We will be able to relate the story of Paul’s meeting and ongoing relationship with Priscilla and Aquila
- We will be able to understand how working together in ministry or a profession can contribute to marital relationships
- We will be able to determine to find an area of ministry, work, or recreation we can share with our purpose.
“Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: 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” (Romans 16:3-4).
Paul, Priscilla, and Aquila worked together as tentmakers (Acts 18:1-3). This arrangement allowed Paul to attend the synagogue every Saturday to witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ (v.4). Priscilla and Aquila helped Apollos, a great apologist for the messiah-ship of Jesus, to proclaim the Gospel more completely (vv.24-26). Paul sent greetings to Priscilla and Aquila, who risked their lives to save his life and earned his thanks and those of all the Gentile churches (Romans 16:3-4). Aquila and Priscilla also hosted a Christian church in their home (1 Corinthians 16:19). Paul instructed Timothy to greet Aquila and Priscilla (2 Timothy 4:19).
By way of background, Luke, the author of the Acts of the Apostles, portrays the husband and wife team of Aquila and Priscilla as an ideal model of Christianity. They are friendly, hospitable, and generous. Aquila was a tentmaker who traveled extensively throughout the New Testament world with his wife Priscilla (see Acts 18:2-28; 1 Corinthians 16:19). It is also suggested that Priscilla may have been a woman who had influence in her community. This may be one reason why she is often mentioned before her husband in Scripture.
The Bible does not say how Paul met this couple, but it is clear that the apostle formed a friendship with Aquila and Priscilla. Through their influence and friendship, Paul was able to continue his missionary journey while leaving a faithful ministry team in Ephesus to preach the Gospel on his—and Jesus’—behalf.
Paul meets Aquila and Priscilla (Acts 18:1-4)
Paul ministered in Athens, sharing the Good News with the people. Some believed, while others were still unsure of the power of the Gospel. But Paul didn’t let that deter him from his missionary journey. His next stop was Corinth, approximately 50 miles west of Athens. While there, Paul met a Jewish-Christian couple named Aquila and Priscilla.
Along with his wife Priscilla, Aquila had lived in Italy for a while. Aquila was born in Pontus, a province of Asia Minor that stretches along the southern shore of the Black Sea from Bithynia to Armenia. Many Jews lived through out Pontus, and by 100 A.D., Christianity had caused so much unrest in the province that the Jews became a permanent minority in the area.
Aquila and Priscilla were Hebrew Christians who had to leave the Roman province because Claudius, the fourth Roman emperor, wrote an edict that commanded that all Jews be expelled. It is not clear how Paul met the couple, but we know that God had a divine purpose for their paths crossing.
Although Paul was a scholar, like every Jewish male child he was taught the trade of tentmaking to earn a living. The Scriptures affirm that Aquila and Piscilla were also tentmakers, so it is quite probable that Paul felt a kindred spirit with this couple. The three of them worked at their tentmaking trade during the week, while Paul engaged in ministry on the Sabbath, preaching to both Jews and Gentiles in the synagogue.
Tents were portable shelters made of cloth or animal skins; and, were often used by soldiers as living quarters. Some tents were made by weaving, goat hairs together, while others were made of piecemeal materials like leather.
Most would agree that Paul was a great apostle and evangelist, but dedicated friends helped Paul achieve many of his accomplishments. Christian friends, like Aquila and Priscilla, are vitally important to ministry and evangelism. It was through people like this godly couple that Paul learned firsthand what it means to “bear ye one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). God’s church is not made up of brick and mortar; it is made of people who are co-dependent on one another and Christ. It is possible that God will place people of “like precious faith” (2 Peter 1:1) together to do a specific work in a particular region at a particular time. Our responsibility is to make ourselves available to God’s call and God’s people.
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