρισεν τοὺς μαθητὰς καθʼ ἡμέραν διαλεγόμενος ἐν τῇ σχολῇ Τυράννου. 10 τοῦτο δὲ ἐγένετο ἐπὶ ἔτη δύο, ὥστε πάντας τοὺς κατοικοῦντας τὴν Ἀσίαν ἀκοῦσαι τὸν λόγον τοῦ κυρίου, Ἰουδαίους τε καὶ Ἕλληνας. 11 Δυνάμεις τε οὐ τὰς τυχούσας ὁ θεὸς ἐποίει διὰ τῶν χειρῶν Παύλου, 12 ὥστε καὶ ἐπὶ τοὺς ἀσθενοῦντας ἀποφέρεσθαι ἀπὸ τοῦ χρωτὸς αὐτοῦ σουδάρια ἢ σιμικίνθια καὶ ἀπαλλάσσεσθαι ἀπʼ αὐτῶν τὰς νόσους, τά τε πνεύματα τὰ πονηρὰ ἐκπορεύεσθαι. 13 Ἐπεχείρησαν δέ τινες καὶ τῶν περιερχομένων Ἰουδαίων ἐξορκιστῶν ὀνομάζειν ἐπὶ τοὺς ἔχοντας τὰ πνεύματα τὰ πονηρὰ τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ λέγοντες• ὁρκίζω ὑμᾶς τὸν Ἰησοῦν ὃν Παῦλος κηρύσσει. 14 ἦσαν δέ τινος Σκευᾶ Ἰουδαίου ἀρχιερέως ἑπτὰ υἱοὶ τοῦτο ποιοῦντες. 15 ἀποκριθὲν δὲ τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ πονηρὸν εἶπεν αὐτοῖς• τὸν [μὲν] Ἰησοῦν γινώσκω καὶ τὸν Παῦλον ἐπίσταμαι, ὑμεῖς δὲ τίνες ἐστέ; 16 καὶ ἐφαλόμενος ὁ ἄνθρωπος ἐπʼ αὐτοὺς ἐν ᾧ ἦν τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ πονηρόν, κατακυριεύσας ἀμφοτέρων ἴσχυσεν κατʼ αὐτῶν ὥστε γυμνοὺς καὶ τετραυματισμένους ἐκφυγεῖν ἐκ τοῦ οἴκου ἐκείνου. 17 τοῦτο δὲ ἐγένετο γνωστὸν πᾶσιν Ἰουδαίοις τε καὶ Ἕλλησιν τοῖς κατοικοῦσιν τὴν Ἔφεσον καὶ ἐπέπεσεν φόβος ἐπὶ πάντας αὐτοὺς καὶ ἐμεγαλύνετο τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ. 18 Πολλοί τε τῶν πεπιστευκότων ἤρχοντο ἐξομολογούμενοι καὶ ἀναγγέλλοντες τὰς πράξεις αὐτῶν. 19 ἱκανοὶ δὲ τῶν τὰ περίεργα πραξάντων συνενέγκαντες τὰς βίβλους κατέκαιον ἐνώπιον πάντων, καὶ συνεψήφισαν τὰς τιμὰς αὐτῶν καὶ εὗρον ἀργυρίου μυριάδας πέντε. 20 Οὕτως κατὰ κράτος τοῦ κυρίου ὁ λόγος ηὔξανεν καὶ ἴσχυεν.
The Kingdom of God comes in Ephesus Introduction: Got to assess something on its own terms. Why read the Bible, why check it out? Strange/hard to understand? This is a real passage from the Bible; this is a true glimpse in. Got to read the Bible, because of what it's claiming. Ephesus: Ephesus. Famous for commerce. And as a religious centre of greaco-roman world. Artemis/Diana - the virgin huntress. But somehow identified with an Asian fertility goddess. Huge, huge temple - one of 7 wonders of ancient world. Lots of occult, superstition, etc [cf language used in letter to Ephesians, prince of this air, powers and authorities, etc]. Show pictures. Kingdom coming. I.e., Jesus' king-ship breaking in. His rule established, as he promised. 18.24-19.7 1. Through powerful preaching and the gift of the Spirit a) Powerful preaching Man of great learning, but also fervent in spirit. Erudition and enthusiasm. Such a rare yet such a potent combination! Later, Paul describes him as a fellow-worker. Knowledge deficient in some way; only the baptism of John. So, not the full knowledge of the work of Jesus. Perhaps only Jesus as the lamb of God. Not as the risen and ruling Christ, the giver of the Spirit. b) the gift of the Spirit Pentecost catches up with Christians who were out of the loop Didn't magically happen (like in a movie etc), since God works through hearing, and through faith in what is heard [cf Soldiers on pacific islands long after WWII finished] The point is the rule of the enthroned Jesus; cradle - cross - crown v1 onwards. 12 men with deficient knowledge. Not a text for two-stage conversion. Instead, when they come to believe the truth about Jesus they receive the Holy Spirit. The point is, until now they haven't known the truth about Jesus! Just early fragments. Paul initially assumed they were believers, but then noted no evidence of the Spirit. First question links the Spirit to faith, the second to baptism. So his questions imply clearly there is something not right here (rather than this being the norm, as is sometimes made out in some circles). We haven't heard there is a Holy Spirit - i.e., hadn't heard that the gift was given. John clearly spoke of the coming one who would baptise with the Spirit. Stott, 'they were still living in the Old Testament which culminated with John the Baptist. They understood neither that the new age have been ushered in by Jesus, nor that those who believe in him and are baptized into him receive the distinctive blessing of the new age, the indwelling Spirit.' When they learned this and believed in Jesus, 'Pentecost caught up on them'. 'They were caught up into Pentecost, as its promised blessings became theirs.' 