Acts 18: Completing the Picture
Potential is not something that should be wasted. In Acts 18, we meet Apollos. He was a great preacher, but he only knew up until the baptism of John. As a result, he did not understand all of the things about Jesus Christ. Rather than throw him out as a lost cause, two friends of Paul, Priscilla and Aquila, taught him the rest of the story.
Act 18:24 And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.
Act 18:25 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.
Act 18:26 And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.
Act 18:27 And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace:
Act 18:28 For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.
They could have said that it wasn’t worth the time. They could have said they were too busy to straighten this guy out and fill him in on the rest of the story. However, this husband and wife team understood that there was potential here, and they needed to help do what they could to educate.
I think about this today. Rather than writing people off as lost causes, maybe we need to look for the common ground. Maybe we need to look for areas where we can see the potential. For example, there are many people in the world today who have a strong commitment to justice. Christians believe that God is a God of justice. Therefore, maybe the better approach is to use that as an area of connection. Apollos understood the baptism of John, so I am sure that was how the conversation started, but it advanced to the point where he became a follower of Jesus Christ by understanding the entire picture. My hypothetical people understand justice, but maybe they do not have a firm reason for why they believe that other than their own opinion. Maybe that’s where the conversation needs to start.