The Bible is filled with individuals who honored, obeyed, and served God with unbridled passion. We learn of one such man in the book of Acts, named Apollos. Luke dedicates only a few verses to him but in that brief account a powerful and enduring legacy emerges.
Luke describes the man as “mighty in the Scriptures” (Acts 18:24, NKJV). In other words, he possessed real zeal for reading and studying the Bible. But Apollos was not content with keeping God’s Word to himself. We are told that he, being “fervent in spirit, spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord.” (vs. 25). He invested his time telling others about Jesus and equipping them with a biblically sound foundation in the faith. And he did so enthusiastically.
Luke then shares a brief anecdote that reveals Apollos’ humility and thirst to learn more about Christ. After speaking boldly in the synagogue at Ephesus, two believers pulled him aside and “explained to him the way of God more accurately” (vs. 26). Apollos demonstrated a teachable spirit and readily embraced the truth the pair shared. He was not a know-it-all who believed he had all the answers.
Subsequent to this encounter, Apollos decides to travel abroad and minister to the lost and saved alike. Luke informs us, “he greatly helped those who had believed through grace [and] vigorously refuted the Pharisees publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ” (vs. 28). That brief but powerful passage reveals several more attributes of Apollos.
First, he assisted other believers. Luke does not provide details but makes clear that the help provided was significant. Second, he corrected those who attempted to undermine Scripture and lead others astray. Apollos displayed a real passion for preserving the integrity of God’s revealed Word. Third, he demonstrated boldness for the Lord and did not allow vocal opposition from others to diminish his public proclamation of faith. In short, Apollos was a tireless advocate for the Lord.
Though only five verses, Luke’s narrative on Apollos reveals a tremendous witness who faithfully served the Lord, did his utmost to build the church, and lived his faith in action. He was bold, mission-oriented, teachable, grounded in Scripture, fervent in his faith, and a determined expounder of the gospel – both in word and in deed.
What a legacy! Imagine the reception he will receive in heaven, not just from God but also from a multitude of believers whose lives he impacted for eternity. He certainly exhibited for us (and others) a Christ-like lifestyle and invested his time on activities with eternal value. In the process he served as a tremendous role model for those who need to see what it means to love Jesus with all the heart, soul, mind, and strength.
What legacy will you leave when you pass from this world? If someone described your life in a couple short paragraphs, what would they say? What actions, attributes, and behaviors define you? Do you demonstrate passion for unbelievers, the downcast, and the Lord? Does your conduct reveal boldness in faith, a zeal for missions, humility, or a servant’s heart? Take time this week to reflect on these questions as you consider Apollos’ example.
If your life has focused more on the world and less on God, more on the temporal and less on the spiritual, more on yourself and less on others, then consider making some changes. Remember, it’s never too late to build a new legacy that prioritizes the Lord, your faith, the church, and proclaiming the gospel in word and in deed. As you do, you may find others modeling their lives after you and following your example.