Tactfulness–Words That Work Mightily

Recently I was flying to Washington, D.C. The businessman sitting next to me offered me a drink of vodka. In a friendly, natural way I simply said, “No, thank you.” A few minutes later he noticed my Bible and said, “You seem to be a religious person, and I guess … More

In this passage we are introduced to Apollos, who was an eloquent Bible teacher (v. 24). He was born in Alexandria, Egypt, and somewhere along the way heard John the Baptist and became a believer, but he knew nothing beyond that point. Armed with these limited facts, he traveled to Ephesus, full of zeal to fan the flames of revival already smoldering in the city as a result of Paul’s visit. John Phillips, in his book on Exploring Acts, lists the following character qualities of Apollos:
  1. He is a gifted man. (v. 24)
  2. He is a godly man. (v. 25)
  3.  He is a gracious man. (v. 26)
  4. He is a guided man. (v. 27)
  5. He is a great man. (v. 28)

Apollos is described as “an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures” (v.24), meaning that he was a very effective speaker. Aquila and Priscilla were deeply impressed with his ability and took him into their home. They detected his limited knowledge of the Scriptures and “expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly” (v.26). It is interesting to note that they did not buttonhole him after a service and argue with him, but took him home with them and gently and lovingly, filled in the gaps in his knowledge of the truth. Thus, by combining truth with tact, Aquila and Priscilla made a friend and helped to equip an able servant to better the work of the ministry.


This passage shares victories in the Lord’s work. I need to get excited in the victories Christ brings, and not let the hazards of the ministry create a negative mind-set. Also I need to be tactful in the way I go about correcting and teaching others, like Aquila and Priscilla did with Apollos.

Acts 18:24-28 (English Standard Version)

Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him and explained to him the way of God more accurately. And when he wished to cross to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed, for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures that the Christ was Jesus.

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