Paul helped some men follow Jesus
At that time, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul was visiting places in Frigia country and Galatia country. Then Paul left those places and went through Asia country, then he went on to the town called Ephesus. He met some men there that reckoned they were Christians. Paul asked them, “Did the Holy Spirit come into you when you believed God’s message?”
They said, “No, he didn’t. We don’t know anything about the Holy Spirit. We’ve never heard of him.”
So Paul asked them, “Who baptised you, and why did they do it?”
They said, “We got John the Baptiser to baptise us, to show we were sorry for doing bad things.”
Paul said, “John baptised people that turned away from doing bad things. But he also told people to believe in the man that was coming after him. That man is Jesus.”*
Those men heard that story about Jesus, and they believed in him too. Then the Christians baptised them to show that those men were following Jesus, their leader. Then Paul put his hands on their heads, and the Holy Spirit came into each one of them. The Holy Spirit gave them the power to talk in different languages. And the Holy Spirit gave them messages, and they told everyone those messages. There were about 12 men in that mob.
People in Asia country heard about Jesus
For the next 3 months, Paul went to the meetings that the Jewish people had in their meeting house in Ephesus, and he talked strongly to the people there. He tried to get them to understand how God takes people into his family. Some of those people believed that message about Jesus. But some of them didn’t believe it, and they didn’t want to keep on hearing it, so they stood up in front of everybody and said bad things about the Christian people. (Another name for the Christians was the Jesus Way mob.)
So Paul left the Jewish meeting house, and he took the Christians with him. They didn’t go to the Jewish meeting house any more, but they had their meetings in a meeting house called Tiranus Hall. Paul was there every day, and he talked with people there about Jesus. 10 He kept on doing that for 2 years, so people from all over that country called Asia heard Gods message about Jesus. Both Jewish people and Greek people heard that message about Jesus.
God gave Paul a lot of power
11 And God gave Paul the power to do great things that nobody else can do. 12 He made sick people better, even if they couldn’t come to him. Their friends got things that he touched, like handkerchiefs or aprons, and they took them and put them on those sick people. Then those sick people got better, and bad spirits came out of them.
Some men that were not Christians tried to use Jesus’s power
13-14 There were also some Jewish people there that were not Christians, and they went around to a lot of places, and in each place they tried to get bad spirits to come out of people. There were 7 men that were doing that. They were sons of Sceva, a boss of the Jewish ceremonies. They went into a house and said to a man that had a bad spirit, “I’m using the power of Jesus, the man that Paul talks about, and I’m telling you to come out of this man.”
15 But that bad spirit didn’t come out. He said to those men, “I know Jesus, and I know Paul, but I don’t know you mob.” 16 Then the man that had the bad spirit jumped on those 7 men, and he knocked all of them down, and he tore their clothes off, and he beat them up. They all ran out of the house to get away from him.
17 All the people that lived in Ephesus heard that story about those 7 men. Jewish people heard that story, and Greek people heard it too, and they all got really frightened, and they really respected Jesus, and they said good things about him.
Christians burned their books about bad magic
18-19 At that time, some of the Christians in Ephesus were still doing bad things, and some of them used to sing people and curse people. They had a lot of books that showed them how to do that bad magic. Those Christians heard about those 7 men, and then they said that they were sorry for the bad things that they were doing, and they gathered up all of those books about magic, and they burned them. Everybody saw them burn those books. Those books about magic cost a lot of money. They reckoned all of those books together cost about 5 million dollars. 20 Thats how the message about Jesus got very powerful, and a lot of people heard that message.
Some work-men got money from people that respected a woman god
21 After those things happened, Paul wanted to visit the Christians in Macedonia country and Akaya country again, and then he wanted to go on to Jerusalem after that. And he said, “After I go to Jerusalem, I have to go to Rome too.” 22 Timothy and Erastus were his helpers at that time. Paul sent them ahead of him to Macedonia country, but Paul stayed a little while longer in Ephesus, in Asia country.
23 Soon after that, some of the people in Ephesus tried to make a lot of trouble for the Christians, the Jesus Way mob. 24 There was a man there that used silver to make little models of the special house of a woman god called Artemis. That man’s name was Demetrius. And there were other men there that made those little house models too. They sold them to people that respected Artemis, and they got a lot of money from that business.
Demetrius got a lot of people to go wild
25 Demetrius had a meeting with his work-men and the other men that made things for that god called Artemis. Demetrius said to them, “Men, you know that we make these things and we sell them for a lot of money. 26 But that man, Paul, he talks to big mobs of people, and he says, ‘Don’t buy those things. Those statues that people say are gods, they are not gods at all. It was people that made them, so don’t show respect to them.’ Lots of people here in Ephesus listened to him, and now even the people from other towns in this Asia country agree with him, and they don’t want to buy the things we make. 27 If people keep on listening to Paul, we’ll soon go broke. And not only that, but people will reckon they don’t have to come to the special house of Artemis to show respect to her. People all over our Asia country and everywhere show respect to our great woman god Artemis, but soon people might not think that Artemis is great at all.”
28 All the men there heard Demetrius say that, and then they were very angry with Paul. They started to shout, “Artemis is very great. She is the god of us Ephesus mob.”
29 A lot of the other people in the town heard them shouting, and they went and joined those men and started shouting too. They got angry with Paul, and they grabbed the 2 men from Macedonia that used to go around with Paul. Their names were Guyus and Aristarkus. They dragged those 2 men to the sports oval of that town. 30 Paul wanted to go there too, to talk to the people, but the other Christians wouldn’t let him do that. 31 There were some government officials of that country that were friends with Paul. They heard that those people went wild, so they sent him a message to tell him strongly, “Don’t go to that sports oval. That mob are too wild. They might kill you.”
The wild mob kept on shouting for 2 hours
32 That big mob of people were a bit mixed up. Some of them shouted one thing, and some of them shouted something else. But most of them didn’t even know what the meeting was about. 33 One of the Jewish men there was called Alexander. Some people there pushed him to the front so that he could talk to the crowd of people. So Alexander held up his hand, to get the mob to be quiet.
34 But some of that mob knew that Alexander was a Jew, and that the Jews didn’t show respect to Artemis, so they shouted, “Artemis is very great. She is the god of us Ephesus mob.” And that mob kept on shouting like that for about 2 hours.
An important government leader got the mob to settle down
35 Then an important government leader in that town got the mob to stop shouting, and he said to them, “Listen, Ephesus people, everyone knows that we Ephesus people look after the special house for Artemis, the great woman god. And everyone knows that we look after the statue of her that fell down from the sky. 36 Nobody can say that those things are not true. So you have to be quiet now. Don’t do anything that will make trouble for us. 37 Why did you bring these 2 men here? They didn’t do anything bad. They didn’t go into the special houses for our gods and take things from there. And they didn’t say anything bad about our woman god. 38 If Demetrius and his mates want to blame anyone about anything bad, they have to do it the right way. They have to go to the judges in the courts. If anybody wants to blame somebody else, those judges are ready to listen. Thats their job. 39 Or if anybody wants to complain about something else, there are other government bosses that can meet together and think about that problem. 40 You see, you mob now are not a proper meeting, and if the big Roman bosses hear about all this trouble, they might say that we Ephesus people are trying to start a fight against the Roman government. If they ask me about all this trouble, I will not know what to tell them.”
41 Then the government leader told the mob, “You can all go home now.” And they all went away from that sports oval.
* 19:4 Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:4, 7-8; Luke 3:4, 16; John 1:26-27