Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Positive Acts - A Little Help


Acts 18:24-28

Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. And when he wished to cross to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed, for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures that the Christ was Jesus.

I love the above passage because of its simplicity and beauty. Luke describes a relatively straightforward situation where a gifted orator needed some help with his content. Apollos, who clearly had good intentions, was extremely skilled in proclaiming what he knew. The problem was that he didn't have a complete knowledge of the Gospel. Aquila and Priscilla rightly discerned that Apollos needed some help. The key to this passage is how they responded to his need.

Aquila and Priscilla could have rebuked Apollos. They could have "put him in his place" due to his lack of knowledge. They could have deeply discouraged him. However, they rightly understood his skills and intent. Instead of taking a negative approach, we read that "they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately." This is edification at its best. These two seasoned Christians understood Apollos' need and assisted him in overcoming it. This is what Christ-followers should be doing.

Luke then tells us the outcome. Apollos was able to in turn assist other believers in a different area. Luke reports that "he (Apollos) greatly helped those who through grace had believed." Apollos accomplished this by giving superior arguments to the Jews of the area. With his new, fuller knowledge of the Gospel as told to him by Priscilla and Aquila, he was able to successfully show that Jesus is the Christ.

Apollos took his edification from Aquila and Priscilla and in turn used it to edify other believers. This is as it ought to be. Edification leads to edification leads to edification, etc.

Simple and beautiful.

1 comment:

Tim A said...

Aquila and Priscilla were amazing spiritual leaders and marketplace workers, all at the same time. Along with Paul, they are amazing examples of God's design for spiritual leadership to be combined with marketplace work so it is fully reproducible to anyone else who works for a living, which is everyone who want to eat and help their family eat. In the beginning of Acts 18 we see Paul hooking up with them for marketplace partnership before Paul begins to plant a church in Corinth. If Aquila and Priscilla were to move to any American town and show up to any church on Sunday morning, they would bring massive Biblical reformation.