Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you. 2 Corinthians 13:11
Acts 18:24-28; 19:1; 1 Corinthians 4:1
Apollos was a great teacher in the early days of the church, right after Jesus’ resurrection and ascension to be with the Father. He was from Alexandria in Egypt, which was one of the main centers of philosophy and education in the world. It is likely that he received a top notch Jewish education studying the Old Testament Scriptures and learning how to debate and argue from his philosophic studies before coming to Ephesus. At some point along the way, he became a Christian but had an incomplete understanding of who Jesus was and what He did.
He was clearly effective and skilled at what he was doing, but Aquila and Priscilla, a husband and wife team who were traveling missionaries, overheard him speaking one day and offered to take him into their home in order to better explain Jesus to him. While we do not know how long they spent teaching him, what we do know is how incredibly effective he became as a direct result of it. Apollos went on to preach the gospel, debate Jewish leaders in public and disciple new believers with his incredible knowledge and gifts. Paul considered him such a great teacher that he often referred to him in his letters as a peer in evangelism.
Although his natural abilities could have been enough to gain him fame and notoriety, Apollos was still able to see that there was more to learn. The Scriptures he was preaching were close to his own heart in that way, instead of it being a message that he spoke but did not live out. God used Aquila and Priscilla, who had just spent months themselves learning from Paul, to give Apollos the complete gospel that he was missing. Only because Apollos did not hesitate to become a student did he grow into the kind of preacher that God was intending him to be. How much can our willingness to learn grow us into the kinds of people that God wants us to be?
Questions to think about:
- How could being or having the perspective of a student change the situation you are in?
- Think of the people God has placed in your life. You will find that you know people who can be experts at all sorts of things. Write down some names of people and list what they are great at. You could approach and ask them to coach you to pass on some of their knowledge too.
- Studying God’s Word and growing closer with Him is how you can be sure of what it is He wants you to do with your life. What are some new things you can try to be a “student” with the Lord and ask for guidance to better understand what He might be asking of you?