24 Meanwhile, a certain Jew named Apollos arrived in Ephesus. He was a native of Alexandria and was well-educated and effective in his use of the scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord and spoke as one stirred up by the Spirit. He taught accurately the things about Jesus, even though he was aware only of the baptism John proclaimed and practiced. 26 He began speaking with confidence in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they received him into their circle of friends and explained to him God’s way more accurately. 27 When he wanted to travel to Achaia, the brothers and sisters encouraged him and wrote to the disciples so they would open their homes to him. Once he arrived, he was of great help to those who had come to believe through grace. 28 He would vigorously defeat Jewish arguments in public debate, using the scriptures to prove that Jesus was the Christ.
This scripture describes that exciting time when early followers of Jesus were beginning to know him as Jesus Christ. News about The Way had been spreading. As Christianity increased, an enthusiastic Apollos eloquently spoke about Jesus and his baptism. Apollos is knowledgeable, confident and learned in the scriptures. Meanwhile, Priscilla and Aquila realize that Apollos may not know Jesus Christ’s whole story, but they also realize that his words are Spirit-led, and so they quietly correct him.
What we don’t hear in this story is admonishment or indignation from the women about Apollos’ teaching. Instead, these wise women include Apollos in their circle of friends and then spend time teaching and encouraging him. They spend time engaging Apollos in their homes and introducing him to others to support Christ’s mission and message. The women weren’t so worried about giving their own message, but instead about supporting Apollos’ gift and calling.
I am convinced that Priscilla and Aquila’s actions showed that they were much more interested in encouraging Apollos than in correcting him. But how many times are people of faith, particularly Christians, seen as simply judging and telling others they are wrong? How many times do others think that we appear to be Holier Than Thou? Perhaps, it is that we don’t spend enough time simply encouraging and supporting generations to speak about how they individually know God. Perhaps we spend far too much time correcting people than we ever do in listening and supporting them.
I love the quiet certainty that Apollos’ preaching reveals. Even though he didn’t have every part of the story right, he felt moved by the Spirit to share the good news of Jesus Christ, and then others were moved to encourage him. Apollos felt touched by God to speak about the one that he had realized was God incarnate, even if he, Apollos, didn’t have all the answers. Likewise, Priscilla and Aquila, who heard Apollos’ enthusiasm, called him quietly aside and explained more, all while continuing their support and encouragement.
by Barbara Carlson
For Pondering & Prayer
How often do you hear stories about Christians telling others they/we are wrong? How often do we encourage people to tell their godly stories, even if they don’t have all the biblical facts right? It seems to me that we could spend much more time helping and including others then we spend correcting them.
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, thank you for your life’s message and mission. May I be encouraged like Apollos to speak up on your behalf. May I be encouraged like Priscilla and Aquila to spend less time correcting others and more time encouraging them. Amen.