The Mysterious Eloquent Evangelist
There are a lot of mysterious characters mentioned in the Bible we would like to know alot more about than we do. Apollos, the eloquent evangelist, ranks right up there near thetop among such New Testament characters. However, the fact that we know but littleabout him could be said equally of most of the apostles. The thing that makes Apollosmysterious is what we do know about him.Here is what we know, Acts 18:24-28 (NAS),
"Now a certain Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by birth, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus; and he was mighty in theScriptures. This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he was speaking and teaching accurately the things concerning Jesus, being acquainted only with the baptism of John; and he began to speak out 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. And when he wanted to go across to Achaia, thebrethren encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him; and when he had arrived, he helped greatly those who had believed through grace; for he powerfullyrefuted the Jews in public, demonstrating by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ."
The first great mystery is how could this man have been instructed in the way of the Lordand yet not known about the baptism authored by Jesus and knowing only John's baptism? It is obvious that baptism was the subject he needed to be enlightened on andthat it was a part of "the way of God."It is certain Apollos was not in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost when Peter preached,among other things, the baptism not of John but that given by Christ in the GreatCommission of Matt. 28:18-19 (see also Acts 2:38). Of this baptism the text tells us hewas ignorant for he knew only the baptism of John.We can also conclude Apollos did not spend time in Jerusalem afterwards for the apostlesthat remained there and the church leaders there knew clearly the differences in the two baptisms and he in close association with them would have soon learned the differencehimself.It can also be safely assumed that he was not possessed of any miraculous spiritual giftthat would have conferred this knowledge to him or else he would have known and notneeded further instruction from Priscilla and Aquila.So, one of the big mysteries concerning Apollos is how he failed to come to thisknowledge long before meeting up with Priscilla and Aquila. Why did not his earlier instructors in the way of the Lord convey this truth to him? We will never know for theBible does not tell us.Was it important that Apollos know this truth? Many today would say no, not at all, for baptism has nothing to do with salvation denying what Peter taught in Acts 2:38. Yet,Priscilla and Aquila felt it was a matter so important that they drew Apollos aside to teach