There is danger not only that our trade will lose its good name, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be discredited…
Money and religion together can be a good thing. The first students of Jesus in Jerusalem sold land and houses and brought the money to the apostles. These charitable contributions fed the poor and needy.
On this third missionary journey, Paul is collecting money from the Gentile churches to help the poor Christians in Jerusalem. Jesus taught the value of giving money to help the poor.
Money is not inherently evil. But the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Especially when it gets in the way of following Jesus.
Here, the advance of Christianity is opposed by a silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver shrines for the idol worship of Artemis. Paul’s teaching that man-made gods are not gods at all affects his business. He calls an emergency meeting of the silversmiths and other craftsmen who are losing money.
Men, you know we receive a good income from this business. And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus and in practically the whole province of Asia.
These men created a riot and the whole city was in an uproar. The mob seized some of Paul’s company. Disaster was averted only when a city official managed to calm the crowd.
Religion and money are only compatible when money takes a subordinate role and is used for good and necessary purposes.
Students of Jesus are the most generous people in the world. Their contributions feed the hungry; clothe the poor, aid orphans and widows and support those who teach the Good News throughout the world.
But there is always danger when money becomes more important than Jesus.