Commentary on the Gospel of

Tamora Whitney - Creighton University English Department

Today we realize that things change. In the first reading, Apollos is an eloquent speaker and an authority on the scriptures. He speaks from his education and instructs others, but he does not know the whole story. When he learns the rest of the story, he adjusts his lectures with his new understanding. Then he can continue to instruct others in the way of the Lord. He can build on his education and understanding of the scriptures, but the events of the past month or so – Jesus’ death and resurrection – have to affect what he teaches. He cannot stand on his education, he must continue to learn and adapt his education to his experience.


I’m a teacher. I often teach the same course material, sometimes for several years. It’s easy to stand on my education and not make changes to my syllabus or my lectures. But that might be a mistake. I need to read the material again each term to see what new I can bring to it. I need to keep up with what others in the field are saying about the material. You would think that not much would change in ancient literature, but really, people do find out new information about even old literature.  Apollos might think that nothing will actually change with the scriptures. A scripture scholar might think that once he has the information, he’s set. But then here comes Jesus to fulfill the scriptures and to move forward in a new direction. Apollos does the right thing, and adjusts his understanding in the light of new information.


Jesus says that everything has changed now. Now we can come to the father through Jesus. We can ask in Jesus name, and we will receive. Before Jesus came to redeem us, we did not have this path. Before Jesus came to tell us about the father and about the way, we did not know it. But now we do. Given the events of the past month or so – Jesus’ death and resurrection – we have to change the way we think and what we know. We can build on our past, on our education, but we have to change with our experience and let Jesus lead us on the right path.


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