Priscilla and Aquila
Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the Holy is understanding.”
Proverbs 31:30 “Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.”
Priscilla and Aquila were husband and wife;…..and partners in their tent making, and their spiritual work. (They are always mentioned together)
It does not say that they were converted by Paul, so they might have been born again before meeting him.
Whether that is so, or they became believers in Christ Jesus after meeting Paul, they became a strong, spiritual ally in the work Paul did; and in the early church.
Paul met Priscilla and Aquila in his second missionary journey, (they were tent makers like Paul.)
Yet they had a helpful impact on him throughout his ministry….he speaks of them in his last letter to Timothy (2 Timothy 4:19). They stayed true to the simple gospel of Christ, and to the believing workers which they met.
Acts 18:1-3 “After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth;
And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla, (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome) and came unto them.
And because he (Paul) was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.”
Paul spent one year and six months in Corinth….”teaching the Word of God among them.”
All this time he also worked, looking after his needs and the needs of those workers with him, by tent making.
His preaching was successful, though there was opposition, for the Lord told him: “Be not afraid,….hold not thy peace: for I am with thee,….for I have much people in this city.”
It was not a likely place for the gospel to come; for it was a great city, having hundreds of thousands of people living there. They were notorious for sin….some using as a slang for wonton behavior, elsewhere,……they were “Corinthians”.
Paul went into the synagogue first, to listen…then when the opportunity was given, he preached about the scriptures in the Old Testament about Christ….then finally he preached that Jesus was Christ. (Acts 18:5)
That the One: Jesus Christ, that was crucified at Jerusalem, had been raised from the dead, and was even now at the right hand of God.
And all that would believe on Him, would be saved….fulfilling all the promises that were given their fathers.
When the synagogue rulers cried out against the message….he went to the gentiles….and preached there for a year and a half.
When he left and came to Ephesus; Priscilla and Aquila went with him. He did not at this time stay for long…..though he preached in the synagogue there….but left Priscilla and Aquila to encourage those that believed.
In Ephesus, a man named Apollos came. He had been baptized by John the Baptist and believed that the Jews were to repent and prepare for the Messiah. He was eloquent in the Old Testament scriptures and preached diligently the things John had said about the Lord.
When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and showed him all the things of Jesus Christ; and the Way that Jesus’ death and resurrection, had opened up salvation for all who would believe on Him, by faith.
Instantly he believed, and became a powerful preacher, not just in Ephesus, but in Corinth. (1 Corinthians 1:11-12)
Paul came on his third missionary journey back to Ephesus, and stayed two years:
Acts 19:10 “And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwell in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.”
Paul mentions Priscilla and Aquila, and the church at their house in Ephesus, when he writes 1 Corinthians 16:19.
Priscilla and Aquila returned to Rome, after that, and began a church in their house:
Romans 16:3-5a “Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my helpers in Jesus Christ:
Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.
Likewise greet the church that is in their house….”
When Paul wrote the Roman church, he includes a special tribute to these two helpers, he knew there. He knew that they would read his letter to the church in their house, and pass it on to others in Rome.
Paul tells that they risked their lives for him….willingly laying aside their safety, putting “their own necks” in danger. (Quite a descriptive phrase, since in the end Paul was beheaded in Rome)
And in the end of Paul’s life, (he was arrested, sent to Rome,….released, and arrested again,….then executed)….he wrote to Timothy that if he could, Timothy should come and bring a cloak (how cold it must have been in prison); and some parchments.
He asks that Timothy salute Priscilla and Aquila, which it seems, had returned to Ephesus in Asia…..and had a church in their house there.
(Perhaps they were sent by Paul, because the churches in Asia were turning away from his instructions….he had warned Ephesus:
Acts 20:29-30 “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.”)
They were not in Rome when Paul went before Cesear the second time.
They and another Christian, had remained loyal to the simple gospel Paul preached, when others had begun to assert their own authority, and added philosophy to the gospel….corrupting it. (2 Timothy 1:15)
As Christians, we need to know the gospel of Jesus Christ:
The Son of God came in the flesh,
born of a virgin,
lived a perfect life,
died a sacrifice to God for the sins of the world,
was raised again the third day by the power of God,
and sits at the right hand of God the Father in power, as our Mediator for all who believe on Him, by faith.
We should be able to tell it to others;…..and encourage other believers in the Word.
Priscilla and Aquila were just two people who worked and lived in the time of the early church….but they became a force for God’s Will, and Paul’s encouragement….always having a church in their house….always giving the gospel of Christ Jesus to all who would hear.