The Explanation

"When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately." Acts 18: 26

What a dynamic duo. Priscilla and Aquila provide a classic picture of the Christian Couple. Their legacy lives on in those who serve as encouragers to the preachers and members of every local body of believers. Here is why.

They had not had the benefit of a seminary education, or attended a recent Marriage Enrichment Retreat. They had not had no insight from the latest spiritual guru promoted into a best-selling author by a profit driven publishing company. They had come to know Christ, worked side by side with Paul in their tent-making business, and they applied what they heard him teach from the Scriptures. The result of their faithfulness to the Word of God was life-changing for them. It was also life-giving to others.

"Now a Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by birth, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus; and he was mighty in the Scriptures...speaking and teaching accurately the things concerning Jesus...acquainted only with the baptism of John." v. 24-25

Oops! Close but no cigar. Apollos had missed the message of Pentecost. He had all the stepping stones in Scripture that led towards The Promise, but he had not received what only The Presence of The Spirit of Christ can deliver, THE CHARACTER OF CHRIST. He was not in a state of confusion or a spirit of delusion. He was just in need of inclusion.

Knowing about Jesus and being filled with Jesus are two different things. When a keen mind is inflamed by a hot heart, there is nothing like it in the world. Apollos was a powerful debater, with a massive intellect. His eloquent delivery of what he knew was unmatched. The only thing missing was the one Person he knew nothing about, The Spirit of Christ.

"To Know Him, and To Make Him Known." I first heard this phrase in 1985. It has served me well as a reminder of my mission in life. Every time I become consumed with the latter, and lose touch with the former, I fail to accomplish the most important part of my mission in life...To Know Him.

Apollos was all about making Jesus known, but knowing about Jesus is not the same thing as knowing Him. When Priscilla and Aquila heard Apollos preach, they could tell the difference. They didn't build a case against him. They built a bridge to him. They didn't clip his wings. They brought Apollos under their wings.

Note to self: Pray to God for their tribe to increase in every body of believers on the face of the earth. There has never been a time when biblical accuracy and tactful diplomacy are more needed in the church.

This couple didn't ignore the error, but they also didn't destroy the messenger. People bent on biblical accuracy are still bent. Very few converts survive the correction delivered by people driven by the mission statement: "DIE HERETIC!"

"They took him aside." This does not describe putting him on the shelf, benching him, or humiliating him. Today Facebook rants and published books are the 21st Century version of pulling someone's pants down and spanking them in front of the class. This rarely ends well.

Priscilla and Aquila saw a diamond in the rough in Apollos. They didn't smash him with a hammer, but they put on kid gloves, and pulled him aside to share with him what was missing in his message and in his life, The Person of The Risen Christ.

"They explained to him the way of God more accurately." v. 26b

The Kingdom of God is never served well by "know it alls" I remember facing graduation from seminary in 1978 with a fear that I didn't know enough. My friend and professor, Dr. Curtis Vaughan put my heart at ease. He said, "It is OK to say, 'I don't know." Thanks Doc.

God has taught me a great deal about His Word and Himself since leaving seminary. In those days, I was heading towards 1st Base, and now at 63 I find myself heading towards Home Plate. There is still so much to Know about Him, and so little time "TO MAKE HIM KNOWN."

"It's what you learn after you know it all that counts." Earl Weaver - Baltimore Orioles, Manager

Remain teachable. Becoming childlike does not mean being childish. The teachable person is childlike. It is childish to pout, "I do it MYSELF." The child like person receives correction, and learns from it. The childish person resents it, and repeats the same mistake over and over again. Apollos was not some "preacher boy" out to make a name for himself, but a man of God with a child-like heart.

An appeal softens the heart, but an accusation hardens it. Priscilla and Aquila touched the heart of Apollos with loving hands and the result was a powerful spokesman in the hands of God. Every time this man preached, the gentle hand-prints of this kind couple were upon him. His message was irrefutable and biblical. All great preaching still is.

"He powerfully refuted the Jews in public, demonstrating by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ." v. 28

This is the point. All great preaching glorifies Jesus. The work of The Holy Spirit honors Jesus. Anytime a system, a method, or an experience overshadows Jesus, it is a result of the spotlight being moved away from Him, and not on Him.

"Never let the system overshadow The Savior." Don Miller, my Dad, not the other one

Praying for the fulness of The Spirit before preaching, prepares the preacher to deliver a message that leaves people hungry for more of Jesus. Preaching should never begin with a preacher full of himself, nor end with a preacher satisfied with himself. Good preaching leaves people saying, "What a great sermon." Great preaching leaves people saying, "What a great Savior." Pray your way to greatness. TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!