Have you ever watched a bee in action. They are incredibly focused aren’t they. They don’t get distracted. They see the blossom and go for it with their whole bodies and minds. I took the picture below and lost sight of the bees nose because it dove into that blossom so quickly. Talk about amazing! How about you? Do you have a job from God that you aren’t diving into? How should we treat these assignments?
In the last post called Are You Prevailing Mightily, I wrote about the first 3 verses of Acts 19. We are studying line-by-line through this chapter and looking for the ways that Paul grew the Word of God and prevailed mightily as it says in verse 20.
Let’s continue where we left off when Paul asked them in Acts 19;3 and by the end of this post you’ll see why I asked that first question.
“And he (Paul) said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized?” vs. 3a
“And they said, Unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” vs. 3b-4
Where in the world did these twelve men hear about that? This account in Acts 19 happened at 54 A.D. John was in the desert around Jerusalem and these 12 men were in Ephesus. His head was cut off before Jesus was crucified, and he couldn’t have told them over sixty years before this time. Men only lived into their late thirties or forties back then, if they were lucky. This was a lifetime away from John the Baptist. So how could they be “disciplined ones” of John the Baptist?
I’m so glad you asked!
We have to go back to chapter 18 for a minute; verse 24 & 25
“And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, [and] mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. 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.“
These men heard it from another teacher Apollos and he had a golden tongue. It says he was eloquent and mighty in the scriptures. Wow. What a speaker! He was probably the Dale Carnegie of his time. What was he teaching? The same things that John the Baptist taught. Did God want these men to know the whole program? Yes! Just like He wants us to know it today. So what did God do about this?
“And he (Apollos) 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. 26
Aquila and Priscilla probably invited Apollos over for chicken dinner. Who were they? They were people traveling with the Apostle Paul and disciplined in the latest understanding of the gift God poured out on the day of Pentecost. Let’s step back to verse 18 of chapter 18 before they met Apollos.
“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. And he came to Ephesus, and left them (Aquila & Priscilla) there: but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews. When they desired [him] to tarry longer time with them, he consented not; 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.” Acts 18: 18-21
So Paul came and went to Ephesus for a short stay and then left Priscilla and Aquilla there. Why? God told him to. Who did they find? Apollos. Right? So then they expounded to him more perfectly. I just love God. He didn’t want Apollos to have to go back and apologize to all those disciples he taught wrong and lose his credibility so here’s what God did for him.
Verse 27 of chapter 18; “And when he (Apollos) 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: For he mightily convinced the Jews, [and that] publicly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.”
God sent him down the road. So, what happened to the twelve disciples in Ephesus with the wrong understanding? Paul swings back through Ephesus and “finding certain disciples” asked them “Unto what then were ye baptized.” I can just hear him thinking, “Okay, Apollos has been here too.”
Aquilla and Priscilla were friends of Paul’s. Of course they were working together to further the gospel for God. All Apollos needed was the right understanding about what God poured out. Once he had that, he was a force to be reckoned with. But God didn’t leave those believers hanging! He sent Paul in to do “clean up.” Couldn’t Aquilla and Priscilla have done it? They were in Ephesus. Yes, but God chose Paul for the job. Isn’t this record so rich! I just love it! It tells us that God will get the job done and it’s up to Him, not us.
Could Apollos have argued with God and gone back to all those people? Sure! But he was wise to move on and let God handle it. Sometimes us ministers feel like the ministry is ours alone. Keep in mind, we are workers together with God. He knows the heart of every man, woman and child. All we can do, is feed the hungry ones in front of us and thank God for the next plan of action. If we stick our nose into everyone else’s business, we’ll sorely miss out on the greatness of God’s call on our lives. That’s not to say we don’t support other ministers. But we have to commit to get busy like a bee on the blossoms in front of us.
God bless you today. And check out the next post for what happened to Paul next!