Greece and Turkey – Day 15

Our first stop was ancient Ephesus, home of the most impressive archeological site in all of Turkey. The remains are breath-taking, particularly the Library of Celsus there which was one of the largest in the ancient world (picture #1), but we also saw the well-preserved remains of the Temple of Artemis, the Roman baths, the Odeion, the Marble Road where Paul walked, and public buildings such as the town hall. The Ephesian church was the first recipient of the so-called seven letters to seven churches in Asia recorded by John in Revelation 2 and 3. Jesus praised this church for its doctrinal faithfulness but admonished her for leaving her first love

Paul visited Ephesus briefly on his second missionary journey and later spent nearly three years working in Ephesus during his third missionary journey. I had the privilege of standing and preaching on the very place where Paul often preached on the public square or “gathering place” (called the Agora) of Ephesus, adjacent to the library (picture #2). For me, this was perhaps the most moving experience of the entire trip as I contemplated on the fact that eternity alone would reveal how many Ephesian people were converted on this very spot under Paul’s preaching. In the great Ephesian amphitheater which seats 25,000, Marty and Larry from our group led us in singing Psalters. The acoustics were amazing (picture #3).

Next, we headed off to a Turkish rug-making cooperative. After demonstrating the process and displaying their products, they said that the rugs are best tested barefoot (picture #4). Several from our group purchased rugs, and as tour leaders we were given a small but beautiful rug for our seminary

From there, we headed to Sardis…..

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