Meanwhile, a Jew named Apollos, an eloquent speaker who knew the Scriptures well, had arrived in Ephesus from Alexandria in Egypt. He had been taught the way of the Lord, and he taught others about Jesus with an enthusiastic spirit and with accuracy. However, he knew only about John’s baptism. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him preaching boldly in the synagogue, they took him aside and explained the way of God even more accurately. Apollos had been thinking about going to Achaia, and the brothers and sisters in Ephesus encouraged him to go. They wrote to the believers in Achaia, asking them to welcome him. When he arrived there, he proved to be of great benefit to those who, by God’s grace, had believed. He refuted the Jews with powerful arguments in public debate. Using the Scriptures, he explained to them that Jesus was the Messiah. (Acts of the Apostles 18:24-28 NLT)
Apollos was a repentant, Jewish believer in Jesus as the Messiah (Christ). He was a Jewish man from Alexandria, Egypt. Alexandria was the second largest city in the Roman world and housed, quite possibly, the largest library of that time. Today, it is still the main port for Egypt and has a library of 8 million books, 4 museums, and a planetarium. It is an industrial center because of its natural gas and oil pipeline. The city gets its name from it's founder, Alexander the Great. The city was known around the world as a place for the intellectual.
Apollos was from this mainstream culture. He was highly educated and well versed in public speech. Public speaking was an art form in that time. Amphitheaters were erected to accommodate the listeners as they would gather to hear the philosophers spill their oracles. Being raised and educated in this kind of environment, Apollos was accustomed to debating with the foremost minds of the world. He was an asset to have in the Christian ranks. His knowledge of the time, coupled with his knowledge of Christ and love for Him, made him a great teacher in the faith.
Although he was extremely intelligent, he was still deficient in areas of his understanding of Jesus. This is interesting. We can learn a few things here:
First, Apollos was teachable. He wasn't prideful and arrogant in his own assessment. He was willing to learn. We, too must be like this.
Second, Priscilla and Aquila weren't intimidated by his credentials. They were well versed in the things of God. It appears that they were of a deeper understanding of the things of God than Apollos. They, lovingly, and graciously, pulled Apollos aside and opened his understanding of the full gospel. They may have introduced him to the baptism of the Holy Spirit. He may not have yet received this impartation as the other believers had. This could be substantiated in Acts 19 where the people of Ephesus had known only the baptism of John, but when Paul laid his hands on them they received the baptism of the Holy Spirit!
We all could use a Priscilla and Aquila in our lives. Let us be open to a deeper understanding of the Word of God by the power of the Holy Spirit. We all need a fresh anointing. Will you ask the Holy Spirit to baptize you with His presence? I can hear some of you saying "I already have the Holy Spirit!" The Holy Spirit may reside (stay in the house) but does He preside (have authority in your house- life, body)? The question may need to be understood like this: Does the Holy Spirit have you?
None of us have "Arrived". Paul tells us in Galatians 6:3 "For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself."
Apollos went on to teach the gospel in other parts of the world. Achaia was the area of Corinth. We read about Apollos being there in Acts 19:1. He is mentioned seven times in First Corinthians.
(1:12; 3:,4,5,6,22; 4:6; 16:12). Also once in Titus 3:13. A total of ten times in the New Testament. He was someone that became known in the Christian church as a great teacher. In fact, there was division in the church at Corinth over who was the favorite teacher, preacher, leader. (See I Corinthians 1:12-13). Paul had to reprove the believers for choosing favorites. We all have our choice of preachers and teachers, but we must recognize the central message of the gospel, Jesus Christ! He is the greatest preacher and teacher. Let's strive to be like Him!
Apollos never became recognized for writing a book, although some do argue that he may have written Hebrews. His impact on the faith was noted nonetheless.
No matter what your intellect or popularity, be the best at what God has called, anointed, and gifted you to be. Be willing to keep learning and change your world for Jesus!!!
Rev. Curtis Norris