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Leader’s page: Acts 18:23-21:26 A.D. 53-57
Ask the ladies to keep their notes closed to start with
18:23 Paul goes back through the churches of Derbe, Lystra, Iconium and Pisidian Antioch, helping every believer grow in understanding and apply their newly found Christian faith into their daily lives
Read 18:23 adding the names of the towns (above), which by now have been mentioned several times.
Next ask the ladies the top question opposite.
See what contributions you receive from the class.
Then share yours, and then mine, using my 1,2,3 notes and paragraph opposite.
So now we are travelling with Paul again.
But first there is a piece of catch up information 18:24-28
Invite the ladies to work through the passage, in pairs, to answer the questions opposite.
Share their answers, perhaps writing them on a board, until you have everything – build up a brief word-picture of Apollos.
Suggest the ladies work through 19:1-20 using the questions opposite.
19:11-12 compare Acts 5:15, Mark 5:25-34
The miracle power is from God. His must be all of the praise.
19:17-20 Results from Paul’s ministry
1. awe city wide. Common people wondering, “What is going on?”
2. the name of Jesus was looked on very favourably, even reverentially
3. new Christians discarded their previous involvement in witchcraft
4. people responded positively to Jesus’ Gospel. The area was impressed.
19:21-22 Paul is thinking ahead. It would need forward planning because travel took so long. We know that now it is possible to fly from Juba or Khartoum to Nairobi, Kenya and on to Cape Town in South Africa, have a couple of days there and be back in four to five days. Paul and his companions would have walked a lot of each journey, possibly ridden a donkey or in a donkey cart part way, and sea journeys were in rowed sail boats. No engines or cars. Slow!
So Paul is not saying ‘I’m going tomorrow’ – he is planning ahead. Always a good idea.
We’ll watch how it works out.
Student's page: Lesson 22 Third Missionary Journey Acts 18:23-21:26 A.D. 53-57
Paul is off again on his travels! 18:23.
Can you think of three things that we have seen Paul consistently doing – things that motivated his life?
My list would be:
1. telling people about Jesus
2. teaching people the truths about Jesus and Christian living
3. encouraging and strengthening young Christians
Yes, there is overlap within those three things, but they summarise Paul’s reasons for doing what he did. Like a good parent Paul wanted to educate his ‘spiritual’ children properly. He knew this would be foundational in their lives.
While Paul went to Jerusalem, and then back to Antioch for a break, someone else arrived at Ephesus where Paul had left Priscilla and Aquila. 18:24-28.
What was his name?
Was he local? an incomer? Alexandria, north Egyptian port, see map page 4.
What else do you know about him?
Who helped him, why and how? There is more than one described.
How good are you at seeing a need and helping to meet it? Or coming alongside someone to assist their spiritual development?
Note: Unusually for the time, Priscilla (the wife) is here mentioned first, before her husband. Perhaps she was the more able teacher? Or he ran the business?
See Acts 18:18-19, 26; Romans 16:3; 1 Corinthians 16:19; 2 Timothy 4:19. Wives and husbands may serve our Lord together, doing the same, or different, things.
19:1-20 Paul arrives at Ephesus - a very wealthy city, home of the
Temple of Artemis, one of the most famous buildings in the Roman world.
19:1-7 in your own words, what was the gap in the disciples knowledge?
19:8-10 how long did Paul teach in the synagogue? Why so long?
what took so much time in and from the lecture hall of Tyrannus?
19:11-12 Who did the miracles? Is this always the case? Why?
19:13-16 a mix of Jewish and pagan rituals – the evil spirit knew the difference between real power and merely claimed power
19:17-20 four results: 1. verse 17
2. verse 17
3. verses 18-19
4. verse 20
Another challenge – Acts 19:23-41 Read the story and then invite the ladies to find six important points.
Share their answers.
1. Those who benefitted from tourism in the Temple and
from selling souvenirs stirred up trouble, verse 24.
2. They were frightened their income would stop because of the teaching about
one God rather than ‘many gods’, verse 26.
3. Riot because Artemis was being confronted, verse 28-29.
4. Chaos, verse 32.
5. A senior administrator in the city spoke very sensibly and dismissed the crowd. It is easy to rouse a rabble! Verses 33-34.
6. God used a non-Christian administrator, who was proud of his city,
to calm the situation, verses 35-41.
20:17-35 What were the main points of Paul’s farewell to the Ephesian Elders? (The
only recorded speech of Paul made to believers).
20:17-21 You know how I lived among you – the tears, the testing, the upbuilding
teaching - to both Jews and Greeks – focused on repentance and faith in
the Lord Jesus.
20:22-24 God is sending me to Jerusalem – I keep getting warnings from
Him of prison, hardship – but I just want to be where God wants.
20:25-27 You will not see me again – I have taught you about the God we serve – you must now take collective responsibility for yourselves.
20:28-31 Be watchful shepherds of your own lives and of the life of the flock, the local church, for whom you have responsibility. There
will certainly be attacks on you leaders and your flock.
20:32-35 I worked tent-making, Acts 18:3, while I was with you to provide
for my own needs – now be blessed as you look after each other.
20:36-21:1a Prayer with high emotion on both sides, those staying and those going.
21:1-16 Ask, How did Agabus’ acted prophecy affect Paul? 21:11-14. Why?
Do this if there is time, or choose to make time if you can.
Think together about Paul’s attitude to ‘future suffering in God’s will’.
Compare with Jesus, Mark 14:36, Apostles, Acts 5:29, Saul/Paul, Acts 9:16.
We are not Paul or Peter or Jesus. How do we cope with following God’s will even if it is not the easier way we may choose left to ourselves? Perhaps our eyes are fixed too much on suffering and too little on God? Hebrews 12:1-3.
Another challenge – Acts 19:23-41
Praise God He uses whoever He chooses to further His purposes.
We can always rely on that.
20:1-6 Keep on adding to your map, on page 4.
20:7-12 Paul had a lot to say – to share and encourage. Note the danger of
sermons that are too long! A sensational miracle. No sleep for Paul!
20:13-16 Paul was running out of time to get back to Jerusalem.
20:17-35 What were the main points of Paul’s farewell to the Ephesian Elders? Put them briefly into your own words.
21:1-16 Follow the map once more.
Who did Paul and Luke stay with? Where? 21:7-8
How did Agabus’ acted prophecy affect Paul? 21:11-14.
Why do you think this?
Think about Paul’s attitude to future suffering in God’s will. Compare with our Lord Jesus in Mark 14:36, and the disciples in Acts 5:29, Acts 9:16.
I know we are probably not ‘spiritual giants’ like Paul or Peter or Jesus. I’m not!
But why are we sometimes afraid of the suffering God leads us to face?
Food for thought for all of us as our Lord Jesus Christ’s followers.