MENTORING OTHERS is one sign of SPIRITUAL MATURITY
November 11 Bible Reading: Acts Chapters 16-18
“Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John. So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.” (Acts 18:24-26)
In the midst of the narrative that describes the events related to the third missionary journey of Apostle Paul, Luke breaks off for a short while to point out a few details of a Christian Hellenistic Jew by the name of Apollos, who was from Alexandria, the capital of Egypt. When Apollos came to Ephesus, he encountered a Jewish Italian couple called Aquila and Priscilla, whom Apostle Paul had left in Ephesus when he had returned to Antioch. Luke clarifies that Apollos had a thorough understanding of the Old Testament scriptures, a gift for communicating and defending the faith, along with unbridled enthusiasm!
However, Apollos was somewhat deficient in his knowledge of the Christian faith. He had apparently been well schooled in the ministry of John the Baptist, and knew how John had called the nation of Israel to repentance in preparation for the coming of the Messiah. Apparently he did not know about Christian baptism or some other matters of Christian doctrine like the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross including His resurrection, His ascension, and His sending of the Holy Spirit to empower the church.
When Aquila and Priscilla heard him speak in the synagogue, they recognized that Apollos needed further instruction about the gospel, so they lovingly took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. In fact, this couple expounded the way of God to Apollos more perfectly, implying that they brought him to a fuller understanding of the Christian gospel. This was an act of mentoring on the part of this lay couple who were themselves mentored by Apostle Paul for a quite while not too long ago (see vv. 1-3, 11, and 18). Notice how Apollos displayed his humility by being willing to be taught by a tentmaker and his wife even though he was an eloquent and popular preacher (see 2 Cor. 10:10).
Armed with this new understanding, Apollos then proceeded west where he ministered in Achaia, the southern portion of present-day Greece, by defending the faith to the Jews. Eventually he felt called to Corinth and departed, carrying with him the written recommendations of fellow believers in Ephesus. In Corinth he was greatly used of God in the apologetic ministry of convincing the Jews by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ (or Messiah).
We should note that Apollos used the Word of God as the focal point for his apologetic approach which resulted in a great number of conversions. Eventually, he became very popular and was used mightily in Corinth (1 Cor. 1:12; 3:4-6). Further, the ministry of Apollos in Ephesus set the stage for Paul’s ministry in Asia (vv. 24–28; 19:1-2). All of this happened only due to the mentoring that Apollos received from Aquila and Priscilla earlier!
Let us understand that after being taught “the way of God more accurately” by Aquila and Priscilla (v. 26; Rom. 16:3–5), Apollos became even more “mighty in the Scriptures”. The highly effective ministry of Apollos, the new Jewish Christian apologist, can be credited partly to the fact that he was mentored successfully by Aquila and Priscilla. This is what Apostle Paul wanted every disciple of Jesus Christ to do as well, and this is what he wrote to his spiritual son Timothy regarding mentoring: "You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also." (2 Tim. 2:1-2)