Whatever Ever Happened to Ephesus?

Last week, Pastor Terry continued his series through Psalm 119 and spent some time using Revelation 2:1-6 as an illustration of the need to love the Word of God.  I’m not going to recap his message, but wanted to provide some insight through the eyes of Ignatius, on what happened to Ephesus after Jesus’ words of warning to them. 

I finished reading Alexander Strauch’s new book, “Love or Die”, which is based on Jesus’ warning to the church at Ephesus.  At the end, Strauch provides this statement on Ignatius’ testimony.  Ignatius was a church father who was arrested for his faith and sent to Rome for execution sometime between A.D. 105-117.  Here are his words.  Enjoy!

“On the way to Rome, Ignatius’s guards stopped int he city of Smyrna.  While at Smyrna, the church in Ephesus, about forty miles south, sent a delegation of brothers to encourage and strengthen Ignatius as he faced martyrdom in Rome.  So uplifting was their visit that Ignatius wrote a letter thanking them for their thoughtfulness and care.  In the letter he praises their love, commending them as a church ‘characterized by faith in and love of Christ Jesus our Savior.’  He rejoices that they ‘love nothing in human life, only God.’  He also comments on their church overseer, Onesimus, calling him ‘a man of inexpressible love.’  Ignatius goes on to write that in the Ephesian representatives who visited him in Smyrna he could see the love of the whole church in Ephesus.”

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2 comments on “Whatever Ever Happened to Ephesus?

  1. Beth says:

    Wow- now that’s some encouragement skillz….

  2. BethsMomToo says:

    The expression of their love particularly strikes me, since I’ve been to Smyrna and ancient Ephesus. We quickly read that Ephesus is “40 miles” from Smyrna, and don’t usually stop to think about what that meant. These Ephesian believers were so focused upon their love for Christ and the church, His body, that they were willing to leave their vocations & families and travel 40 miles on foot to spend a little time encouraging another believer on his way to Rome to die for his faith.

    Ignatius was overseer of the church of Antioch in Syria (the church that sent out Paul, Barnabas & Silas). [Get out your Bible maps and look at how far away Antioch in Syria is from Ephesus, near the Eastern coast of Turkey.] They didn’t personally know this man… so why the great effort? They did it because he was part of the body of Christ. Because they loved Christ so fervently… they loved His body, i.e. the individual members of His body. They truly understood what it means to “rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.” Their love of Christ manifested itself in love for the brethren.

    We say WE love Christ. If that’s true, then how is it manifested in our lives? Where are OUR priorities? How do WE view events in the world? Where is OUR focus?

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