Priscilla and Aquila and Apollos

 

There is a very interesting passage from the book of Acts I would like to share with you: "Now a certain Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by race, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus; and he was mighty in the scriptures.  This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, knowing only the baptism of John: and he began to speak boldly in the synagogue.  But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more accurately."  (Acts 18:24-26)

 

The passage above is a wonderful example of demonstrating proper behavior towards one another on the part of brothers and sisters in Christ.  Last week in our continued study of the fruit of the Spirit we focused on the manifestation of the Spirit as it applies to longsuffering.  As was noted, it is particularly important to be patient with our fellow Christians, and especially those who are babes in Christ: "I…beseech you to walk worthily of the calling wherewith you were called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; giving diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."  (Ephesians 4:1-3)  What if Priscilla and Aquila had behaved differently when they first encountered Apollos?   What if they had immediately criticized him in front of everyone in the synagogue?  How do you think Apollos would have felt and reacted if these two individuals, without confronting him first in private, had talked about him behind his back, and called him a "false teacher" and circulated letters among the brethren disparaging his character and motives?  Would not great harm have come to the church, the church which Jesus loved so much that He purchased it with His own blood (1 Peter 1:18-19)?  I dare say it would have!

 

Too many times people wish to brand their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ with appellations such as "false teacher" or "apostates" when an honest examination of the facts does not warrant these labels being attached.  Many times these individuals may only be mistaken, as was the case with Apollos, or maybe they simply hold a difference of opinion on a matter that falls within the parameters of Christian liberty, as Paul wrote in Romans 14.  It is true that we must "…contend earnestly for the faith…" (Jude 3), but let’s make certain we are not being contentious for the faith instead.  Let’s follow after the example of Priscilla and Aquila, so that we can achieve the same result as they did with Apollos: "And when he was minded to pass over into Achaia, the brethren encouraged him, and wrote to the disciples to receive him: and when he was come, he helped them much that had believed through grace; for he powerfully confuted the Jews, and that publicly, showing by the scriptures that Jesus was the Christ."  (Acts 18:27-28)  May God bless you!

 

David Ferguson