Daily Word

Gentle correction | Acts 18:23-28

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,[d] 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 aside 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.

Acts 18:23-28 (ESV) 中文

3rd Missionary trip

Paul has completed the 2nd missionary journey. Everywhere he went, Paul shared the good news in the synagogue to the Jews and gentile converts to Judaism. His focus was preaching the Gospel and starting churches. He’s been to Jerusalem to share with the disciples there and is back home in Antioch for about a year, commentators believe.  Now he sets out from Antioch for the areas he went to previously. Why? We’re told in verse 23, “strengthening all the disciples”. Similar to what he did on the start of the 2nd journey

Apollos who?

Now Luke diverts to talk about Apollos. If you look at his qualifications, he seems very similar to Paul in his knowledge of the OT and the way of the Lord, and his fervent spirit. But he was lacking full information about both the baptism of Jesus (rather than John) and, based on what we will read in Chapter 19 next, the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This passage presents the bulk of what we know about him – other than 1 Corinthians 3, 4 and a short mention in Titus.

Gentle correction

“When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.” Verse 26). Does this statement stick out to you more than the other content? These two, who had ministered with Paul in Corinth, had been brought to Ephesus by Pauls as a mission transplant. They listened intently to what Apollos preached, saw an error, then gently, privately, and lovingly corrected him. You’d say they were like the Bereans. It’s such a wonderful picture of how to correct others – especially a leader. And, Apollos was humble and listened, received the correction and changing his preaching.

Off to Achaia

Apollos decided to continue his itinerant preaching, like Paul, and head to Achaia (Corinth mostly we guess). The believers in Ephesus sent him off warmly with a letter of reception. Remember Priscilla and Aquila ministered there with Paul so know many of the people. He arrives and “hits the ground running”. 


  • What can we learn here? First, we need to be like Bereans to carefully listen to what we are taught. And, like we shared before, if you hear something that is not Biblical, gently, humbly, prayerfully, quietly and lovingly bring it up to the one teaching. It’s our responsibility. 
  • Apollos seems to come out of nowhere. But he was God’s man for the job. After the correction, he was ready to take on the religious Jews – even in public! Do we have that kind of boldness?
Paul’s 3rd missionary journey. Image from understandchristianity.com *

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