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Sermon Quotes: "No Little Disturbance"

“The Crowd Is Untruth, is both profound and prophetic. In it, he captures brilliantly both the power of the anonymity of the crowd, where personal responsibility, accountability, and identity are surrendered to the larger group. He pinpoints that which became all too tragically true in the subsequent century, the ease with which a talented person can manipulate a crowd into doing the most terrible things. Crowds can make otherwise perfectly sane people do otherwise inexplicable things: run down the road with traffic cones on their heads, applaud at the end of Justin Bieber concerts, and as we now know, herd others into gas chambers and onto killing fields.” Carl Trueman

“He fears that the rabble will be arrested by the Romans for causing a disturbance without any direct evidence that Paul and the others have acted directly or physically against the goddess in such a way that they could be charged with a crime. The implication is that Romans might be forced to step in and limit Ephesus’s privileges as a free city. So the clerk warns of dire consequences for civic freedom, appeals for calm, and is successful.” Darrell Bock

“The story is in effect a statement that Christians do not constitute a danger to the state and a plea that they be treated with toleration in a pluralistic society, only when properly defined criminal charges can be preferred against them should they be summoned before the courts.” Howard Marshall

“Luke’s purpose in recounting this incident was clearly apologetic or political. He wanted to show that Rome had no case against Christianity in general or Paul in particular…Thus the friendship of the Asiarchs and the cool reasonableness of the city clerk combined to give the gospel freedom to continue on its victorious course.” John Stott

“But one should not miss the real point of Demetrius opposition. It was not his piety that was offended but his pocketbook. For Paul to hold his sessions in the hall of Tyrannus was one thing. People could listen to his teaching all they wanted. But when those teachings began to have ramifications for the town economy, that was quite another matter. It would be the equivalent to someone’s standing at the entrance of Churchill Downs in my own hometown during Derby week and preaching against horse racing. The gospel is always at its most controversial when it comes into conflict with economic interests.” John Polhill

“Paul’s three-year ministry of teaching the word of the Lord in Ephesus touched many people at every level of society and began to transform the religious practices and lifestyle of many. However, Luke shows the need to be realistic about the opposition that will arise when the practical effect of such change is experienced by unbelievers. The self-interest of religious, social, and economic groups may be so intense that the lives of Christians may be threatened. Spiritual opposition may manifest itself in a variety of ways, but the name of Jesus is powerful to overcome even demonic forces and to allow the gospel to prevail.” David Peterson

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