Life Interrupted


Some years ago I was asked to offer a public prayer for the opening season rally of our community’s youth baseball league. Most of the parents and children clapped and cheered at the conclusion of the invocation. However, there were those who quickly (and with great animation and energy) let me know of their disapproval of my prayer because it was offered in the “name of Jesus” instead of the more generic and safe title of “God.” I had just encountered the clash of two cultures. Even in an environment as simple as baseball, there exists two world-views, two faiths, two kingdoms that do not easily coexist. In today’s reading, we see how the simple truth of the gospel can quickly and easily interrupt the status quo of our lives.

  • Where have you seen the introduction of Jesus into an event, conversation, or business dealing lead to controversy and/or opposition?


21 After all this had happened, Paul decided to go to Jerusalem, passing through Macedonia and Achaia. “After I have been there,” he said, “I must visit Rome also.” 22 He sent two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia, while he stayed in the province of Asia a little longer.
23 About that time there arose a great disturbance about the Way. 24 A silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought in a lot of business for the craftsmen there. 25 He called them together, along with the workers in related trades, and said: “You know, my friends, that we receive a good income from this business. 26 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. He says that gods made by human hands are no gods at all. 27 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; and the goddess herself, who is worshiped throughout the province of Asia and the world, will be robbed of her divine majesty.”

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. What was Demetrius’ stated motivation for gathering the craftsmen? What, in your estimation, was his underlying motivation?
  2. Since this temple was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, what businesses may Paul have affected?
  3. What was the specific statement of Paul that concerned Demetrius? Do you think that Demetrius could have placed his faith in Jesus and continued his business? Why or why not?
  4. What are a few situations today where someone in a respected business could be forced to choose between that business and Christ?
  5. When has your trust in and obedience to Christ made you or others uncomfortable?


Since the beginning of the Book of Acts, the disciples have met with resistance and controversy at almost every turn, yet from Stephen’s martyrdom to Paul’s beatings—and even now with the growing controversy in Ephesus—the gospel was still advancing. Despite strong cultural and religious opposition, the disciples were faithful to the mission of spreading the gospel. Are we willing to do the same? Do we boldly stand up and proclaim Jesus in our culture, or do we acquiesce to the culture around us?

  • Personalize Psalm 139:23-24 and sincerely pray it back to God: “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!”