“And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John” (Acts 18:24-25).
Apollos is considered a rival of the Apostle Paul in some theological circles but, Paul sees him as “a fellow laborer in the Gospel of Christ.” As an educated man Apollos combines the eloquence of a Greek orator with the religious instinct of a Jewish Pharisee. It is highly probable that he had studied at the great university at Alexandria. Although Apollos is a convert to the Christian Gospel, he is very familiar with Old Testament Scriptures. Blessed by the gifting of the Spirit he speaks with marvelous eloquence, also, he is a strong ally of the Christian population of his time.
“And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.” A gifted speaker but lacking in understanding Apollos misspoke on certain areas of the Gospel, perhaps. Two members of the synagogue’s congregation quietly discerned Apollos’ deficiency he did not understand the death, resurrection, and Ascension of Jesus Christ. God the great provider place them in Apollos life to teach him these things. Aquila and Priscilla are friends and students of the Apostle Paul.
There are two lessons we can learn; one, God has a purpose for Apollos and we can rightly discern that God never sends anyone on a mission that ill-equipped for success and two, regardless of how knowledgeable or gifted you may be, there is someone who has a superior level of one or both. After sanctification too many Christians experience difficulty recognizing their purpose in life. God has taken you into His purposes by the Holy Ghost
and He is ready to use you now for His purposes to the uttermost parts of the world as He used His Son for the purpose of our salvation.
I believe strongly that as long as we are preoccupied with personal interests and ambitions we cannot see the need in our fellow laborers in service to God we become blind to the purposes of God. All too often we look at the messenger-speaker with an attitude of indifference, he should know better. Or if he does not know what he istalking about he should keep quiet, this attitude runs contrary to the Gospel of Jesus. If you are strong in knowledge of the scriptures but weak in the Spirit you are failing Jesus and your fellow laborer. The members of the congregation are as much a part of the body of Christ as the preacher, teacher or deacon; we are responsible for and to one another.
“And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace.” Paul was a scholar and an orator of the highest degree; he spoke out of humility, saying that he would hide the power of God if when he preached the Gospel his intent was to impress people with his “excellency of speech.” Paul knew and Apollos would learn the creative power of the Redemption comes through accuracy and clarity in the preaching and teaching the Gospel, but never through the personality or eloquence of the preacher.
The real challenge for the preacher is not to deny himself the gifts of the Spirit, but rather deny the temptation of eloquence, impressiveness and exquisite diction, deny anything that may block the presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for what it is, the Word of God. “For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly, showing by the scriptures
that Jesus was Christ.” The preacher is there as the messenger and representative of God, he-she is there, in the pulpit, home or Internet to present the Gospel of Jesus—“as though God did beseech you by us”.
As a Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ, I am mindful and spiritually aware anything in my preaching that flatters me may potentially make me a traitor to my commission from Jesus. How wonderful is the holy wisdom that the Spirit of God gives to His humble believers so that we can become teachers of men who are intellectually our superiors! The onus to; “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” is never on the teacher but the student.
There will always be something new to learn about God, His grace and the Atonement of His Son Jesus. Whenever the opportunity to “teach diligently the things of the Lord” to children or new believers, encourage them and sincerely hope that some may become “mighty in the Scriptures.” As Paul said; “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase” (I-Corinthians 3:6). That is the way God planned it, that is the way God wants it to be.
Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ
- The Revelation of Jesus Christ (thekingspresence.wordpress.com)