Don’t focus on the messenger, focus on the message.
Apollos is one of those people that worked hard to further the Kingdom, but we don’t really hear too much about him. When Bible scholars debate the authorship of the Book of Hebrews, Apollos is always mentioned as a possibility. Apollos was a Christian Jew from Alexandria. He arrived in Ephesus soon after Paul had left the city. It’s interesting that Apollos came to Ephesus, as Ephesus was a university town, and the fourth largest city in the Roman Empire. People from all over the Empire would come to Ephesus to study or worship their gods. So, when people like Apollos spoke of the Lord Jesus, people who heard could carry the message back to their homes, thus spreading the Good News. Apollos was a learned man, and a dynamic speaker, but his knowledge was limited. He had a thorough knowledge of the Old Testament Scriptures, and he knew of the baptism of John, but lacked an understanding of the teachings of Jesus, His death, and resurrection. Interestingly, Apollos recognized Jesus as the Messiah using mainly prophesies from the Old Testament! Fortunately, good friends and companions of Paul were in Ephesus. “He (Apollos) began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquilla heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.” (Acts 18: 26)
Like Paul, Apollos spoke openly about the Lord. He didn’t have secret meetings in small out of the way places, he spoke openly and boldly about the one true God. From Ephesus, Apollos traveled to Corinth. Here, he unwittingly created a problem. He was such a powerful speaker, that some people began to identify with him. Neither Apollos nor Paul were pleased with this. In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians he wrote, “For when one says, ‘I follow Paul’, and another says ‘I follow Apollos’, are you now mere men? What after all is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned each his task.“ (I Corinthians 3: 4-5) This is a lesson we should still be aware of today. Don’t focus on the messenger, focus on the message.
Paul continued to advocate for, and encourage the work of Apollos. (See I Corinthians 16: 12) The last time Apollos is mentioned is in Paul’s letter to Titus. “Do everything you can to help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way and see that they have everything they need.” (Titus 3: 13) Clearly, he had Paul’s full support. We really don’t know anything else about Apollos. There are different theories as to where he ended up, but no one really knows. But, we can learn from his life. He was on fire for the Lord and used his God given abilities to further God’s kingdom. How wonderful it would be if someday, that could be said about me.
About The Author
Originally from Erie, Pennsylvania, Dan is a graduate of Otterbein College (now University). He graduated with a degree in education. From time to time Dan still substitute teaches. His interest in history led him to investigate the historical accuracy of the Bible. This, in turn, led to a full investigation of Apologetics.