A Great Man Becomes Greater

“Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos,
a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus.
He was a learned man,
with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures.”
Acts 18:24 (NIV)

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Apollos lived in a great city called Alexandria. The city had the greatest library in the world at the time and also a great university. It had a large Jewish population and they were treated very well by the other citizens.

Apollos was a powerful preacher—however he had a problem. Apollos had not yet learned of the cross, the resurrection and ascension of our Lord—nor did he understand the legacy Jesus had given to the church of the Holy Spirit.

Spiritual surgery was needed to bring Apollos up to the full measure of knowledge his zeal and eloquence deserved.

We read in Acts 18:26 (NIV)

“He began to speak boldly in the synagogue.
When Priscilla and Aquila heard him,
they invited him to their home
and explained to him the way of God more adequately.”

What a gracious and gentle manner is shown by Priscilla and Aquila! The correction of Apollos was done privately and gently. Note that Priscilla’s name is first. Undoubtedly she was much used of the Lord in teaching a very willing pupil the fullness of the Christian message. When correction is needed, it is best to do it privately in order to help the person accept the teaching. Many a useful servant of the Lord has been lost to ministry because of an overly zealous person harshly and publicly correcting an error.

Apollos was then fully equipped to preach powerfully the Good News. Perhaps you, like Apollos, suffered from some deficit in your knowledge or behaviour as a Christian and some self appointed individual has reprimanded you in public. Your embarrassment may have caused you to withdraw from active service for the Lord.

Take heart in the example of Apollos. The rebuke you received may have been given in an ungodly manner but be humble enough to accept the poorly delivered truth and profit from the comments. We need to learn regardless of the critic’s manner of informing us of our deficit.

All of us are necessary in the Lord’s plan for His church. Read the following verses and learn.

1 Corinthians 12:18,22 (NIV)

“But in fact God has placed the parts in the body,
every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.
[22] On the contrary,
those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable…”

Learn from your mistakes and God will certainly meet with you and prosper your work. 1 Corinthians 3:6 tells us that Apollos did a fine work for the Lord after the needed correction. May you learn and then move on to greater things for God’s glory and your encouragement!

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