Read This Week: Acts 18

Meanwhile, a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria came to Ephesus. He was a learned man with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately. – Acts 18:24-26 NIV

Teachability is the one human characteristic that seems to separate those who thrive and those who struggle in every walk of life. Those who are teachable, and stay in that frame throughout their journey, usually succeed in whatever they are attempting. By contrast, the unteachable usually fail.

It doesn’t matter how much talent a person has, when they are, or become, unteachable, they will never reach their full potential in their career, relationships, or calling from God. The author David Murray once said, “Teachability gets people to the top. But if they lose teachability at the top, they won’t be at the top for long.”

Acts 18 captures a tremendous story and example of teachability and the impact it can have, not only on the individual being teachable but on those around them. It centers on Apollos, an exceptional man from Alexandria, a place of education and philosophy in the Roman Empire. Verse 24 tells us this about who he was and his ministry in Ephesus:

Apollos was a learned man with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue.

Apollos knew the Old Testament and was able to teach it with power, authority, and boldness but, he was preaching an incomplete gospel. He was stopping at the baptism of John the Baptist. He taught nothing of the cross, the resurrection, or the indwelling of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. He had passion but seriously lacked the spiritual knowledge to proclaim the whole gospel of Jesus Christ. When Paul’s friends, Aquila and Priscilla, heard Apollos teach, they decided to intervene and help him. Verse 26 says: When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.

Aquila and Priscilla didn’t rebuke him or embarrass him in public. They invited him to eat, have a conversation, and explain the gospel to him in the privacy of their home. They told him about Jesus and the coming of the Holy Spirit. They instructed him to incorporate these important things into his teaching and impart it to the people. We don’t know all the ins and outs of their talk but we know Apollos listened and responded. Verses 27-28 shows us what happens when a talented, passionate person is teachable:

When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers and sisters encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. When he arrived, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed. For he refuted his Jewish opponents in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Messiah.

The outflow of Apollos’ teachability was of great help to others and a powerful instrument in the advancement of the gospel message. None of us are above instruction, correction, and exhortation. Not in our relationships, parenting, jobs, and especially not in our walks with God. When we are teachable and submissive to the Lord and people, things can happen for God’s glory and the good of others. When we have a teachable spirit, we find success in life, and others around us benefit. 

10 Comments

  1. Jeri centers on February 16, 2021 at 7:05 pm

    God gave me a poem from Acts 18 verse 9 and 10:

    Lord give me boldness, to speak out for You
    Let me not be ashamed to let your light shine thru.

    Let me be courageous when the Gospel I share
    Let my words be spoken with respect and care.

    Let me be audacious when I speak out about God
    Let me not hold back.

    What that means to me is to always be daring with the words I choose; to never be afraid to share the Good News. And to be forthright and always tell the truth. God is the only way.

    • Jason on February 24, 2021 at 3:20 pm

      This is such a great post and an artful expression of truth, Jeri. This really stood out to me and captures the essence of the passage that gave you inspiration:

      Let me be courageous when the Gospel I share
      Let my words be spoken with respect and care.

      May we always speak with respect and care when sharing the good news with people and the “hope that lies within us.”

  2. Heidi on February 16, 2021 at 7:32 pm

    God also put on my heart tonight about always be open to learning and growing. God was saying to me to continue to be like Apollos his heart was full of love, zeal, openness, humility, and faithfulness. Because his heart was open to learning from Aquila and Priscilla he was blessed and became a great helper for Me and for others. I’m thankful for the work he did.

    What that means to me is I always want to be open to learning about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit until I go home to heaven. I love to learn and I’m thankful that I get to daily. My Pastor always taught us to be FAT for Jesus.

    Faithful
    Available
    Teachable (Trainable)

    Thank you, God for blessing us with people who love you so much, and that their faithful and open to continue to grow in your ways Love you, Father God.

    • Jason on February 24, 2021 at 4:22 pm

      Thank you for this post, Heidi, and your words. Thank you also for reposting the FAT acronym. That is such a good way to remember what God requires of us to walk with and serve Him like Apollos.

      I especially liked this line from your comment this week: God was saying to me to continue to be like Apollos his heart was full of love, zeal, openness, humility, and faithfulness. May the Lord fill our hearts with all of these each day.

  3. Alma Dolores Schmidt on February 16, 2021 at 10:12 pm

    God gave me a song this week from Acts 18 called, “We Believe”:

    We Believe, we believe, we believe in our Father
    Who loves us all and gives us strength

    Through his strength, we can do all things
    We have no fear to stand up for our God we trust

    Believe and have faith
    We know our father God is standing next to us
    Standing next to us
    Our Lord is standing next to us
    Feel His love, His joy, His strength

    We Believe, we believe, we believe in our Lord. Amen.

    I am so excited that our God is always with us. It’s about us realizing He is next to us, eagerly waiting for us to ask him. Thank you, God.

    • Jason on February 24, 2021 at 3:34 pm

      I love this song, Alma. There is so much promising and hopeful truth in the lyrics and words. As I read it, I was reminded of Nehemiah 8:10: This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

  4. Kathy on February 19, 2021 at 1:58 pm

    In Acts 18, this is what God was saying to me, “In your fears of spreading My word, you are to obey Jesus’ command to not be afraid and to ‘speak and not be silent.’ I am with you so keep sharing My word. I have special timing for everything in your life. Sometimes I say wait and not No. Trust My timing. When I tell you to wait, then wait; when I tell you to go, step out in faith and go. It isn’t enough to make a strong beginning with Jesus; you must always be growing in strength.”

    What this said to me is in order to keep growing in my faith, I need to study His word, be teachable, and look for other Christians who can help mentor me, who are further along on this journey, to help me gain knowledge. This is a time we are preparing for what is coming.

    • Jason on February 24, 2021 at 3:41 pm

      I appreciate your commentary so much this week, Kathy. I love how you point out the fact that it is easy to start strong but we need to stay obedient and diligent to finish strong as well. That takes obedience, faithfulness, and consistent submission to the Holy Spirit and God’s word. This comment reads like a veritable instruction manual for Christian growth and is so needed:

      I need to study His word, be teachable, and look for other Christians who can help mentor me, who are further along on this journey, to help me gain knowledge.

  5. Sam Centers on February 21, 2021 at 5:34 pm

    God led me to Acts chapter 18 verses 20 and 21 this week and he was saying to me, “In your life with me, there will be times when I need you to stay where you are. But there will also be times I need you to go away from that place. But know I am leading you as I need you. You are needed in many places. So trust me and always follow my directions.”

    • Jason on February 24, 2021 at 4:12 pm

      This is a great word, Sam! It is so relevant and necessary to the Christian life and to trust God and being led by His Spirit to the places he is calling us and calling us away from.

      I have personally lived this in my life and can attest fully to the truth and veracity of your post. It is exactly what you said: Trust God and always follow His directions.

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