Paul decided to go to Jerusalem…"After I have been there," he said, "I must visit Rome also."
Paul looks ahead. He plans to complete this third missionary journey with a trip to Jerusalem. Then on to Rome!
From other passages in the New Testament, we learn one of Paul’s reasons for wanting to go to Jerusalem. He desires to take a gift of money to the poor Christians there.
On this tour, he plans to collect contributions from the newly formed Gentile churches for this purpose.
In the meantime, Paul is able to live and teach in the city of Ephesus for two years with great success. He established daily classes in the school of Tyrannus - so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.
As with most cities in the Roman Empire, Ephesus was home to idolatry and sorcery. Paul was able to lead people out of those superstitions into knowledge of the True and Living God and Jesus His Son.
Here we see a clash of ideas. On the one hand, reliance on superstition, soothsayers, fortune tellers, and the occult! On the other, the simple message of trust in Jesus for direction in life.
The Good News of Jesus finds great acceptance in Ephesus.
Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds. A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas. In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.
Becoming a student of Jesus means relying on Him not only for direction in life, but also for a sense of security about the future! Followers of Jesus no longer seek to peer into the future through astrology and sorcery, but completely trust their tomorrows to Jesus.