A more accurate way of the Lord
A Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, an eloquent speaker, arrived in Ephesus. He was an authority on the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the Way of the Lord and, with ardent spirit, spoke and taught accurately about Jesus, although 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 aside and explained to him the Way of God more accurately.
In today’s reading, we are reminded that being an expert in the knowledge of the faith, does not of itself make a saint. I can know the faith, but unless I also believe in Jesus, it can be possible that my knowledge does not necessarily lead to faith. Knowledge alone may not be accurate.
Apollos is an expert in the Scriptures. He speaks eloquently. But even he needs to correction of Priscilla and Aquila to come to a deeper understanding of what it means to follow Jesus. He knowledge is much. His desire is sincere. But it is not as accurate as he could be.
A speaker can be eloquent. A speaker can know many, many things. But there is not any knowledge that is more important than authentic belief in Jesus. Saint Thomas Aquinas knew this. In his famous quote about what he wrote as “so much straw” it was not a suggestion that what he wrote was not important (or even accurate).
Rather, it was a comparison between what he tried to know about Jesus, about God, and what a true and authentic relationship and experience of God was. Aquinas was an expert, and what he wrote is as excellent as ever. But in the mystical relationship he had with God, he realized that his attempt to know God intellectually was meager compared with knowing God experientially.
We need both great knowledge and the experience of Jesus to understand and to have an authentic relationship with Jesus. We need to be accurate in our knowledge of the faith, and to recognize that we need the grace of God for a deep relationship with Him.
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