Message: In Acts 18 Paul had been trying to
win over the Jews for quite some time and being a Jew himself who had previously
persecuted the church, he was now being viciously attacked by the Jews. When he
realized they didn’t want to be won, they just wanted to argue and attack, he
told them he was finished and that their blood was on their own heads. He moved
on in ministry to preach to the gentiles. Priscilla & Aquila were a couple
that Paul spent some time with in ministry. When Paul left, they found a Jewish
man named Apollos preaching the gospel in the synagogue. He was very well
taught and described as “eloquent” in speech, but was missing some of the later
pieces of the gospel. Priscilla and Aquila took him home and taught him accurately
and as he continued on in ministry, the local church wrote to the other
churches urging them to welcome and accept him. He publicly refuted the Jews
and prove through scripture that Jesus was the Messiah. As I read this I saw
the beauty of the church in action. Paul had a powerful testimony and ministry.
He founded churches everywhere but the Jews would not hear the gospel from him
because they were so bent on attacking him. When Apollos came along he was able
to reach them in a different way. This didn’t make him better than Paul. He
just spoke with a different approach. Paul was no longer spending his efforts
trying to fight with the Jews so this made him more available to reach the
gentiles in a way that only he could.
Command: Go where and how God leads me and
listen to God for the time to move on.
Promise: God will make me fruitful if I listen
to him and follow his lead. He will also provide for what he calls me to walk
Warning: Trying to be everything to everyone
will waste time, energy and resources.
Application: I really saw the beauty of the
differences in the body of Christ as I read this. We often get caught up trying
to compare people and ourselves to other people. The truth is that we all have
different approaches, styles and personalities. This is so necessary because
there are so many different types of people. Where one person is unable to
reach someone, another person can. I also found it interesting that Apollos
didn’t become known until Paul said he was done trying to fight with the Jews.
It was necessary for Paul to move on to reach the gentiles, but God still
provided someone to pursue the Jews. This challenges me to pay attention when I
realize I am trying to compare myself or fit into the style of the people I am
with. I’m different by design, and though I may not relate to some people,
there is another tribe of people who will relate to me. We need to not only
know who we are talking to, but we need to know who we are as well.