Saturday Spotlight: Apollos


[Apollos] was an eloquent speaker and had a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the Way of the Lord, and with great enthusiasm he proclaimed and taught correctly the facts about Jesus. However, he knew only the baptism of John. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him home with them and explained to him more correctly the Way of God. Acts 18: 24b – 26


Apollos had his facts straight. He had knowledge, eloquence, and enthusiasm. Those are good things. He used the talents God gave him to spread the good news as far as he had it. But Apollos knew only about the baptism of John; he was unaware of the reception of the Holy Spirit experienced by believers at Pentecost. Priscilla and Aquila, who had worked closely with St. Paul, shared their deeper understanding and experience with Apollos.


He have been unaware of the workings of the Holy Spirit, but Apollos certainly demonstrated at least one of the fruits: humility. Although knowledgeable and eloquent, he was open-minded enough to learn from Priscilla and Aquila. Knowledge can make us full of ourselves and inflate our egos. Apparently, this was not a problem for Apollos. He didn’t let what he knew keep him from learning even more, which, in turn, made him even more effective. He is mentioned frequently in Paul’s letters as a fellow worker in the vineyard.


Someone said that some people come to drink at the fountain of knowledge and some come to gargle. We’ve all met people who know plenty of facts but are clueless when it comes to living with wisdom. Luckily for the early church, Apollos had both. May we be like him.


Prayer:  Lord, keep me teachable.


Reflection: Carl Jung said that we always think we are at the end of our discoveries; we never are.  How is what you already know—or think you know—holding you back from learning even more?

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But Jesus answered “The scripture says, ‘Human beings cannot live on bread alone, but need every word that God speaks.’” (Matthew 4:4)


All Bible quotes are from the Good News Translation unless otherwise noted.


It is reassuring that Jesus called fishermen and tax collectors to be his followers. These were laymen, not Scripture experts. It is wise to seek guidance from religious scholars and clergy who have studied Scripture to avoid errors in interpretation. But the Bible is also a gift given to each of us, to use as a basis for prayer and meditation.


I’m not a Biblical scholar; I’m an expert only on my own experience. Following the Scripture passage is a brief meditation along with a question or two as a springboard for your own reflections. Please feel free to share your own thoughts or insights on the passage by adding a comment. All comments are moderated, so please allow some time for your comment to be posted.

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