18 Paul stayed on in Corinth for some time. Then he left the brothers and sisters and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. Before he sailed, he had his hair cut off at Cenchreae because of a vow he had taken. 19 They arrived at Ephesus, where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila. He himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. 20 When they asked him to spend more time with them, he declined. 21 But as he left, he promised, “I will come back if it is God’s will.” Then he set sail from Ephesus. 22 When he landed at Caesarea, he went up to Jerusalem and greeted the church and then went down to Antioch.
23 After spending some time in Antioch, Paul set out from there and traveled from place to place throughout the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.
24 Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 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.
27 When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers and sisters encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. When he arrived, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed. 28 For he vigorously refuted his Jewish opponents in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Messiah.
Alexandria was a major international city consisting of three large people groups; Greeks, Jews and Egyptians. The Greek culture dominated the city and Jewish people would often take a Greek name, like Apollo. Alexandria was a well-educated city and the high educational standards influenced everyone in the city, including Jewish people. It’s not surprise then to read of someone from Alexandria who was well educated and skilled in public speaking. All good things, but no substitute for the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit in all of his fullness in a person’s life. Priscilla and Aquila saw this and encouraged him, “There’s more” (Ps. Dale).
Thoughts for the day
- Who do you feel God is prompting you to encourge in their faith?
- What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
- What is one way you can apply this truth to your life today?
- Who can you encourage with this story/message?
Pray for the spiritually lost among the global community in Shanghai; pray that they will be drawn to God by the Holy Spirit.