18 After this, Paul stayed many days longer and then took leave of the brothers and set sail for Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila. At Cenchreae he had cut his hair, for he was under a vow. 19 And they came to Ephesus, and he left them there, but he himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. 20 When they asked him to stay for a longer period, he declined. 21 But on taking leave of them he said, “I will return to you if God wills”, and he set sail from Ephesus.
22 When he had landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the church, and then went down to Antioch. 23 After spending some time there, he departed and went from one place to the next through the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.
24 Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him and explained to him the way of God more accurately. 27 And when he wished to cross to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed, 28 for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures that the Christ was Jesus.
POINTS OF INTEREST
- This passage described the end journey of Paul’s second sermon, and the beginning journey of the third sermon. We can see how Paul followed the God’s leading (in verses 20-21). God also used different people (Priscilla, Aquila and Apollos), and we can see they were all equally used by God despite their different personalities and they were joyful and helpful. (24-28).
- It is mentioned many times in the Bible that people should obey their vows that they have made to God. Particularly, when we are in difficult times, we always pray for God’s mercy and help; when God answers our prayers, obviously we should give praises back to God. We are not sure of the vow Paul made in verse 18, but we read that Paul did not break this vow as he cut his hair. Sometimes it is worth evaluating ourselves whether we break vows or promises made to God or to people. And do we often not trust in God’s promises? Do we not trust people? This is worth thinking about.
- From verse 25-26 you can see the importance of the full gospel; sometimes having just a kind heart is not enough but it is great to know that we can believe as we have the free gift of grace.
PRAYING IN FAITH
O God Almighty, I beg you to lead us, to make us strong and courageous; and to spread the gospel, anytime, anywhere! O God, please remind us to give thanks in all circumstances and not to boast in our own strength.
For Your Five
O God, have mercy on people who have not known you yet, pray that You can give them more opportunities that they can join us for fellowship; and we pray they can also become your children in the future.
For Our Church
Lord, thank You for leading our church, and our church in Birmingham to become your testimony. Pray that You will continue use the church to bless every brother and sister; pray that we will love you more and draw closer to You.