Sunday, November 17, 2013


Priscilla and Aquila are a Christian couple who are, appropriately, always mentioned together. They are friends of Paul who we meet in Acts chapter 18:

"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." (Acts 18:1-3)

"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)

The most interesting passage involving Aquila and Priscilla occurs later in Acts 18. In verses 24-28 we see them come into contact with Apollos. We can learn much from how this couple helped Apollos mature in Christ:

"Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. And when he wished to cross to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed, for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures that the Christ was Jesus." (Acts 18:24-28)

Apollos was a gifted speaker who knew the scriptures well. However, his knowledge of Christ was limited. It's difficult to determine from these verses whether or not Apollos even knew of Jesus. Since we're told that "he knew only the baptism of John," it is likely that he did not. I love how Aquila and Priscilla handle the situation. Showing wisdom, they pull Apollos to the side and mentor him together, out of the public eye. Specifically, Luke tells us that they "explained to him the way of God more accurately." We immediately read the outcome of this encounter. Apollos, now with an accurate understanding and knowledge of Christ, traveled onward both edifying the church and proclaiming the gospel.

Apollos could never have done these things apart from Priscilla and Aquila's help. They were living out Colossians 3:16, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God." They were both acting much like elders in the church.

Aquila and Priscilla remained Paul's friends and helpers for many years. Paul mentions them in three different letters that were penned several years after these events in Acts had taken place:

"The churches of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house, send you hearty greetings in the Lord." (I Corinthians 16:19)

"Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks but all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks as well. Greet also the church in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in Asia." (Romans 16:3-5)

"Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus." (II Timothy 4:19)

When we think of Priscilla, we should think of an obedient, faithful servant of Christ. Additionally, she and Aquila are an example of a great team: a couple that works together for the kingdom. And yes, Priscilla was involved in teaching Apollos. If you can't handle this example of a woman teaching a man, then you'd better white out that section of your bible.

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