“‘There is danger not only that our trade will lose its good name, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be discredited, and the goddess herself, who is worshiped throughout the province of Asia and the world, will be robbed of her divine majesty.’ When they heard this, they were furious and began shouting: ‘Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!’ Soon the whole city was in an uproar. The people seized Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul’s traveling companions from Macedonia, and rushed as one man into the theater. Paul wanted to appear before the crowd, but the disciples would not let him.” (Acts 19:27-30 NIV84)
The truths of the Gospel were spreading throughout the region of Ephesus. Many people were repenting of their sins and transforming their lives to what is truly real. The problem was that their newfound sense of reality was putting them in direct conflict with the reality of the unconverted. The silversmiths and craftsman who made the idols for Artemis began to do the math and realized that Christianity was hurting their bottom line. At this point, the concepts of what was true and what was false didn’t matter. What mattered was that they were totally immersed into their own reality and they nearly began a riot. To justify their behavior they stated that they were actually defending the great name of their goddess Artemis.
The point I want to make today is that there are times when we don’t want to hear the truth because we don’t like the effect it might have on the “truth” we currently hold. God’s truth requires a life change. It requires a reality check and adjustment. We as human beings become deeply challenged when our perception of reality is challenged. We become defensive when we are called to change and transform our reality into conformity with God’s perspective. The strange thing is, after we are presented with the truth, many of us would rather live in our fantasy rather than go through the changes necessary to live in the truth. It reminds me of what Neo (in the movie The Matrix) has to face about what is really true. One of the characters in the movie actually chooses to go back into the deceptive reality because it was more comfortable.
May we be a people willing to make any and all changes necessary, no matter how difficult, so that we may live lives of truth in true reality (the kingdom of God).