We're going to talk this evening about Aquila and Priscilla. Many times, our studies focus on Bible characters for the lessons we can learn from them. Such Old Testament people as Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, David, and Daniel, and the New Testament characters. We often study to help us live as we should before God. It's good to look at these examples and learn from the lives of these people.
We often look at people like Peter and Paul are major characters whose lives. But, there are others, though, we tend to overlook because they seem to be minor characters. But their lives are also exemplary. Their accounts are compelling, serving as role models for us today.
Two people who may be considered minor characters are Aquila and Priscilla. Yet, there is much to learn from them—they are not “minor” in any respect.
They seem to be an ideal couple. They are the type of couple a church needs. They were appreciated in their day, and they would be appreciated today. They are the type of people who are the hope of a congregation surviving and prospering. We need people like Aquila and Priscilla.
Six passages in the New Testament mention Aquila and Priscilla. In this lesson, we will look to those passages to understand their lives and gain lessons from their lives as we apply the principles of their lives to our own.
Understanding the Lives of Aquila and Priscilla
- Acts 18:1-3
When we first meet Aquila and Priscilla they are in Corinth. Aquila was in Pontus, the northern portion of Asia Minor, but he was a Jew. Having lived in Rome, they were banished from there with all other Jews by emperor Claudius around the time of 41-54 A.D. It may have been there had been two different dispersions of the Christians.
Because there was such an uproar among the Jews against the Christians, the Emporer sort of lumped them all together and banished all Christians and Jews from Rome.
They were tentmakers, the same profession as the apostle Paul. In Vincent's Word Study, they were basically makers of tents for shepherds and travelers. This wasn't a high-end job. It was a job of necessity, being that Corinth was along the trade route.
Paul reminds them that they worked together, working with their hands.
- 1 Corinthians 4:11
- 1 Thessalonians 2:9
With this meeting of Aquila and Priscilla with Paul, we have the beginning of one of the dearest friendships in Scripture. They worked with their hands, supported themselves, and supported the church. It's assumed that Aquila and Priscilla were there together with Paul at this time.
Were Aquila and Priscilla already Christians at this time? Probably. If not, they were before leaving the city of Corinth.
- Acts 18:18-19
As the Apostle Paul departed from Corinth and went to Ephesus. Aquila and Priscilla accompanied Paul to the city of Ephesus and remained there when he journeyed on to Jerusalem.
- Acts 18:24-28
While in Ephesus, Aquila and Priscilla heard a preacher named Apollos “who knew only the baptism of John.” After hearing Apollos, “they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.”
From this incident, we can learn from the work of Aquila and Priscilla
- They knew the truth Apollos at this time did not know.
- They were courageous enough to endeavor to teach him that which he taught in error.
- They taught him in such a manner not to embarrass him.
- They could distinguish eloquence from the truth.
- They loved souls to the extent that they took the time and effort to teach him the truth.
What would you have done?
- adopt the course of least resistance and say nothing thinking, “It wouldn’t do any good anyway?”
- make a scene? get angry? call names?
- lovingly seek to correct?
What would you have done?
- Galatians 6:1
- 2 Timothy 2:24
As Aquila and Priscilla, they took him aside, they did it as a couple, teaching him the truth. The result was that he became a great minister of the gospel. As Aquila and Priscilla, we must stand for truth and seek to correct the error.
- 1 Corinthians 16:19
When writing to the Corinthians from Ephesus in 53-54 A.D., the Apostle Paul extended greetings from Aquila and Priscilla. They knew members at Corinth. No doubt they too were eager to see the church at Corinth to be more spiritually-minded.
Service In the Home of Aquila and Priscilla
That there was a church in the house of Aquila and Priscilla implies:
- Their home was open to Christians—it could even be used for a meeting place.
- They were not so concerned with their house but that they could experience inconveniences by permitting the church to meet there.
We see this wherever they were, they hosted the church in their home.
As Paul closes the Roman letter, he sends greetings to Aquila and Priscilla in Rome.
- Romans 16:3-5
They had obviously moved from Ephesus back to Rome. They were expelled from Rome at one point. They went to Corinth for some time, then with Paul to Ephesus for several years. At some point, they've made their way back to Rome.
They did not leave their religion behind—they had not forsaken the truth, the church, they were still great supporters of the church. Notice what Paul had to say about them.
“My fellow helpers in Christ.” The Greek word, synergía, is where we get the word synergy.
When Paul was a worker together with them, they were able to do so much more. They had that synergistic relationship.
“Who risked their own necks for my life.” They put their life on the line for Paul.
- Acts 18:16-18
There was an insurrection against the church. We see that they put their life on the line.
This couple had a great effect on all these congregations. They were helping the church from their home.
Aquila and Priscilla's Love for the Lord
Everything said about them was highly commendable.
- They loved the Lord.
- They loved the truth.
- They loved people.
They were loved by others.
- 2 Timothy 4:19
This is the final mention of Aquila and Priscilla in Scripture. In this brief statement, Paul saluted them in Ephesus: “My fellow workers in Christ.”
- 2 Timothy 4:6-8
This was Paul’s last letter, yet, amid all that was happening in his life and on his mind, he took the time and space to remember them.
Lessons to be Learned from Aquilla and Priscilla's Lives
- Aquila and Priscilla are always mentioned together. They are synonymous with one another. This shows us the oneness that God desires in marriage. They were workers together. Together they took Apollos aside and taught him.
- They were industrious. They labored with their hands supporting the church. I have no doubt they were the kind of people who did whatever needed to be done.
- Their friendship with and support of a preacher of the gospel. They were a friend of the gospel.
- Their house was open to Christians. Anytime there was a need, they were hospitable. They supported the church in every way.
- They took their religion with them wherever they went. They were faithful Christians in Corinth, Ephesus, and Rome.
- They knew the truth and were courageous enough to contend for it.
What a great Christian couple. An ideal couple that we should strive to be like.
Is the spirit of Aquila and Priscilla in you? If not, why not? The Lord and this church need such couples. Why not determine to be such ideal Christians as Aquila and Priscilla were.
We've got to obey the same gospel that they obeyed. They believed that Jesus Christ was the son of God. They repented of their sins, confessed Him, we see this through their life, and they were baptized for the remission of their sins.
You can be like Aquila and Priscilla. You can become a faithful Christian. If you have been a Christian, but haven't been living obediently you can repent and once again turn back to Christ.
If we can assist you in turning your life over fully to Christ, please contact us.
Source: a sermon by Gene Taylor