Grace and Life {A Study in Ephesians}

2

Today we are going to take a look at the context in which Ephesians was written. It’s always good to get these overviews because they can help us understand the circumstances under which something was produced. Often we can find that even past societies faced many similar problems as ours does today. While life has changed considerably, some of the problems and trials that people face are not new.

Ephesus was a thriving, commercial hub.  Lying in a valley, it was a prosperous port city located in Asia Minor, possibly even the most important city. The harbour was set at the Cayster River which in turn led to the Aegean Sea.  Because of its water and road transport system, it was a very accessible city that enjoyed a good climate.

You could describe Ephesus as a cosmopolitan city; the people who lived there would have been used to easy and refined living. It would have drawn a multi-cultural population because it was a strong political and economic centre.

While not particularly philosophical like some other places, it was home to a theatre that could hold 25,000 people and was known as a city of dark magical practices and miracles.

Another particularly famous landmark was the Temple of Diana, or Artemis as it is also called. Widely known as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, all that is left of it today is a single column and some fragments at the site.  However, at the time, it was a considerable building that was thought to bring a special blessing with it.

Thoughts for Today

  1. In what ways are some of our modern cities and societies like Ephesus in the time Paul was writing there?
  2. What particular problems do you think our communities (whether they are cities, towns, or villages) face today?
  3. What particular problems do you think the Church faces today? Are there any similarities with the problems the church in Ephesus may have faced?

Prayers for Today

How can we pray for our cities, towns and villages?

As we ready ourselves to begin the study of Ephesians, let’s consider how we can pray for our communities and churches.

Grace and Love

Helen

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