Which just made it harder on his competition, the pastors of nearby churches. They could not in good faith dismiss the guy as unworthy or a superficial rock star.
“Being fervent in the spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord…” (18:25). “He vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ” (18:28).
So, they couldn’t fault his preaching. Apollos was a good preacher and what he said was dead on. Christians were impressed and his opponents distressed. But still….
Something was missing. “He knew only the baptism of John” (18:25). So, there was something lacking about his doctrine, although we’d be hard put to know exactly how that played out. As John MacArthur puts it, “Despite his knowledge of the OT, Apollos did not fully understand Christian truth.”
It turns out the man was humble, too. (Is this guy frustrating or what? We keep thinking there has to be a major flaw somewhere, but find none.)
“When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately” (18:26).
He was teachable.
Then, Apollos left for Greece (19:1). Down in Corinth, they loved him (I Corinthians 1:12 and 3:4).
Another Pastor Comes to Town
Okay. Let’s talk about this phenomenon. Another pastor comes to town and suddenly, he’s all the rage. Ever been there?
In the 1970s Dr. John Bisagno took Southern Baptists by storm. At the FBC of Del City, OK, he began baptizing hundreds every year and caught the attention of our denomination. Then, Houston’s FBC made him their pastor. There, he would baptize a thousand people annually and eventually lead them to reloate on the interstate with a zillion-dollar campus. By any measurement, he was a flaming success.