EPHESUS means “desirable”. It was first on the mail route, and rightfully so because it claimed as its title “the first and greatest metropolis in Asia.” Four factors gave it its preeminence:
Scarcely could a more uncompromising soil be found for the spreading of the Gospel. Yet, Paul stayed three years in Ephesus, probably longer than any other city (Acts 20:31). Paul asked Timothy to dwell in Ephesus, perhaps to become its first Bishop (I Tim. 1:2-3; 3:1-15). Aquila, Priscilla and Appollos spent time there preaching the Gospel. There can be few places that better prove the conquering power of the Christian faith.
Unfortunately, there is little left of Ephesus today besides ruins. The coast in now a harborless line of sandy beach, unapproachable by a ship because the harbor is a marsh dense with reeds. It was ever a fight to keep the harbor open because of the silt that the Cayster river brings down. The fight was lost and Ephesus not only lost its preeminence, but also vanished from the scene. It’s light was turned off!
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