The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
The city of Ephesus was a dangerous one for Paul. When we read the Bible we often forget these little details. Yes, certainly, there were Christians there. Paul and some of his associates had been around Ephesus for a few years, but we need to remember that near the end of chapter 19 the Christian teaching resulted in opposition and rioting.
On his way back past Ephesus, headed for Jerusalem, Paul manages to meet with the elders from the church. We want to notice that in the New Testament, elders are the pastors of a church. They are responsible for bringing the Gospel freely and accurately to Christ’s people. This differs from what many Christians think of when they hear “elders.”
Depending on God and His grace, the Ephesian elders are to face challenges from within and without. Persecution will arise against them. False teaching will arise from their midst. In all of it, they are to hold fast to the word of God. That’s precisely what elders are to do in every age. May the Lord continue to raise up faithful elders who will proclaim the truth boldly and faithfully. May he make them courageous enough to put down false teaching, even when it comes from those they know and love.
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