Paul in Ephesus
19 While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2 and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”3 So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?” “John’s baptism,” they replied.4 Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. 7 There were about twelve men in all.8 Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God. 9 But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. 10 This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.
Acts 19: 1-10
Can you tell in what way Christians are different?
Is that Christians are more loving, kind and forgiving? Is it that Christians go to church and pray to God? Is it that Christians read the Bible and believe there’s a creator? Please allow me to say you don’t have to be a Christian to have or do all the above. The difference in every believer is having the Holy Spirit. According to the passage, it’s not about doing “the Christian things” or even repentance, we have to accept Jesus Christ as our savior and receive the Holy Spirit into our hearts. That’s the only way to salvation and the receive gifts from God. What is your experience of becoming a Christian? How did you change? What gift(s) did you receive?
The “twelve” in Ephesus
12 is a popular numbers in the Bible. The 12 tribes, the 12 loaves of bread in the temple, the 12 disciples, the 12 crops of fruit of the tree of life…..etc Twelve symbolize the completeness/perfection, and the power and authority of God. These 12 brothers in Ephesus became the founder of the one of the most important church of the first century.
Don’t look down on only having 12 people. Jesus counted on them to change the world! In our church, we have a handful of twelves, how much more can we do when each one of us is committed to the great commandment and the great commission.
Dear Holy Spirit, thank you for living in us and empowering to live out our faith. We need You, every hour we need You. Amen