Teaching and Preaching

Acts 18:1-28

In Corinth
18 After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, 3 and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. 4 Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.

5 When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah. 6 But when they opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, ‘Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent of it. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.’

7 Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshipper of God. 8 Crispus, the synagogue leader, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard Paul believed and were baptised.

9 One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: ‘Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. 10 For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.’ 11 So Paul stayed in Corinth for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.

12 While Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews of Corinth made a united attack on Paul and brought him to the place of judgment. 13 ‘This man,’ they charged, ‘is persuading the people to worship God in ways contrary to the law.’

14 Just as Paul was about to speak, Gallio said to them, ‘If you Jews were making a complaint about some misdemeanour or serious crime, it would be reasonable for me to listen to you. 15 But since it involves questions about words and names and your own law – settle the matter yourselves. I will not be a judge of such things.’ 16 So he drove them off. 17 Then the crowd there turned on Sosthenes the synagogue leader and beat him in front of the proconsul; and Gallio showed no concern whatever.

Priscilla, Aquila and Apollos
18 Paul stayed on in Corinth for some time. Then he left the brothers and sisters and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. Before he sailed, he had his hair cut off at Cenchreae because of a vow he had taken. 19 They arrived at Ephesus, where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila. He himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. 20 When they asked him to spend more time with them, he declined. 21 But as he left, he promised, ‘I will come back if it is God’s will.’ Then he set sail from Ephesus. 22 When he landed at Caesarea, he went up to Jerusalem and greeted the church and then went down to Antioch.

23 After spending some time in Antioch, Paul set out from there and travelled from place to place throughout the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.

24 Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervour and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.

27 When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers and sisters encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. When he arrived, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed. 28 For he vigorously refuted his Jewish opponents in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Messiah.


We live in an extraordinary age. The rise of computers and smartphones means that almost everyone has direct access to worlds of wisdom, literally, at their fingertips. In Acts we see something similar. Until recently, knowing God was limited to a few experts whose profession was to be holy; you could only do it through mediators.

Sometimes you want someone who knows their stuff (doctors, lawyers, mechanics…). But it can get annoying if they turn out to be wrong. So when Jesus came along it was a breath of fresh air. The early church must have felt like the guys who invented the internet.

In v24, Apollos is so passionate that he’s nominated himself to be a speaker in the synagogue. He made a couple of mistakes, but he had backup from the experts who helped him tweak his message.

In v6 we see another common theme from the internet age. Trolling. Paul’s message is like Marmite, and there are plenty of haters. It doesn’t stop Paul, he just changes direction.

And in v9 we see a message of boldness that is a common theme for Paul. It proves to me that leaders are formed, not born. Jesus was his cheerleader, helping him to become the hero of faith who wouldn’t be distracted from the message he needed to share.

Are you the passionate person who’s holding back because you feel unqualified? Ask God for opportunities to share your passion, and support from wiser people to guide you.

Are you struggling in the face of opposition? Ask God if he wants you to rethink your strategy. Ask God for strength and for faith like Paul’s.

Are you looking for a mentor? It’s great if mentor/mentee relationships develop naturally – is there someone you already know in the church who you could approach? Equally be led by the Spirit – pray and look around at the services and come to church socials and events where you can to get to know more people from both morning and evening services. If you’d like help in finding a mentor, or you’re interested in mentoring someone then email [email protected] to find out more.
Sam Gilbert Just doing the best I can with what God gave me #reclaimingmytime
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