Educating Apollos (6/28/13)

Read: 2 Kings 13:1-14:29, Acts 18:23-19:12, Psalm 146:1-10, Proverbs 18:2-3

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. 26 When Priscilla and Aquila heard him preaching boldly in the synagogue, they took him aside and explained the way of God even more accurately. (Acts 18:25-26)

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Relate: I’ve been wracking my brain for a clever analogy to throw in here but I have to admit… I’ve got nothing. I thought about using an illustration of someone talking about the first five seasons of Lost who never saw the last season. But who went that far and stopped? Who wasn’t ridiculously disappointed with the crazy dysfunctional mess that was an attempt to bring that show to a close? Even if someone only saw the first five, there was no better news ahead that they had been missing. For Apollos there was.

I thought about someone recalling President Reagan’s famous words, “Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” who didn’t know that it, and communism collapsed. That would be greater news the speaker was missing, but how realistic is that? The fact is, with the media and communication abilities we have today there simply cannot be a good analogy. There is no way for someone to have heard and enthusiastically spread John’s testimony about Jesus who did not know of God’s death and resurrection. Globalization and technology today make it impossible for us to fathom how someone could be going around enthusiastically and accurately telling only half the story of Christ for decades.

React: The fact that it happened is unfathomable but the way it was dealt with was beautiful. Apollos had put himself out there as a public person. It would have been easy for Priscilla and Aquila to publicly embarrass him for their own aggrandizement. Instead they pulled him aside and gently taught him an “even more accurate” gospel. Apollos had zeal and eloquence. He had real potential. Rather than waste it to promote themselves. Rather than start what would have looked to the outside world like dogmatic infighting they privately pulled him aside.

There are going to be times I disagree with other believers. Until we all get to heaven not everyone else is going to realize that I have my doctrine all figured out and they need to get in line. I’m sure they might be thinking the same thing when listening to me preach my “heresies”. How well I deal with potential disagreements or misunderstandings will always be worlds more important than how right I can prove myself to be. They will know we are Christians by our love, not by our theological purity.

Respond: 

God, help me to recognize that sharing Your love is more effectively done through actions than intellect. Sometimes I can get so passionate in loving You with my mind that my attitude and actions can run right over people so might not yet fully understand. Help me to love with deeds and not just words. Help me to help others more fully understand Your beautiful heart by living it out myself.

10 thoughts on “Educating Apollos (6/28/13)

  1. Maybe not an analogy but I think there is a relationship in this story and many of the oft used parts of Jesus Message today. I hear, Jesus is the God of the wish fulfilled, ask and your desires will come true. Jesus is the God of judgement, unless you do this, you are damned. Jesus is______ (fill in the blank). But you hit the proverbial nail on the head (no pun really intended towards the cross) when you talked about love. Jesus Christ’s message, life and mission were about the sacrificial Love for us and how we are to respond in Love to our Heavenly Father and each other. Today, through the Spirit, we are as often in need of much wise counsel, as Apollos was. May it be that we will be as open and accepting. Thanks for the post. Blessings to you and your ministry. Doug

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