Sunday, February 18, 2024

Priscilla and Aquila and Apollos

By David R. Ferguson

    There’s a very interesting passage from the Book of Acts I want like to share with you: Now a certain Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by race, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus; and he was mighty in the Scriptures. This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, knowing only the baptism of John: and he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more accurately. (Acts 18:24-26)
    This passage is a wonderful example of demonstrating proper behavior towards one another on the part of brothers and sisters in Christ. As part of our growing in the fruit of the Spirit, we are commanded to be patient with our fellow Christians, and especially those who are babes in Christ: "I...beseech you to walk worthily of the calling wherewith you were called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; giving diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." (Ephesians 4:1-3)
    What if Priscilla and Aquila had behaved differently when they first encountered Apollos? What if they had immediately criticized him in front of everyone in the synagogue? How do you think Apollos would have felt and reacted if these two individuals, without confronting him first in private, had talked about him behind his back, and called him a "false teacher" and circulated letters among the brethren disparaging his character and motives? Wouldn’t great harm have come to the church, the church which Jesus loved so much that He purchased it with His own blood (1 Peter 1:18-19)? I dare say it would have! Too many times people wish to brand their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ with appellations such as "false teacher" or "apostates" when an honest examination of the facts doesn’t warrant these labels being attached. Many times, these individuals may only be mistaken, as was the case with Apollos, or maybe they simply hold a difference of opinion on a matter that falls within the parameters of Christian liberty, as Paul wrote in Romans 14. It’s true that we must "contend earnestly for the faith" (Jude 3), but let’s make certain we aren’t being contentious for the faith instead. Let’s follow after the example of Priscilla and Aquila, so that we can achieve the same result as they did with Apollos: And when he was minded to pass over into Achaia, the brethren encouraged him, and wrote to the disciples to receive him: and when he was come, he helped them much that had believed through grace; for he powerfully confuted the Jews, and that publicly, showing by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ. (Acts 18:27-28) Thankfully, Priscilla and Aquila demonstrated true agape love for Apollos. The world has been greatly blessed by their love. May the Lord bless you!

- David R. Ferguson preaches for the Mentor Church of Christ in Mentor, OH.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: or

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