What does Acts 18:18-28 really mean?

Acts 18:18-28 is about Apollos, an eloquent and enthusiastic preacher, who is taught more accurately about the ways of the Lord by Aquila and Priscilla, demonstrating the importance of humility and continual growth in one’s understanding of God’s truth.

18 After this, Paul stayed many days longer and then took leave of the brothers and set sail for Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila. At Cenchreae he had cut his hair, for he was under a vow.
19 And they came to Ephesus, and he left them there, but he himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews.
20 When they asked him to stay for a longer period, he declined.
21 But on taking leave of them he said, “I will return to you if God wills,” and he set sail from Ephesus.
22 When he had landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the church, and then went down to Antioch.
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, 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.


Setting the Scene for Acts 18:18-28

In Acts chapter 18, we find the apostle Paul in the city of Corinth. The scene is set in the home of a man named Aquila and his wife Priscilla. They were tentmakers by trade and had recently met Paul, who was also a tentmaker. Paul had come to Corinth and stayed with them, working alongside them during the week and preaching in the synagogues on the Sabbath.

As the scene unfolds, we see Paul engaging in discussions and debates with the Jews in the synagogue, proclaiming Jesus as the Messiah. Among those present are Silas and Timothy, who had recently joined Paul in his missionary journey. The atmosphere is charged with tension as Paul faces opposition and resistance from some of the Jews, while others are intrigued by his message.

During this time, a man named Apollos enters the scene. He was a learned man from Alexandria, eloquent and well-versed in the Scriptures. Aquila and Priscilla take him aside and explain the way of God more accurately to him. Apollos then goes on to become a powerful preacher, furthering the work of spreading the Gospel. The scene in Acts 18:18-28 captures a pivotal moment in the early Christian church, where individuals like Paul, Aquila, Priscilla, Silas, Timothy, and Apollos play significant roles in advancing the message of Jesus Christ.

What is Acts 18:18-28 about?

This verse speaks about the character and qualities of Apollos, a preacher in the early Christian church. He is described as someone who preaches boldly, meaning he speaks with confidence and conviction about the teachings of the Lord. This shows that Apollos is unafraid to proclaim his faith and share the message of Jesus Christ with others. Additionally, it mentions that Apollos is instructed in the way of the Lord, indicating that he is knowledgeable and well-versed in the teachings of Christianity. This suggests that Apollos has taken the time to study and understand the principles of his faith, allowing him to effectively communicate these beliefs to others.

Furthermore, the verse highlights that Apollos is fervent in spirit, meaning he is passionate and enthusiastic about his faith. This passion likely fuels his bold preaching and dedication to spreading the message of Christianity. It is clear that Apollos is not just going through the motions but is truly committed to his beliefs. As teachers and believers ourselves, let us reflect on Apollos’ example and consider how we too can boldly proclaim our faith, deepen our understanding of our beliefs, and cultivate a fervent spirit in our own spiritual journeys. How can we emulate Apollos’ passion and commitment in our own lives and teachings? How can we strive to be bold and knowledgeable in sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with others? Let us draw inspiration from Apollos’ example and continue growing in our faith and dedication to spreading the message of love and hope to those around us.

Understanding what Acts 18:18-28 really means

In Acts 18:18-28, we catch a glimpse of Paul’s second missionary journey, where he traverses from Corinth to Ephesus and Antioch, showcasing his dedication to nurturing the young church communities. Amidst this journey, we encounter Apollos, a fervent and knowledgeable man who teaches about Jesus accurately, albeit with a limited understanding of baptism. This introduction of Apollos underscores the significance of sharing the Gospel with passion and accuracy, even as we continue to deepen our own understanding of faith.

A pivotal moment in this passage is when Paul has his hair cut off at Cenchreae due to a vow he had taken, symbolizing his respect for Jewish customs while spreading the Gospel. This act serves as a reminder of the importance of honoring our heritage and traditions within the context of our faith journey. Furthermore, Apollos’ bold preaching in the synagogue emphasizes the necessity of confidence and fervor in proclaiming the message of Christ, inspiring believers to share their faith boldly and passionately.

The interaction between Priscilla, Aquila, and Apollos sheds light on the significance of mentorship and continual growth in faith. When Priscilla and Aquila invite Apollos into their home to explain the way of God more adequately, we witness the transformative power of mentorship and the willingness to learn from one another. This narrative underscores the value of being open to guidance and edification in our spiritual walk, highlighting the importance of community and mutual support in our Christian journey.

Drawing parallels to other biblical passages such as 1 Corinthians 3:6 and Proverbs 27:17, we see a consistent theme of collaborative ministry and mutual sharpening among believers. The Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20 further reinforces the call to make disciples of all nations, mirroring the actions of Paul, Priscilla, and Aquila in nurturing Apollos in his faith. These connections emphasize the timeless principles of mentorship, discipleship, and bold witness that remain relevant and essential for believers today.

In a modern context, envision a scenario where a young believer lacking theological depth is mentored by a seasoned couple in their church. Through shared meals and study sessions, the young believer grows in faith and effectiveness in ministry, mirroring the relationship between Apollos, Priscilla, and Aquila. This anecdote underscores the enduring value of mentorship, community, and continuous learning in fostering spiritual growth and maturity among believers.

Acts 18:18-28 serves as a poignant reminder of the interconnectedness of faith communities, the transformative power of mentorship, and the importance of bold and passionate witness in sharing the Gospel. As we reflect on this passage, may we be inspired to embrace mentorship, remain open to learning, and boldly proclaim our faith, embodying the collaborative and nurturing spirit of the early church in our present-day Christian walk.

How can we fervently follow and teach Christ?

To fervently follow and teach Christ, we can emulate the dedication and diligence of Apollos in Acts 18. Apollos was described as fervent in spirit and spoke and taught accurately about Jesus, though he only knew about the baptism of John. Despite this limitation, Apollos was humble and open to receiving further instruction from Aquila and Priscilla, who explained the way of God more adequately to him. We can strive to be fervent in spirit, eager to learn and grow in our understanding of Christ, and humble enough to receive guidance and correction from others who are more knowledgeable in the faith in our own lives.

Furthermore, we can also be encouraged to boldly proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ, just as Apollos did. When Apollos learned the full truth about Jesus, he did not hesitate to speak boldly in the synagogue, persuading many people about the identity of Jesus as the Messiah. We should likewise be courageous and unashamed in sharing the gospel in our own spheres of influence, trusting in the power of God’s word to change hearts and bring salvation to those who hear it.

Finally, we can learn from Apollos the importance of being teachable and willing to continue growing in our knowledge of Christ. Even though Apollos was already fervent and knowledgeable about Jesus to a certain extent, he did not close himself off to further instruction but remained open to deepening his understanding of the faith. Approach our spiritual journey with a similar attitude of humility and openness to learning as we seek to follow and teach Christ, recognizing that there is always more to know and experience in our relationship with Him.


Let the fire of Apollos and Priscilla inspire you to courageously spread the good news wherever you go. Be like a sponge, soaking up knowledge and wisdom from those around you to grow stronger in your beliefs. Find ways to shine the light of Christ to those in your circle, just as Priscilla and Aquila did in their time. Will you rise to the occasion and become a fearless advocate for Christ in your community today?