At that time a great disturbance took place concerning the Way.
[Acts 19:23 NET]
Wherever the gospel goes it wakes up opposition. Especially when it touches men’s business adversely does it excite their worst passions.
Here it was the silversmith’s business that was imperilled. The harangue of Demetrius shows that Paul’s preaching was of the right kind. Some preaching does not disturb sin nor alarm sinners. But Paul’s stirred up those who heard it. He denounced idols – said they were not gods. This frightened the silversmiths, for their chief business was in making shrines of Diana.
A good test of a revival is when it touches the sins of a community, and draws people from them.
About the sanest man in Ephesus that day was the town clerk. He was a loyal believer in Diana, but he had sense enough to know that it would be foolish to do any harm to the missionaries.
The preachers had said nothing against their goddess, they had only preached their own religion, and to harm them would only bring trouble upon those who did it.