Focal Passages: Acts 18:1-4, 11; Romans 16:3-4; 1
The texts for this lesson introduce us to a couple who are
partners in ministry: Priscilla and Aquila. For those of
us who are married, they provide for us a needed model. When we read the New
Testament, Jesus and Paul are the two main characters, and yet neither of them
married. We know that Peter was married, but we never learn anything about his
wife. We don’t even know if any of the other disciples were married. Perhaps
because of this, we might feel that in marriage we can’t serve God as
effectively as if we’re single. Priscilla and Aquila
give us a glimpse of how well we can serve God as married couples.
Priscilla and Aquila appear six times
in the New Testament (Acts 18:2-3, 18-19, 26; Romans 16:3-4; 1 Corinthians 16:19; 2 Timothy 4:19). In Acts 18:1-3 we read the passage that introduces
them: “Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. There he met a Jew named Aquila, a
native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla,
because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them,
and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them.”
So, this couple was in Rome
when Emperor Claudius ordered all the Jews to leave the city. We know from historical
records that Jews were expelled due to disputes among those who disagreed as to
whether or not Jesus was the Messiah.
It is hard to imagine how hard this was for Priscilla and Aquila.
It would have been easy to become discouraged. Yet, when they were forced from
their church in Rome, they became
an important part of the church at Corinth.
When Paul arrived in Corinth,
Priscilla and Aquila offered him hospitality by opening
their home and business to him. Hospitality is an important part of a
It is also important to note that Priscilla, Aquila
and Paul managed to earn a living while doing a lot for the Lord. We are
tempted to think we cannot serve God because we have to work our normal jobs.
Priscilla and Aquila found their identity more in being
a follower of Jesus than in their work.
Priscilla and Aquila were partners in
life, business, and ministry. They are an example of how God can use married
couples to work together in effective ministry.