One Plants, Another Waters

“Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man
and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man
had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit,
he spoke and taught acurately the things of the Lord”
(Acts 18:24-25).

Apollos was a native of Alexandria. This city was a great cultural center and had one of the largest libraries in the ancient world. Apollos was a scholar; he was capable, strong, eloquent, and a brilliant speaker. He had been “educated,” a word from which derives “catechize,” meaning that in addition to having studied for himself, he had been taught by someone. He had accepted the teaching of John the Baptist about Jesus, and with the help of Aquila and Priscilla, his knowledge about God’s revelation, the ministry of Christ, the work of the Holy Spirit, and the role of the church was expanded. That led him to be even more efficient in teaching with diligence and thoroughness.

Apollos was very prepared and educated, but that did not mean that he had closed the doors to growing in knowledge. It is necessary to learn, unlearn, and relearn. No one knows so much that they cannot learn anything else, and no one is so ignorant that they cannot teach.

After expanding his knowledge and understanding of the truth, Apollos became the favorite preacher in Corinth – even above Paul in superlative comparison – but he never lost sight of the goal, focus, and mission.

Apollos was clear about his individual responsibility, but at the same time he knew that the team, the message, and the Originator of the message were above all else. It is not human power that ensures success; it is the union of the divine and the human, God’s blessings on our efforts.

A Paul may plant, and an Apollos may water, but it is God that giveth the increase. Man cannot do God’s part of the work. As a human agent he may cooperate with the divine intelligences, and in simplicity and meekness do his best, realizing that God is the great Master Workman.

Apollos did not lend himself to creating rivalry or instigating clashes. On the contrary, he sought to contribute, because “no one player is as good as the sum of a team.” Paul affirms that the one who plants and the one who waters are both necessary, but that growth comes only from God.

As Martin Luther King Jr. said so well,

“We must learn to live together as brothers
or persish together as fools.”

That is why I invite you today,
to set aside individualism
and to join forces for growth.

God bless you, let us grow together…