Aquila And Priscilla
Verse 1 – After these things Paul departed from Athens and went to Corinth.
Verse 2 – And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla (because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome); and he came to them.
Verse 3 – So, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked; for by occupation they were tentmakers.
Corinth was the political and commercial center of Greece. Claudius was the Roman emperor who had expelled the Jews from Rome. Paul finds Aquila in Corinth, because they were of the same trade.
Verse 4 – And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks.
Verse 5 – When Silas and Timothy had come from Macedonia, Paul was constrained by the Spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus is Christ.
Verse 6 – But when they opposed him and blasphemed, he shook his garments and said to them, “Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”
When Paul shook his garment it was to symbolize that from that point on he would have nothing to do with them. The guilt of their destruction would be on their own heads. Paul had offered them the gospel and the Jews had rejected it.
Verse 7 – And he departed from there and entered the house of a certain man named Justus, one who worshiped God, whose house was next door to the synagogue.
Verse 8 – Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. and many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized.
Not all Jews rejected Paul’s message. Crispus must have followed Paul out of the synagogue over to Justus’ house since it was right next door.
Verse 9 – Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not be silent;
Verse 10 – “for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city.”
Sometimes we can feel all alone when doing the Lord’s work, but Paul wasn’t alone and neither are we. Christ said He would never leave us and He reassured Paul to keep reaching, just as we should keep being a witness. There is strength in numbers when Christians are gathered in one accord.
Verse 11 – And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
While Paul was in Corinth a year and a half, he established a church and wrote letters to the believers in Thessalonica (Books 1 and 2, Thessalonians).
Verse 12 – Now when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul and brought him to the judgment seat,
Verse 13 – saying, “This fellow persuades men to worship God contrary to the law.”
Paul was accused of promoting a religion not approved of by the Roman law. Isn’t it odd that as long as people don’t mention Jesus and His eternal kingdom, that people are fine with only the mention of “God” in general? But the mention of the name of Jesus will bring persecution. Why is that? Because at the mention of Jesus, one has to make a decision whether to believe or not that He is the Son of God.
Verse 14 – And when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, “If it were a matter of wrongdoing or wicked crimes, O Jews, there would be reason why I should bear with you.
In other words he said, “If Paul had committed an obvious crime that was against Roman law, I could hear the case, but since it deals with your religious theology, handle it yourselves.”
Verse 15 – “But if it is a question of words and names and your own law, look to it yourselves; for I do not want to be judge of such matters.”
Verse 16 – And he drove them from the judgment seat.
Verse 17 – Then all the Greeks took Sosthenes the ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. But Gallio took no notice of these things.
Crispus had been the ruler of the synagogue, but he and his family had converted to Christianity, so he was no longer ruler. Sosthenes was chosen to take his place. These Greeks were probably mad because he lost the case. However, later on in 1 Corinthians 1:1, 2, Paul writes about Sosthenes as being his brother in Christ, who became a Christian.
Return Trip to Antioch
Verse 18 – So Paul still remained a good while. Then he took leave of the brethren and sailed for Syria and Priscilla and Aquila were with him. He had his hair cut off at Cenchrea, for he had taken a vow.
Verse 19 – And he came to Ephesus, and left them there; but he himself entered the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews.
Verse 20 – When they asked him to stay a longer time with them, he did not consent,
Verse 21 – but took leave of them, saying, “I must by all means keep this coming feast in Jerusalem; but I will return again to you, God willing.” And he sailed to Ephesus.
I have no explanation for verses 19 and 21, because they say Paul was already in Ephesus and left Priscilla and Aquila there. Then verse 21 says he sailed to Ephesus. Was the synagogue he entered in verse 19 somewhere else? If any of my readers can explain this, please do so.
Verse 22 – And when he had landed at Caesarea, and gone up and greeted the church, he went down to Antioch.
Verse 23 – After spending some time there, he departed and went over all the region of Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening all the disciples.
Verse 24 – Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in Scriptures, came to Ephesus.
Verse 25 – This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John.
Meaning: Apollos only knew about repentance and being water baptized for remission of sins. However, he lacked the knowledge of Christ crucified, death, burial, and resurrection.
Verse 26 – So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.
Gave him the full gospel; the Messiah had already come.
Verse 27 – And when he desired to cross to Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him; and when he arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace;
Verse 28 – for he vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from Scriptures that Jesus is Christ.
When someone has a calling on their life to preach the Gospel, I believe they need a full understanding. They have to know Scripture and be filled with the Holy Spirit for accurate revelation. Too many times new converts only hear “repent”; and then question, “Now what?” Apollos was a preacher with the fire of the Holy Spirit!