The Apostle Paul is in Ephesus. The chapter has three sections:
Verses: 1 – 7
Baptism of Holy Spirit
Paul explains the baptism of the Holy Spirit to disciples of John the Baptist. John’s baptism was for repentance towards the One who was coming after him: Jesus. John had told the people, “One is coming after me greater than me and He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” (Matt 3:11; Luke 3:16). So they were baptized in the Name of Jesus and received the Holy Spirit from Paul when he laid his hands upon them.
Verses 8 – 10
The Word taught
Paul teaches for 3 months in the synagogue and 2 years at the school of Tyrannus. All of Asia heard the Word.
God is at work
Paul heals many; Sons of Sceva (a Jewish High Priest) think they can replicate the works of Paul by invoking the Name of the Lord Jesus without believing in Him or knowing Him; they tries to cast out a demon but the demon attached them. Fear came upon the people and the Name of Jesus was praised. People brought their magic arts books to be burned. The Word of the Lord continued to grow in power and prevail.
Verses 21 – 41
Riot at Ephesus
Demetrius the silversmith organizes the challenge to Paul’s teachings by gathering the business owners involved in the making and selling of silver idols together. Demetrius explains Paul is teaching against Artemis the god of the Ephesians and as a result they are losing business.
A riot ensued in the theater. For several hours the people chanted !Great is Artemis of the Ephesians”! The City Secretary finally quieted the crowd and told them if they had a legal grievance the courts were open. He then dismissed the crowd.
God was at work in a mighty way in Ephesus and many believed. The whole of Asia heard the Word. The Name of Jesus arose and was praised.
But seemingly as in all situations there was a anti Christ response leading to the extended riot. Finally the civil magistrate dismissed the crowd.