Acts 18-24- Everybody needs a John moment before they can truly have a Jesus moment!

Chapter 19 was interesting to me this week.  We read about Apollos doing some teaching in Ephesus. "He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures" (Acts 18:25). One thing I remind myself of as I read is that his knowledge of scripture was Old Testament scripture.  He knew that Old Testament scripture pointed to Jesus and fully embraced that Jesus was the promised Messiah that was foretold in Old Testament scripture, "and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John." (18: 25)
This verse made me wonder what more Priscilla and Aquila needed to teach him in order to "explain the way of God more adequately."?

As I kept reading chapter 19 the next day, I think I found my answer.  Apollos leaves Ephesus and heads to Achaia.  Soon, Paul shows up in Ephesus.  "There he found some disciples" (19:1). Disciples of whom, Apollos, John, or Jesus?   I think they were disciples of John because of their answer to Paul's question of "what baptism did you receive? They told Paul it was John's baptism. Well....that's not such a bad place for Paul to start!

Everyone needs a John moment before they have a Jesus moment. There must be a point of recognizing that one is a sinner, in order to understand that one needs a Savior. Remember back when we read about John in Matthew? He said this about himself, "I baptize you with water for repentance." (Matt. 3:11). The Old Testament says that he was to "prepare the way for the Lord," making straight the paths for him. (Isaiah 40:3)

When one has the moment of realization that they are a sinner and wants to repent from their sin, just as John's teaching makes the path straight, the heart is ready to receive Jesus. The Bible demonstrates it must be in that order,  repent and believe (Matt. 3:2, Mk. 1:4, Luke 13:3 Acts 2:38, 17:30, 26:20, Rom 2:4, 2 cor 7:10, 2 Peter 3:9, Rev. 2:5).   God has always wanted repentance first! (Isaiah 30:15, Jer. 15:19, and Ezekiel 18:30.)  He has never changed!
And a glorious thing happens when we repent and believe in Jesus, "..the Holy Spirit came on all of them.."(Acts19:6).  That's good news!!!

Merry Christmas everyone!!  Have a joyful time remembering Christ's birth and the good news we have as Christians!
Let's talk again in the New Year as we keep reading Acts!


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