“Great is Diana of the Ephesians!” “Great is Diana of the Ephesians!” “Great is Diana of the Ephesians!”
For about two hours this declaration resounded in the theater and its nearby neighborhoods in Ephesus. When Alexander, a Jew, stepped before the gathered mob and sought to make a defense to them, he was shouted down by the cacophony of this mantra (Acts 19:28-34).
The apostle Paul desperately wanted to go in and address this vast assembly of people, but the disciples would not allow him (Acts 19:30).
Eventually the city clerk was able to quiet the rowdy crowd and speaking as slick as any of his 21st century counterparts, he was able to calm the crowd and finally dismiss them without any acts of violence (Acts 19:35-41).
One can only wonder how often “Great is Diana of the Ephesians!” echoed in the apostle Paul’s head in the days and weeks which followed. In retrospect it appears possible that these words may have been to him what an irritant is to an oyster—something which gives birth to a glorious pearl. Sometime after the uproar in Ephesus had ceased and Paul had departed to go to Macedonia (Acts 20:1), this apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God wrote an epistle to the saints who are in Ephesus and faithful in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 1:1).
This extraordinary epistle has a laser-like focus: to extol the fact that “GREAT is Jesus of Nazareth!” “GREAT is Jesus of Nazareth!” “GREAT is Jesus of Nazareth!”
The living Son of God who intentionally left the bosom of His Father (John 1:18) to come to this earth and dwell among us (John 1:14) is vastly superior to a dead, silver shrine which supposedly “fell down from Zeus” (Acts 19:35).
The treasure of His temple is vastly superior to Diana of the Ephesians (cf. Ephesians 1:3-19).
The power He possesses is vastly superior to Diana of the Ephesians (cf. Ephesians 1:20-2:10).
The construction and existence of His temple is vastly superior to Diana of the Ephesians (cf. Ephesians 2:11-22).
The marvelous message of His mystery is vastly superior to Diana of the Ephesians (cf. Ephesians 3:1-21).
Though he could not orally set the record straight about Diana in comparison to Jesus while in Ephesus, the apostle Paul was not hindered from doing that via parchment and his divinely inspired quill.
The epistle of Ephesus endures, and its message has been confirmed by history: GREAT is Jesus of Nazareth!
Far, far greater than Diana of the Ephesians.