Date: Thursday, August 8
Scripture: Acts 19:28-42
Verse: You have brought these men here who are neither temple robbers nor blasphemers of our goddess. (Acts 19:37)
A few weeks ago a news story came out about an inmate in Kansas City who after nearly 20 years in prison, was released because DNA evidence exonerated him. I cannot begin to imagine what it must be like to be accused and convicted of something you did not do.
After Paul and his team preached in Ephesus, a silversmith named Demetrius tries to incite a riot to stop them. He accuses them of trying to defame their goddess Artemis, which would do great harm to the income of the silversmiths sold idols of Artemis. Demetrius riles up a crowd and mob mentality takes over, “the assembly was in confusion, and most of them did not know why they had come together” (vs 32). When Alexander, a member of Paul’s team, tries to defend their preaching, the mob shouts him down with slogans (vs 34). They appear to be at the mercy of the mob, one which is not listening to what they are saying.
Thankfully, a cooler head prevails. The town clerk is able to quiet the crowd and call them on their chanting. Their accusations are not true. Paul and his team are “neither temple robbers nor blasphemers of our goddess.” They are instead, of course, sharing the good news about Jesus the Christ. The crowd disperses. The evangelists are exonerated.
You and I may at times feel as though we are trying to talk about Jesus over a crowd that has decided things about Jesus and Christianity that are simply not true. May we continue to quietly share the good news of Jesus with those who are willing to listen.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, grant me a platform in the lives of others I know, to share the good news of Jesus in ways they will hear. Amen.
Action: At times we are called to be town clerk in this story for another. Are you being called to mediate a dispute?
Respond: What would it feel like to be wrongly accused and imprisoned, fired, shut out of a relationship, or something else? Answer by clicking “Leave a Comment” below. If you are receiving this via email, click the title at the top of the email to take you to the devotion webpage where you can leave a comment.