Priscilla and Aquila

by John Thomas Lowe
(Woodruff, S.C.)

Priscilla and Aquila
This series (People Named in the Bible) explores men's and women's lives, work, and ministries whose lives greatly impacted the world. It will help broaden your perspective of the early church, enlighten the eyes of your heart, and fascinate your imagination as we discover hidden truths behind some of the most important people in scripture.
"After this Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. And he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. And he went to see them, and because he was of the same trade he stayed with them and worked, for they were tentmakers by trade. And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and tried to persuade Jews and Greeks." (Acts 18:1-4, ESV)
"After this, Paul stayed many days longer and then took leave of the brothers and set sail for Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila. At Cenchreae he had cut his hair, for he was under a vow. And they came to Ephesus, and he left them there, but he himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. When they asked him to stay for a longer period, he declined. But on taking leave of them he said, "I will return to you if God wills," and he set sail from Ephesus (Acts 18:18-21).

Article Highlights:
• God uses difficult times and circumstances to advance His plan.
• God's plan includes all of his children recognizing their kingdom commission and call.
• (Acts 18:18-21) "After this, Paul stayed many days longer and then took leave of the brothers and set sail for Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila. At Cenchreae he had cut his hair, for he was under a vow. And they came to Ephesus, and he left them there, but he himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. When they asked him to stay for a longer period, he declined. But on taking leave of them he said, "I will return to you if God wills," and he set sail from Ephesus.
• We are called to:
 Show hospitality
 Help build the Church
 Disciple leaders
 Leave comfort behind
• The kingdom of God needs tentmakers.
• (2 Corinthians 5:17-20) "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God."

Acts 18:18-21 "After this, Paul stayed many days longer and then took leave of the brothers and set sail for Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila. At Cenchreae he had cut his hair, for he was under a vow. And they came to Ephesus, and he left them there, but he himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. When they asked him to stay for a longer period, he declined. But on taking leave of them he said, "I will return to you if God wills," and he set sail from Ephesus Acts 18:18-21.

These two friends of the apostle Paul are spoken of in Acts 18. Aquila, a Jewish Christian, and his wife, Priscilla, first met Paul in Corinth, became good friends, and shared in his work. These two remarkable people belong in the gallery of Christian heroes, and their ministry is both an encouragement and an example for us.

After a year and a half, Paul left for Ephesus and took Aquila and Priscilla with him. The couple stayed in Ephesus when Paul left and established a church in their home (1 Corinthians 16:19). Then an eloquent preacher named Apollos came through Ephesus. Apollos was mighty in the Scriptures, but he only knew the baptism of John. This means Apollos knew Christ had come and fulfilled John's prophecies. However, he did not know the significance of Christ's death and resurrection, the ministry of the indwelling Holy Spirit, or the mystery of the church containing Jews and Gentiles. Priscilla and her husband took Apollos aside and explained these things to him (Acts 18:24-26). Both Aquila and Priscilla possessed an in-depth understanding of doctrine learned from Paul, and this husband and wife team was able to pass it on to another Christian and build him up in the faith.

These two remarkable people set an example for us of hospitality, seen in opening their home to Paul and using their house as a meeting place for the Church. We are also impressed by their passion for Christ and their hunger for knowledge of Him.

Another hallmark of the lives of Priscilla and Aquila is their desire to build others in the faith. Paul's last reference to them is in his last letter. Paul was imprisoned in Rome and writing to Timothy one last time. Timothy was pastoring the Church at Ephesus, and Aquila and Priscilla are there with him, still faithfully ministering (2 Timothy 4:19). To the end, Aquila and Priscilla were offering hospitality to other Christians, spreading the gospel they had learned from Paul, and rendering faithful service to the Master.

A Challenge to Married Couples
Talk with your spouse about Priscilla and Aquila's remarkable marriage, and then pray together. Ask the Lord to give you the kind of commitment to one another seen in their marriage. Furthermore, pray to God for His Spirit to empower you to spend your remaining days as a faithful husband and wife team, committed to the advance of God's kingdom no matter the cost.

A Challenge to Believers
Jesus said, "Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel will save it" (Mk 8:35). However, what does it look like to lose your life for Christ? Does it always mean taking the gospel to a dangerous land and dying there? Priscilla and Aquila flesh this idea out and call us to similar discipleship. Losing your life for Jesus involves…
• We are supporting those who proclaim the gospel and plant churches.
• You are devoting your time and energies to a local church.
• You are growing in your knowledge of the Bible.
• Discussing God's word with others and even correcting them.
• Going anywhere the Lord says to go, whenever He says to go.
• Using your resources for the advance of God's kingdom.
• being willing to die for fellow believers.

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