Paul’s Footsteps #117

Footsteps #117

Apollos, a Jew who believed in Jesus but one who had not yet known the end of the story, arrived in Ephesus before Paul.  Aquila and Priscilla would give him further instruction. Though being able to show from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Messiah of Israel (Acts 18:28), Apollos needed to be updated as to the developments of Christianity since Jesus’ ministry. However, Aquila and Priscilla did more for Apollos: with the other believers in Ephesus, they gave him a recommendation letter addressed to the churches in Achaia (18:27), which allowed him to have an effective ministry in Corinth (1Cor.3:4-6,4:6, 16:12).

Apollos’s story is connected to the account of the twelve men Paul met in Ephesus upon his arrival in that city, because their situation was very similar. Their description as “disciples” (Acts 19:1) and Paul’s question to them (v2) clearly indicate that they were already believers in Jesus but their story was incomplete. At the same time, their answer to Paul shows that, similarly to Apollos, they were also former disciples of John the Baptist who had become followers of Jesus without having experienced Pentecost. They were to have an opportunity to enjoy a deeper experience with the Lord. They had not the ability of Apollos, but with the same sincerity and faith they were seeking to spread abroad the knowledge they had received

23 years after Pentecost, they were now integrated into mainstream Christianity. That they received the Spirit and spoke in unlearned languages, (The Greek word glossa used here is the same word as in Acts 2). This most likely means they were Christian missionaries, as Apollos was, who were now being fully empowered to witness about Jesus Christ wherever they went. It says v6, that they ‘prophesied’ which means they proclaimed publically. Ephesus, as a maritime city, was also very cosmopolitan and language barriers were not to be an impediment to the spread of the gospel.

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