devotion 8-12-15

Good Morning!

Acts 18:18-28

18After staying there for a considerable time, Paul said farewell to the believers and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. At Cenchreae he had his hair cut, for he was under a vow. 19When they reached Ephesus, he left them there, but first he himself went into the synagogue and had a discussion with the Jews. 20When they asked him to stay longer, he declined; 21but on taking leave of them, he said, “I will return to you, if God wills.” Then he set sail from Ephesus. 22When he had landed at Caesarea, he went up to Jerusalem and greeted the church, and then went down to Antioch. 23After spending some time there he departed and went from place to place through the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.

24Now there came to Ephesus a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria. He was an eloquent man, well-versed in the scriptures. 25He had been instructed in the Way of the Lord; and he spoke with burning enthusiasm and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26He began to speak boldly in the synagogue; but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained the Way of God to him more accurately. 27And when he wished to cross over to Achaia, the believers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. On his arrival he greatly helped those who through grace had become believers, 28for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the scriptures that the Messiah is Jesus.

Paul left Corinth after some 18 months – Silas and Luke are no longer with him, but Priscilla and Aquila traveled along. Notice – when we first met this couple Luke referred to Aquila and his wife, Priscilla. Now we see that Priscilla is mentioned first, as she is most of the times Luke mentions her in Acts or Paul in his letters. Custom in that day would be to mention the husband first; we can surmise through this that both husband and wife were important to the ministry, but perhaps the wife, Priscilla, was the more prominent. Again, Paul often worked with women in his ministry, contrary to some things he may say in his letters.

They go through Cenchreae, and on from there to Ephesus. Paul spoke briefly in Ephesus, and then left Priscilla and Aquila there to carry on the work. There was a powerful teacher and preacher who came to Ephesus, named Apollos, and he was speaking of Jesus with burning enthusiasm, but did not know about the baptism of the Spirit. Priscilla and Aquila took him under their wing and explained things more accurately. (Yes, this woman did instruct the man who was a preacher and teacher!) Apollos also became a powerful evangelist, and missionary, for the early church.

Meanwhile, Paul had had his hair cut at Cenchrea as a part of a Jewish oath. After sailing from Ephesus, he came to Caesarea, and traveled from there to Jerusalem. Luke tells us this was a brief visit, after which he went back to Antioch. From there he traveled on his third journey.

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