Saturday, June 23, 2012

Apollos and Scripture

The New Testament mentions him ten times, first in Ephesus:

Acts 18:24  And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.

An Egyptian Jew, Luke found him to a good speaker and well-versed in the scriptures that Jesus said spoke of Him (Luke 24:27), Paul expounded on (Acts 17:2), that give comfort and hope (Romans 15:4) and Timothy knew from childhood (2 Timothy 3:15).

Acts 18:25  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.

It is here I came to a halt and reconsidered Jesus’ baptism. John had proclaimed to all in the sound of his voice:

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. (John 1:29 KJV)

But later he had doubts and needed to know if, indeed, Jesus was what he expected (Luke 7:22).  There wasn’t a yes or no answer when Jesus told the questioners “Go … tell John …” (Luke 7:22) what Jesus had been doing. Those who listened were expecting the Messiah to remove Israel’s yoke and restore the throne of David.

That hasn’t happened.

Instead, God’s plan unfolded as He willed, even though His Son asked that the cup pass, but bowed to God’s will. As the disciples did. As we are to do. And, which Apollos did.

Go back to verse 25 – catch that Apollos was fervent, diligent, spoke and taught what John taught. He must have known the scripture:

But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. (Deuteronomy 4:29 KJV)

Which proved true in Ephesus:

Acts 18:26  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.

Notice that he ended up with people who enfolded him into their lives instead of rejecting him in his error. They recognized his understanding of the scriptures, and shared the gospel with him.

In my mind I see them talking over a meal, asking questions, checking scriptures, confirming what he knew and explaining about the crucifixion, the resurrection, Pentecost – can you imagine what it would be like to hear that?  To have our faith, our belief corrected, perfected? Or, do we think we know it all now?

Apollos was diligent in his study of the scriptures. What Aquila and Priscilla told him was not the opposite of what he learned but showed the fulfillment of the scriptures he so diligently taught. We need to be just as diligent, knowing what we believe, and why. Then we can use Christ’s words, having accomplished what He said to do:

Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. (John 5:39 KJV)

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