The story of how Paul came to Ephesus - Acts Chapter 19:

Ref (1-10) - Paul was rolling through the upper country of Corinth when he encountered 12 dudes who were disciples of John. They were baptized but hadn't received the holy spirit. He explained what is was then baptized them b'shem Yeshua (in the name of Jesus). When he did, they began speaking in tongues and prophesying.

While he was there, he went to a synagogue and spoke out boldly, to convince and persuade folks about the kingdom of God for 3 months. Now as we all know, a few bad apples will spoil the bunch! There were some who came out, speaking against Paul and rejecting why Jesus was crucified and the proof of His resurrection.

So Paul rolled out, and the disciples left with him. They went to the school of Tyrannus (in Ephesus) and stayed there for two years, learning all they could from Paul. Coincidentally, this opened the door for the gospel to reach Jews and Greeks who lived in Asia.

Ref (11-20) Very interesting but, crazy times!🤣 Exorcisms, naked people, magic, book burning, OH MY! There's a lot of this type of stuff going on in Ephesus at the time but there's also believers who kept coming and confessing their sins and because of all that the people there were seeing, the word of the Lord was growing and prevailing!

Ref (21-41) Basically, some dudes (business owners) who thought they were loosing their business because of what Paul was preaching, started making a ruckus that swallowed up the entire city.

The mob dragged Paul's buds who were traveling with him, out with them. I can't imagine how this must have made Paul feel, he was about to go into the riot and get get them back but his boys (the 12 disciples) and some friends he had in high places, convinced him not to do anything drastic. Eventually, someone (the town clerk) who had some sense, spoke up and clamed the rioters down and they finally cleared out.

Observations and thoughts:

It was a decently sized city for that day and age. The people who lived there (the Ephesians) were a part of a large Greek confederation. They even built one of the seven wonders of the world as a monument to their gods. So naturally, they felt threatened by the Gospel. There was also a lot of confusion because of what they were witnesses to. Not just the incidents found in Acts 19 but also because of the conflict of culture and beliefs. On one hand, there was a deep cultural belief set (of Artemis and other gods) and on the other hand they couldn't deny what they saw happening in their city.

After reading this chapter and becoming more familiar with the history and background of Ephesus, there was a lot more going on there at the time than I realized. It paints such a clearer picture of why Paul was there, the people he was connected to and what he was up against - In trying to persuade and convince the Ephesians about the truth of the Gospel of Christ the Messiah. For me, this really sets the reason for tone of the letter that Paul wrote to the Ephesians and, I feel like it's such a great prelude to why Paul opens his letter with such great authority.