A Bit of Background Concerning the Church At Ephesus:
- A thriving metro area at the time of John’s writing.
- The capital and largest city of Asia (southwest Turkey) the city had a large seaport which made it an influential city of trade.
- Enjoyed much freedom as a democratically self-run city within the Roman Empire.
- The city has been described as being wealthy, cultured and corrupt (Summers, 108).
- Chiefly known as the city which hosted the worship of the goddess Diana, thus it was a hotbed for Asian-influenced dark arts, necromancy, and exorcisms (Hodge, vi).
- Acts 18-19 highlight Paul’s ministry to the city, staying for 3 years to teach the gospel. Acts mentions a who’s who of sorts of those involved in ministering there. Timothy was later placed in charge of the churches in this area.
- Church tradition holds that the Apostle John ministered there in his later years and that Mary, the mother of Jesus, passed away in the city as well.
- The church that was birthed there is thought to be quite large and influential.