As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me in this passage? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.
My thoughts (Keith Phillips):
I grew up in one of those churches that seemed to value having truth much more highly than anything else. The Christians there thought of themselves as “doctrinally sound.” I’ll never forget telling my pastor that I was joining another church in the same broad denominational family; he responded, “What communion has light with darkness?”
Apollos had a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. He was a Bible scholar. He had truth. He came from Alexandria, Egypt, to Ephesus, in what’s now Turkey, to share his new faith as a Christian. He “taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John.” A nice Christian couple, Priscilla and Aquilla, heard Apollos sharing the Good News of God’s love. Taking him aside, they helped him to understand Jesus’ teachings even better. They provide, for him, “the rest of the story.”
I was raised to believe that either I had spiritual truth, or I didn’t; there was no middle ground. What’s implied here is better: Apollos had the truth, but it was incomplete. Spiritual truth is so vast that no one can have a monopoly on it. I can see it only from my one perspective. And that’s true for you, too.
So, then, is each person’s individual truth just as good as anyone else’s? That’s not what Apollos, the Bible scholar, would have said. He, humbly (key word), received more truth from the perspective of Priscilla and Aquilla. And he grew as a Christian.
From our own stories, each of us has only incomplete truth. That’s just one reason we disciples/learners need each other. The more we know, the more we realize we have more to know.
Nobody should have to teach us progressive folks inclusivity. Sometimes, though, we get the notion that the spiritual truth I have is as good as yours, when in fact the spiritual truth we have together is so much better.
Thought for the day: What more, spiritually, can I learn today? How does my story fit with your story, with our story, and ultimately with God’s story?
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.