Apollos seems to be “all that and a bag ‘o chips” when it comes to accurately sharing the things concerning Jesus– knowledge, boldness, polish and fervor. He’s got it all right except one thing – he knew only the baptism of John.
I’m going out on a limb here – to say I think Apollos had a lot of head knowledge about Jesus being the Christ but he had not encountered Jesus as Savior. Here’s why. John’s baptism was about repentance and preparation for the coming Messiah. Remember he was “preparing a way for the Lord”? He even told the Pharisees “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit. John 3:7. The other thing that strikes me is “he had been instructed in the way of the Lord” – he was a good student as far as it went but it didn’t go far enough.
Pricilla and Aquila heard him speak at the synagogue and took him home for a chat. (Now this is the way to approach a sticky situation.) They probably saw genuineness in Apollos so they explained (the word here means to expose –like point out the error?) to him the way of God more accurately. To his credit and God’s glory, Apollos received the good news of salvation through the work of Jesus. We aren’t told but this would have included receiving the Holy Spirit (and maybe being baptized since this is how things were rolling during this time.)
Next thing you know Apollos wants to go to Achaia (Corinth) and the church in Ephesus sends him off with credentials! This affirms the change that has taken place in him. Apollos has gone from a man with superior personal gifts to a man filled with power of the Holy Spirit directing gifts.
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.
So here’s what I love.
There are gifts and then there are Spirit controlled gifts. We all got gifts. They are just part of the package when God made us, unique and special. But, when those natural talents are filled by the Holy Spirit – then there is power at work for God’s kingdom building.
Calling, vision, purpose – whatever you want to call it. Apollos was acting on his calling before he even understood it all. I think this is planted in us too and we are all trying to uncover it and act it out. Some of us are bolder than others, to be sure, but still it’s in there, waiting to be fulfilled. I’m sitting here looking at a sign I made for a Women’s Bible study. The way to find my true calling is to ASK.
Did you notice God’s got people on the job in every stage of development? We don’t even know they are out there until we bump into someone. When we do it’s our task to consider what part the Lord wants us to play in their life (or them in ours). Am I to teach, encourage, recommend, or bring them home for dinner?
Man, oh man. The picture is bigger than we even know.
I am grateful for every person who has taught me the truth. There are too many to name but “thank you.”♥
About the World?
You have gifts the world needs. Use ‘em.