English Standard Version (ESV)
It's easy to be a follower without a cost. That's why I find the numbers of people who sign online petitions somewhat misleading -- people talk about how many people have signed such-and-such petition at various petition websites, but it doesn't cost them anything. You don't have to give up much to sign that petition -- you just click a few buttons and you've signed it. There's no cost, no follow-up, no commitment to anything. What if they charged you $1 to sign it? What about $5? Then we'd only sign the petitions we really cared about, right?
Here, Demetrius the silversmith gets upset when the disciples come along and threaten his business model. He makes shrines of Artemis, and when the worship of Artemis is threatened, he comes to her defense. He dresses it up as though he's defending Artemis, but it's really about his business -- he's worried about his bottom line.
So what we have to decide is straightforward. How committed are we to the cross of Christ, and when it starts to cost us, how much are we willing to pay? When we look at what Christ sacrificed for us, are we willing to be selfless, to bear any price, to pour ourselves out?
Or when discipleship starts to cost something, will we shrink back?