What relevance does Jesus Christ’s message to the first of Revelation’s seven churches have for us today?
When the apostle John was given the vision of the Lord’s Day, which he reported in the book of Revelation, he overheard Jesus say, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,’ and ‘What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea” (Revelation 1:11).
In this article we will consider the city of Ephesus during the first century.
First-century of Ephesus
The city had harbour accessible to largest ships and was connected by highways with the chief cities of the province. Ephesus Ancient City was named as the first and greatest metropolis of Asia by the Romans. It was also the most accessible city in Asia.
The city was famous for its Diana temple and its 50,000-seat theater, which was the largest in the world. Given its importance, it was unsurprising that the city had a significant Jewish community. Since it was a major transportation hub, the apostle Paul came to Ephesus, and as was his custom, he “entered the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews” (Acts 18:19).
Paul then went to Jerusalem to observe one of God’s holy days, leaving Priscilla and Aquila in Ephesus. Apollos, a talented orator, soon arrived in town and started speaking accurately and confidently about “the stuff of the Lord” (verses 24-26).
Apollos “vigorously denied the Jews publicly, demonstrating from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ” with the help of Aquila and Priscilla, a husband-wife team who offered him a better understanding of God’s way (verses 28).
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