And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. And all the men were about twelve. And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus. And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.
It is so fun to revisit places I have been to before because I find it interesting to see what has changed and what has stood the test of time. One of our favorite places is in Upper Michigan. It is not a wealthy area, yet it is full of outdoor adventures if you know where to look. Before Covid, our favorite pizza restaurant went out of business. That was a hard one because no one made pizza like this place. It was family owned for a few generations…until this current generation…but I really need to not write about our grieving process over pizza. Our whole family is still grieving. Did I mention that we love Upper Michigan?
Paul travels again to revisit Ephesus. The scripture mentions that during this time, Apollos was in Corinth signifying that Paul and company considered Apollos a fellow-laborer for the gospel. Paul meets up with some believers and asks them the important question, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” Since the believers did not know what Paul was talking about, Paul taught them about the Holy Spirit’s power and laid his hands on them. The believers received the Spirit’s power and were given the gift of tongues. With boldness, Paul and the newly Spirit-filled believers boldly spread the gospel.
Paul’s ministry in the synagogue lasted for 3 months, which was the longest he taught in any synagogue, before he had to move to another location because of unbelieving, hardened Jews. The School of Tyrannus (possibly the owner of the lecture hall, or a well-known philosopher of that area) opened for him and he was able to stay there for two years, quite remarkably, teaching the Word of God to both Jews and Gentiles.
God uses change for His glory always. Quite honestly, I hate change (I hear it comes with age), but I am excited when I see how God is so obviously working. God changed Paul’s ministry by letting him stay in Ephesus for a long time. He also gave him an army of Spirit-filled believers to help and encourage him. Because Ephesus was an important location in the trade route and because of new teaching location, these changes enabled Paul to minister to not only Jews but also to Gentiles of all of Asia Minor. Being filled with the Holy Spirit, Paul’s influence for the gospel was magnified for Christ’s glory.
God wants to do the same through us, He wants to use us in mighty ways to magnify His name. We all have access to God’s power, yet few of us use it. Are you willing to be used of God? Ask for the Holy Spirit.
Written by Kaye Dee Richards. Kaye Dee lives with her husband Colin in Morrison, CO. They have 4 children, Joshua, Amelia, Victoria, and Julia.
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