18:24 Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. 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. 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. 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; 28 for he vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.
Fascinating. Apollos shows up in Ephesus (where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila) seemingly out of nowhere. He was from Alexandria, a Greek city in Egypt founded by Alexander the Great. His name ironically means 'the destroyer'. Why he had become a travelling preacher we don't know. How he ended up in Ephesus at the same time as Priscilla and Aquila seems to be a coincidence only God could arrange. He was a talented preacher but as yet didn't have the message. Far removed from Judah he had not yet heard or at least not yet understood that Jesus was the long awaited Messiah. God took his talents, introduced him to "the rest of the Story" through Priscilla and Aquila and suddenly the cause of Christ had a new and very capable voice. Now Apollos was fitted and ready to destroy the myth that the Jews needed to keep looking and waiting for their Messiah. He had already come.
What are we to take from this whirlwind arrival of Apollos in Ephesus? How does it apply to our time? The most striking thing I notice is that Paul was not even there. You see when Acts began the main characters were the disciples leas by Peter. Then they sort of took a back seat and Saul the killer of Christians emerged as the new gospel champion. Now Paul is travelling elsewhere on his way to Jerusalem and a new preacher of the cross emerges. He is not even mentored by Paul. Rather he gets his training from Jewish tent makers from Corinth that at one time Paul almost wrote off simply because they were Jewish.
Do you see the point? We are not the central figures or the heroes in the Story. As Jesus said when riding into Jerusalem on a colt "If they stop the rocks will cry out."
God does not need me to preach. He doesn't "need" any of us. He has a thousand ways to get things done that we don't know anything about. Apollos came out of nowhere. Paul was the greatest enemy of Christ. The great reformer Martin Luther was a Catholic priest. God will never be stuck without people to share the truth. Being a part of His team is not a favour to Him. It's a privilege for us. We may be great orators like Apollos or humble tent makers like Priscilla and Aquila. We may have a dark shameful past like Paul. Whoever we are and wherever we are from God is willing to grant us the privilege of being on His team, not because He needs us but because He wants us.
Never think a man is the hero. God is the Hero.