The Acts Challenge: Chapter 18, Aquila, Priscilla, & Apollos

Here we are with day number 18 in The Acts Challenge 2019. Ten more days to go!

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Tent Makers

(Vs. 1) After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth;

(Vs. 2) And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately com from Italy, and his wife Priscilla; (because the Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them.

(Vs. 3) And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.

Since all Jews had to leave Rome, Aquila and Priscilla found themselves in Corinth. When Paul wound up there too, he must have hit it off with them, especially since they all did the same job – making tents.

Never a Wasted Effort, But…

(Vs. 4) And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.

(Vs. 5) And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ.

(Vs. 6) And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean; from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles

We don’t know how many sabbaths he had reasoned, but the fact that the text mentions “every sabbath” means they must have been there for a while. After Silas and Timothy had joined him, he felt an urge to preach to the Jews.

Unfortunately, they didn’t take to his teaching and he decided he was done with them. It was at this point he admitted his calling to the Gentiles alone.

Many Corinthians Believe

(Vs. 7) And he departed thence, and entered into a certain man’s house, named Justus, one that worshipped God, whose house joined hard to the synagogue.

(Vs. 8) And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.

(Vs. 9) Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace:

(Vs. 10) For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.

(Vs. 11) And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.

Could it be that the last run-in with the Jews had caused Paul to tone it down a bit? I imagine it was something of that sort, for the Lord to come to him is a dream, or night vision, as it were. He told Paul: 1)Don’t be afraid, 2)Speak, 3)Hold not they peace.

Brought Again Before Judgment

(Vs. 12) And when Gallio was the deputy of Achaia, the Jews made insurrection with one accord against Paul, and brought him to the judgment seat,

(Vs. 13) Saying, This fellow persuadeth men to worship God contrary to the law.

(Vs. 14) And when Paul was now about to open his mouth, Gallio said unto the Jews, If it were a matter of wrong or wicked lewdness, O ye Jews, reason would that I should bear with you:

(Vs. 15) But if it be a question of words and names, and of your law, look ye to it; for I will be no judge in such matters.

(Vs. 16) And he drave them from the judgment seat.

Whether Gallio was just generally wearied with the Jews, or whether he’d heard through the grapevine of the God that Paul served, the resurrected Jesus… we can’t be sure. One thing is sure though. He refused to judge matters according to the Laws of the Jews.

(Vs. 17) Then all the Greeks took Sosthenes, the chief ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. And Gallio cared for none of those things.

Paul’s Further Travels

(Vs. 18) And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea, for he had a vow.

(Vs. 19) And he came to Ephesus, and left them there: but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews.

(Vs. 20) When they desired him to tarry longer time with them, he consented not;

(Vs. 21) But bade them farewell, saying, I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem: but I will return again unto you, if God will. And he sailed from Ephesus.

(Vs. 22) And when he had landed in Caesarea, and gone up, and saluted the church, he went down to Antioch.

(Vs. 23) And after he had spent some time there, he departed, and went over all the country of Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening all the disciples.

It must surely have taken a long time to complete all the traveling it took to go to all these places. There are probably volumes of things that were said and done in the Name of Jesus in this time frame. One can only suppose!

Apollos Learns More

(Vs. 24) And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.

(Vs. 25) This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.

Knowing only the baptism of John means that somehow, he only heard the Gospel preached through John, and being baptized by him. Geographically, he must have been far from Jesus to have missed all that had happened since John had been beheaded.

So Apollos took all that he knew and had learned from John and was fervent in teaching it and speaking of it.

Apollos Found by Aquila & Priscilla

(Vs. 26) And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.

(Vs. 27) And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace:

(Vs. 28) For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.

A bold and fervent addition to the Apostles, Apollos apparently had favor or clout with the Jews. He didn’t just preach to them… he MIGHTILY CONVINCED them, showing them in the Scriptures that JESUS was the CHRIST.

If there were ever a message the world needs right now, it is that JESUS is the CHRIST!

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