About Jesus Steve Sweetman
This Section - Chapters 18
on his own accord. He was not
driven out by persecution as he had been in the last few cities that he
visited. He went fifty miles
west to Corinth.
of the cities great wealth many people had slaves.
With wealth also comes poverty.
People would flock to
Roman games were held in Corinth. Once again, many people
was a multicultural city because
of the influx of people from around the known world.
It was not as philosophical as Athens, but had a great many different types of religions.
is important to understand that immoral sexual practices as understood in
Christian terms were a part of pagan worship.
This is why there were so many prostitutes hanging out at these
me it is interesting that Paul wrote his letter to the Romans from
we see in Acts 18:1 and 2, while in
Aquila and Priscilla, Luke tells us that they were originally from
don’t really know when
I feel that modern day Christians have laid aside the idea of reasoning
with people, and trying to persuade them concerning the gospel.
This is probably for a number of reasons.
One might be that we believe it is the Holy Spirit’s job to
convict people of the truth and so we just preach.
There's no doubt about the fact that it is the Holy Spirit's job to
do the convicting of people's hearts, but the fact of the matter is that
we work in conjunction with the Holy Spirit.
We speak while He convicts. We
are his mouth piece.
reason for our lack of good intellectual reasoning is that many Christians
today don’t understand the gospel or Biblical truth well enough to even
begin to reason and persuade people to come to Jesus.
This should not be the case. Nevertheless,
Paul did both. He reasoned and
persuaded men and women to come to Jesus as the universal truth of the
universe. This was not a one
time event with Paul. He
continued to do this in
post-modern thinking that is filtering into the church of late, there is a
de-emphasis on teaching and on Biblical details.
The way post-modern Christians, if you can indeed call them
Christians, are now viewing the Bible is that it is not a book to be
studied. It's only a book of
inspiration. It's a book that
teaches healthy morality. Paul
knew no such thing. For Paul,
the Bible, or the Old Testament as he would have known it, was a detailed
account of truth. Because of
this, he felt he had no other logical choice but to teach Biblical truth.
This should be our stand as well.
tells us in verse 5 that Silas and Timothy caught up with Paul in
preaching to the Jews, Paul taught that Jesus was their Messiah.
This was the right approach since Jews everywhere were waiting for
the arrival of their long awaited Messiah who would deliver them from the
hands of their enemies, and in this case, at least for the most part, that
in most cities the Jews who disagreed with Paul stirred up trouble.
As we see in verse 6, the Jews in
Paul says, “from now on, I will go to the Gentiles”.
This is not the first time Paul has said such a thing.
In Acts 13:47 he said the same thing, yet he still went to the Jews
first every time he entered a new city.
verse 7 we see that after saying this Paul left the synagogue and went
next door to a God-fearing Jewish convert who came to the Lord, named
Titius Justus. This appears to be where Paul taught for the rest of the
eighteen months he lived in
other people in
verses 9 through 12 Luke describes a vision that Paul had.
In this vision the Lord said, "do not be afraid, keep on
speaking, do not be silent. For
I am with you and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have
many people in this city". So,
because of this vision Paul stayed a hole eighteen months teaching and
preaching to the people of
though the Lord gave Paul this encouraging vision, it did not mean that
Paul would not experience trouble on account of the Jews, as I've just
said. In verse 12 Luke says
that the "Jews made a united attack on Paul and brought him to
court". The charge was
speaking against the Law of Moses.
verses 14 to 17 Paul was ready to defend himself but Gallio, the proconsul
in charge of the province
non-trial was important in early church history.
According to Roman law, Judaism was a legal religion and therefore
had to be tolerated. Christianity
was not a recognized religion by Rome. Christianity was viewed as a
sub-sect of Judaism. Therefore,
at least for the time being, and this would change, Paul had the freedom
to continue to preach and teach in Roman cities without reprisal.
man named Sosthenes, one of the synagogue rulers, was beaten up by some
people. It appears that he was
the spokesmen for the attack against Paul and when he failed his task to
get Paul arrested people were upset with him. Luke says that "they
all turned on Sosthenes". The
pronoun "they" most likely refers to the Jews.
Some say "they" were the Greeks, but I don't think so.
Whatever the case, Sosthenes was beaten up with the knowledge of
Gallio, who did nothing about this situation. Gallio did Paul one huge
favour. Paul could now
continue on his mission of preaching Jesus.
verse 18 Luke tells us that Paul finally left
18 tells us that before Paul set sail he had his hair cut off.
In our English versions it seems clear to me that the word
"he" refers to Paul, although some scholars say that it may be
verse 19 we note that when they arrived in Ephesus Paul once again goes
into the synagogue to reason with the Jews.
On two prior occasions Paul after being irritated and rejected by
the Jews, he told them that he would now go to the Gentiles, but, here we
see him heading off to the synagogue the first time he enters this city.
Paul still wanted his people to find Jesus.
we see in verses 20 and 21, the Jews in Ephesus
did not seem to be opposed to Paul since they asked him to stay longer so
they could hear more of what he was saying.
Paul declined to stay but promised to return, as long as it was
God’s will. We see here that Paul was concerned about doing the will of
the Lord Jesus. Christians
today often use the words "will of God" pretty loosely, but not
Paul. He was serious about
doing God's will, even if it meant leaving people who were interested in
hearing the gospel, as was the case here.
It's thus clear that God would have us do something or go somewhere
despite the fact that on the surface we'd be leaving a good opportunity to
preach the gospel.
was a major city in the area.
It was the capital city of the province
verse 22 Paul sets sail for Caesarea, which is on the coast of the Roman province
verse 23 Luke tells his readers that Paul spent some time with the
24 reverts back to
knew some things about Jesus and was teaching these things in the local
synagogue, yet there was something missing in his teaching.
Verse 25 tells us that what he did teach was correct, but there was
more that he needed to teach. Apollos
only knew some things about Jesus. What
he knew was concerning "John’s baptism".
Apparently he had met up with some of John’s disciples and they
told him the message that John preached.
This message would have been the fact that the Messiah would soon
come and that all men must repent. Apparently
Apollos only new that message. He
did not realize that Jesus had already come, ministered to His people,
died, rose from the dead, and returned to Heaven.
verse 21, when
will see in Acts 19 that Apollos was not the only one that new only about
John’s message. There were
receiving this understanding Apollos wanted to continue to preach about
Jesus. In verse 27 Luke says
that he wanted to go to Achaia to preach so the brothers in Ephesus
wrote a letter of recommendation for him to take along with him.
These letters were often written in the early church as letters of
introduction to churches to support the person coming to them.
Achaia Apollos "vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate…"
We see Apollos mentioned in Paul’s first letter the Corinthians,
along with Peter. Placing his
name alongside of Peter’s as one of importance shows us how effective
and how important Apollos became in the early church.
Using the words "vigorously refuted in public debate from the
Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ" reminds me of Paul himself.
might notice in verse 26 that Priscilla’s name is mentioned before
thing we should note about Apollos is that many people believe he wrote
the book of Hebrews. We don't
know this for sure because the book of Hebrews doesn't tell us who wrote
it. Many believe Paul wrote
Hebrews, but we can't be sure of that either.
Whatever the case, we can be sure that Apollos was educated well
enough that he could have written the book of Hebrews.