Saturday, June 2, 2012

Acts 18:24-28

Summary retelling of Acts 18:24-28

Today we meet Apollos, a Jew from Alexandria (Egypt).  He was a great speaker and very familiar with the Old Testament.  He had become a follower of John the Baptizer – even being baptized into John’s baptism.  He knew about Jesus, but not the whole story.  Priscilla and Aquila hear Apollos teaching and they see his potential.  They get with him and teach him the full story.  Apollos wants to go to Achaia (The Grecian peninsula) and he is encouraged to go.

Thoughts for Today
First Thought:
Apollos is best described as a follower of John the Baptizer before he meets up with Priscilla and Aquila.  What happened is that when John the Baptizer was arrested and then beheaded, most of his disciples fled the Jerusalem area.  Since John died before Jesus, they knew about Jesus but didn’t know the end of the story.  So Apollos would have been acquainted with the story but not the whole story.  Yet, he was out teaching and preaching what he did know.  For that he deserves credit.

What does this passage say to those of us who believe “we don’t know enough to talk to other people about our faith?”

Second Thought:
You have to give credit to Priscilla and Aquila.  They could have got up and publically embarrassed Apollos because they knew more than him.  But they didn’t.  They waited until they could get Apollos in a place where they could instruct him more.  They wanted him to become part of the followers of Jesus and help them in ministry.  It wasn’t about competition; it was about embracing like-minded people and inviting them to join in fellowship!

How does competition affect God’s church?  Do you think there is a place for competition in the church? How can the church benefit from a welcoming and “personally invested” approach as we see by Priscilla and Aquilla?

As an aside, notice that once this married couple meet Paul they are always referred to with Priscilla’s name first.  When they are first introduced, Aquila is mentioned first.  This is likely quite intentional.  In ancient custom, you always mentioned the man/husband first.  You would reverse that order to make a point.  What point would be made by mentioning Priscilla first?  There are two points.  First, it is yet another sign that the Christians in Paul’s discipleship circle are welcoming women as equal members and leaders.  Second, it is likely a spiritual statement that Priscilla may have been the stronger evangelist or disciple-maker.  These passages in the book of Acts should not be overlooked with respect to the place of women within the church.

Third Thought:
Apollos learns from Priscilla and Aquila.  He came in as a very intelligent man.  He could have easily taken a position that these two “tentmakers” couldn’t teach him anything.  But he displays humbleness.  He learns and grows.  Regardless of our station in life, humbleness can always be a great teacher.  Furthermore, because of his humbleness he is able to go and carry on the mission that had been started in Athens and Corinth by Paul and his disciples.  The humbleness of Apollos leads directly into trust.

Again we return to humbleness.  How good are you at being humble?  How quick are you to see the advantages that can be gained by being humble among spiritual people?

Passage for Tomorrow: Acts 19:1-3
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