Jesus Creed

Ephesus.jpgPaul became a virtual local pastor in Ephesus. Notice these words:

19:8 So Paul entered the synagogue and spoke out fearlessly for three months, addressing and convincing them about the kingdom of God. 19:9 But when some were stubborn and refused to believe, reviling the Way before the congregation, he left them and took the disciples with him, addressing them every day in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. 19:10 This went on for two years, so that all who lived in the province of Asia, both Jews and Greeks, heard the word of the Lord.

For two years (or two years and three months), Paul preached and taught in Ephesus: he first focused on the synagogue and attempted to convince the Jewish community of the message of the kingdom of God — and this evokes Abraham-David-Prophets and can be seen in texts like Magnificat — and how it came into realization in the Lord Jesus. Some reviled “the Way.”

I’m impressed again with how spontaneous or unpredictable missional work is for the apostle Paul. He probably didn’t plan in advance to stick it out in Ephesus for two years or more; he came to expect opposition but he didn’t know he’d be in a lecture hall for awhile giving gospel lectures.

What does this say about confidence in our strategies? In church growth principles? In church planting programs? How central is straightforward gospel preaching and “take it from there”?
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