4 things: repentance, faith in Jesus, water baptism, gift of the Spirit. The point is not that this phenomenon is to be expected as normative 'proof' for us, but that for these 12 caught in the 'transition', they (and Paul) could have just as much certainty as anyone that they truly had received the gift. Whereas we live quite clearly after this dividing line of Pentecost, the proof of the Spirit's gift has already been made clear. [Many today are more like Apollos, and these 12, than they might realise. Get Jesus as 'lamb of God', but not as the enthroned King who has ushered in a new age, and given new life to start living now] 19.8-20 2. Through teaching the whole Bible and demonstrations of Jesus' power a) teaching the whole Bible Careful and sustained proclamation of the Word of God; i.e., proclaiming the Kingdom of God. Big idea of the whole Bible. The gospel is the good news of this Kingdom. [What we're committed to here at TCC] Opposition leads to evangelism of the whole province. Was he called Tyrannus by his parents, or his pupils? He lets out his lecture hall to Paul. b) demonstrations of Jesus' power Miracles and deliverance authenticate the gospel 11-20 Ephesus: big centre of magic. Increasingly similar to today. Part of how the kingdom comes is through spells being divulged (losing the secret power), and then renounced altogether: this is evident repentance. And the miracles and deliverances go hand in hand to authenticate it. (obj): Why don't we have them today? Vivid contrast at the end; magic scrolls in ashes, while the Word of the Lord goes from strength to strength. Power versus greater power. Glory of God: He has a Kingdom which he is establishing, and it is gloriously good, and he is pleased to share it with us. FCF: We want to rule ourselves. This is why we resist and suppress what we know about God, and the call to trust him and live according to his rule. This is why Jesus was killed. We want to rule ourselves by nature: we see this in children, why you even need naughty steps and star charts. Why there's an inner bristling at talk about Jesus. But also, you choose to reject him. It comes by nature, but you choose it. Culturally, how is this working out for us? Once upon a time our overarching narrative was that Jesus had come, died, and raised, and rules over all and we're accountable to him, and it's a good thing if we live according to his rules. Now the story is more and more, the emperor's new clothes. Those of you in healthcare and education already know this undeniably, there are problems so deep-seated which flow downstream from politicians trying to rush after what the general population wants, which is: to do whatever we want. Parent how I want, and a teacher should pick up the tab, live how I want, and the doctor picks up the tab. But the problem is not that we become more and more chaotic; the problem is that we have rejected God's rule, turned our backs on him. And the sense of a nation in more and more confusion is actually a part of his response; 'I'll just leave you to it for a while'. It's just a foretaste of worse things. The proof you know this, is that you know things aren't as they should be. Where does the 'should' come from? We should all be healthy, harmonious, happy, peaceful, fulfilled, living in beautiful surroundings and free from tyranny and injustice. Ok. Says who? Why do we see that as right and good? I don't know of some great council of politicians and economists who set that as a social goal; I don't remember a referendum about it. It was never a news headline. Yet we all know it. Why? How? God made us and owns us. He's put his stamp within us and upon us. We all know it, but we deny it. The clincher is that it's impossible for you to say otherwise, without appealing to some standard that He gave us in the first place. Jesus: But Jesus comes to show the Kingdom of God. Look at it! Read the biographies. The deaf hear, the blind see, the marginalised are loved and welcomed in, the shamed are washed clean, the outsiders become insiders, those hopelessly guilty are declared forgiven. It's not an ancient world's box set, it's the King showing his kingdom. Stepping ashore and putting up billboards of what it's like on his cruiseship. And in his death and resurrection, he establishes his rule. How can it be that the shamed and guilty are forgiven? Since Jesus stood in our place; raised up between God and man to make peace. How can the lame walk? Because Jesus was raised to life and that newness of life is shared with all in his kingdom; he is going to make all things new. My grandmother died last weekend and this is the great thing we celebrate, amidst the sadness: we will see her again, and neither she nor I will have heart trouble, dementia, or tears of any kind. He came down, and took us up with him. Christ means appointed King. Not voted king, or self-declared king, or coronated by the archbishop. But appointed by God. So what we see in Ephesus is the same dynamic as what we see today; a conflict. [Cycling against the wind; swimming upstream; living amidst renovations]. Those choosing human rule which is rebellion, and those choosing Jesus and his rule of peace. Please change your mind about Jesus!