8 And he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God. 9 But when some were hardened and did not believe, but spoke evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them and withdrew the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus. 10 And this continued for two years, so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.
Verses 8-10 show how the gospel spread throughout Asia, the province on the west of what is Turkey today. Ephesus became the base of operations for Paul. The city was located on important land and sea trade routes. The Temple of Artemis was outside the city wall, one of the seven wonders of the world of that day. Its size was four times that of the Parthenon in Athens.
And he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months,
Paul ministered in Ephesus for three months but promised to return (Acts 18:21). He spoke boldly to the Jews about the Messiah in their synagogue without reprisal from the Jews for three months. Ephesus was a cosmopolitan city more open to different viewpoints.
reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God.
Part of the content of the apostle’s message was God’s kingdom, the coming Millennial kingdom.
But when some were hardened and did not believe,
After being exposed to the message about the Messiah, some turned negative in volition and would not believe. These Jews became “hardened” in intransigent unbelief.
but spoke evil of the Way before the multitude,
Not only did some not believe, but they vilified the gospel.
he departed from them and withdrew the disciples,
After receiving a negative response in the synagogue, Paul withdrew with his disciples.
reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus.
Paul changed his venue to the lecture hall of Tyrannus, shifting his target audience to Gentiles.
And this continued for two years, so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.
Paul preached in the lecture hall of Tyrannus for two years in addition to the three months of preaching in the synagogue; he was in Ephesus for three years (Acts 20:31). Many in the province of Asia (western Turkey today) became believers as a result of the apostle’s ministry. Ephesus was a strategic city for travel and business, allowing the gospel to spread from its location. Many passed through the city from many parts of the world.
The early church was missionary in its orientation.
During Paul’s ministry in Ephesus, he and his colleagues, such as Epaphras, started churches at Colosse, Laodicea, and Hierapolis (Col 4:13). The seven churches of Revelation 2-3 were established during this time. Paul did not visit some of these cities (Col 1:7-8; 2:1; 4:12-13).