when they heard this they were enraged and were crying out, “great is artemis of the ephesians!” so the city was filled with the confusion, and they rushed together into the theater, dragging with them gaius and aristarchus, macedonians who were paul’s companions in travel. but when paul wished to go in among the crowd, the disciples would not let him. and even some of the Asiarchs, who were friends of his, sent to him and were urging him not to venture into the theater. now some cried out one thing, some another, for the assembly was in confusion, and most of them did not know why they had come together. some of the crowd prompted alexander, whom the jews had put forward. and alexander, motioning with his hand, wanted to make a defense to the crowd. but when they recognized that he was a jew, for about two hours they all cried out with one voice, “great is artemis of the ephesians!” [acts 19:28-34]
his passage highlights the importance of having biblical community around us.
in this passage we see confusion reign in ephesus, and in the emotion of the moment, paul tries to go in among the crowd. his intentions were probably good, trying to contend for the gospel, but the reality was that his life was in danger.
thankfully, God had placed fellow christians around paul to offer sound wisdom and counsel in that moment, whether paul liked it or not.
that’s what biblical community is. it’s a place to seek prayer, wisdom, counsel, honesty, vulnerability, and so much more. it’s a place to both call out sin, and have your own sin called out in love. it’s a place where people love you enough to tell you the truth in love, and that’s what these disciples did for paul.
satan tries to confuse us each day with temptation to sin, with attacks on our identity, causing us to wonder if people like us, causing us to worry, and so much more. in the emotion of life, it’s easy to get lost. and that’s why we, like paul, need biblical community around us.
i challenge you today to press into biblical community in your own context. maybe that’s your lot family, a friend group, or a family member or two. whatever it is for you, be an active part in spurring on others in following Jesus, and allow others to speak truth in love into your life as you need as well.
~ john sandman