Don’t Spit in the Well of Living Water!

“Some of the crowd concluded it was Alexander, since the Jews had put him forward; and HAVING MOTIONED WITH HIS HAND, Alexander was intending to make a defense to the assembly. But when they recognized that he was a Jew, a single outcry arose from them all as they shouted for about two hours, ‘Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!'” (Acts 19:33-34).

“When he had given him permission, Paul, standing on the stairs, MOTIONED to the people WITH HIS HAND; and when there was a great hush, he spoke to them in the Hebrew dialect, saying, ‘Brethren and fathers, hear my defense which I now offer to you.’ And when they heard that he was addressing them in the Hebrew dialect, they became even more quiet” (Acts 21:40; 22:1-2).

There are numerous and intentional parallels between the narratives about the riot in the temple in Ephesus and about the riot in the temple in Jerusalem. In both stories, Paul is falsely accused of stirring up trouble in the entire world (Acts 19:26; 21:28). In both stories, the cities are filled with “confusion” (Acts 19:32; 21:27, 31). In both stories, Paul seeks to address the raging crowd (Acts 19:30; 21:39). In both stories, the speaker motions with his hand as he seeks to address the hostile crowd (Acts 19:33-34; 21:40). These parallels, no doubt, highlight the fact that Jews who seek to worship the true God in the Jerusalem temple are no less lost without Yeshua and just as needy for the gospel as Gentiles who worship false gods in the Ephesian temple.

Significant difference

But significant for our modern context is one glaring and terribly disturbing difference between these stories. When the Jerusalem rioters realize that Paul is Jewish and hear the Hebrew language, a calm instantly takes hold of the crowd and they become completely silent. Even if only for a brief moment, they recognize the apostle Paul for who is truly is: one of their own. But in Ephesus on the other hand, the moment the crowd realizes that the speaker is Jewish, they are filled with fury and the riot boils completely over. Herein we have stories about two riots. Both crowds are misguided by lies and fail to see the truth. And yet, when it comes to Israel and the Jewish people, blind Satanic hatred always drives the crowds into blind rage and madness.

And let there be no mistake: because Yeshua is Jewish, God’s way to bless the world is through the Jewish people.

In these parallel passages, we are exposed to two of Satan’s favorite lies:

  1. Lies about Yeshua
  2. Lies about the Jewish people.


And let there be no mistake: because Yeshua is Jewish, God’s way to bless the world is through the Jewish people. But as it was in Ephesus, so it is today: the world chooses to spit in the well of living water God specifically chose for them to drink from.

But in all this madness of antisemitic rioting, we can see another principle at work. In the words of Wes Taber, Global Ambassador of LIFE IN MESSIAH INTERNATIONAL: “Whatever God especially loves, Satan especially hates.” As Satanic anti-Israel hysteria spreads across the globe like gangrene, I am reminded that Satan’s time is growing very short and God’s plan for and through the Jewish people is still unfolding exactly as planned and right according to schedule!

“For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time. And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child” (Rev 12:12-13).

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