Friday, May 14, 2010

Acts 18:12-28

12 While Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews of Corinth made a united attack on Paul and brought him to the place of judgment. 13 "This man," they charged, "is persuading the people to worship God in ways contrary to the law."
14 Just as Paul was about to speak, Gallio said to them, "If you Jews were making a complaint about some misdemeanor or serious crime, it would be reasonable for me to listen to you. 15 But since it involves questions about words and names and your own law—settle the matter yourselves. I will not be a judge of such things." 16 So he drove them off. 17 Then the crowd there turned on Sosthenes the synagogue leader and beat him in front of the proconsul; and Gallio showed no concern whatever.
18 Paul stayed on in Corinth for some time. Then he left the believers 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 believers 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 the Jews in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Messiah.

Questions to consider:

• Of what do the Jews accuse Paul? What is Gallio’s response?
• What conditions does Paul place on his promise to return to Ephesus? What does this
reveal about Paul’s concept of God?
• What gifts does Apollos have? How is he using them?
• What ministry do Priscilla and Aquila have to Apollos? What does this interaction reveal
about the early Christians?
• In what situations are you open and teachable from the Lord?
• What does Apollos do with his new knowledge? What do you do with the enlarged
understanding you receive about God?

Possibilities for prayer:

Apollos was a new Christian, but had a lot of excitement for the good news of Jesus and was able to use that excitement to share that news effectively. After some mentorship from Priscilla and Aquila, he was able to be even more effective in his sharing. There seems to be value to learning from those who have spiritual wisdom greater than our own, and accepting that wisdom humbly. Today, ask God to provide you with a spiritual mentor, and maybe even someone that you can mentor yourself!