Ephesus prided itself on being custodian of the image of the goddess Artimis that was supposed to have fallen from heaven. If you haven’t heard of Artimis, you may have heard of her by her Roman name Diana. Making and selling images of Greek and Roman gods was big business. Unscrupulous people have always tried to make money off of religious items. It happened in the Roman Empire – remember the sale of sacrifices in the Jewish temple? And it happens today. When I used to go to Mexico, in the merchant areas there were always booths selling Christian icons such as statues of the Catholic saints and crosses and such. And no, I don’t have a problem with Christian imagery or people making a living by selling items that represent beliefs, but I do have a problem with unscrupulous people. The Gospel of Jesus Christ doesn’t just assault people’s way of making a living, it points out wrongness in individuals themselves. It attacks self-sufficiency and makes a mockery of the things that many find important. The Gospel teaches the exact opposite of the world and says that without God, without Jesus, we are nothing.
The world says your self-worth depends on the amount of money you have in the bank. It depends on your job and the amount of power you have. It depends on your intellect, or where you live, your age, and your physical size. Don’t believe me? Watch some commercials. Watch some tv in general.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ says “making it” doesn’t have anything to do with how much money you have, where you live, where you work, or how much power you have. It’s not about your job or how skinny you are. The Gospel says what makes you worthy isn’t something you can buy; it is something that isn’t even tangible; you can’t touch it or see it. The Gospel says what makes you worthy is faith in Jesus Christ. And that message is offensive to those that are chasing self-worth from worldly things.