19The three of them arrived in Ephesus, where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila. He then went into the synagogue to talk with the people there. 20They asked him to stay longer, but he refused. 21He told them goodbye and said, “If God lets me, I will come back.”
22Paul sailed to Caesarea, where he greeted the church. Then he went on to Antioch. 23After staying there for a while, he left and visited several places in Galatia and Phrygia. He helped the followers there to become stronger in their faith.
Apollos in Ephesus
24A Jewish man named Apollos came to Ephesus. Apollos had been born in the city of Alexandria. He was a very good speaker and knew a lot about the Scriptures. 25He also knew much about the Lord's Way, and he spoke about it with great excitement. What he taught about Jesus was right, but all he knew was John's message about baptism.
26Apollos started speaking bravely in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him to their home and helped him understand God's Way even better.
27Apollos decided to travel through Achaia. So the Lord's followers wrote letters, encouraging the followers there to welcome him. After Apollos arrived in Achaia, he was a great help to everyone who had put their faith in the Lord Jesus because of God's gift of undeserved grace. 28He got into fierce arguments with the Jewish people, and in public he used the Scriptures to prove that Jesus is the Messiah.
- Sensitivity to the Spirit of God (vv 19-21)
In Ephesus, Paul went first to the synagogue, faithful to his strategy of evangelizing the Jews first. The Jews, in not wanting him to leave them, showed that they were sensitive to God’s Spirit, and were conscious that what they were hearing was indeed the Word of God!
They wanted Paul to stay longer, but he had other places he wanted to visit, so he arranged to leave Aquila and Priscilla in his stead. Later, a church was started in their house (1 Corinthians 16:19). Paul then commited himself to the will of God.
We are called, as was Paul, to have this same sensitivity to the Spirit of God and toward others.
- Sensitivity to the church of God (vv 22-28)
Paul then visited the church in Caesarea (and probably Jerusalem), Antioch and then went inland to Galatia and Phrygia, places he had visited on his first missionary journey. (About 1500 miles is telescoped into verses 22 and 23!) No doubt he taught, encouraged and prayed for the believers, being sensitive and aware as to what was happening there. He wanted not only to see but also to contribute to their progress.
Meanwhile in Ephesus, Aquila and Priscilla showed the same desire that Paul had. Apollos had come there, and was teaching about Jesus with great enthusiasm, but he only knew part of the gospel. Aquila and Priscilla took upon themselves the task of furthering Apollos’ spiritual education.
We, like Apollos, need to understand the eternal significance and value of these truths. Jesus must never become just an intellectual knowledge of some kind. On the contrary, he invites us into a genuine relationship with himself! Jesus wants to fully reign in our heart!
Dear Lord, please teach and guide me. What do I yet need to understand concerning being sensitive to your voice and to the needs of your church?