Key Verses: “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.”
Acts 18:1-3,18-21,24-26; Romans 16:3,4
DURING HIS SECOND MISSIONARY journey, following his presentation at Mars Hill in the city of Athens, Paul departed for Corinth. There he became associated with Aquila and Priscilla who, as fellow tentmakers, subsequently became supportive of his ministry.
The account states: “After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them. And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.”—Acts 18:1-3
Later, Aquila and Priscilla traveled to Ephesus and abode there for a time. We can gain insights as to their spiritual knowledge and devotion by reading about Apollos of Alexandria, Egypt, who had a sound understanding of the Hebrew Scriptures. On one occasion when Aquila and Priscilla visited the synagogue in Ephesus seeking opportunities to proclaim the Gospel of Christ, they came into contact with Apollos, who testified concerning the Master.—vss. 18,19,24
When they discovered that Apollos knew only of the “baptism of John,” they invited him to their home and instructed him concerning Christian baptism, and that water immersion was only a symbol of the burial of one’s will into Christ. Aquila and Priscilla’s devotion towards extending the ministry in the Early Church should be inspiring to us, because when Apollos wanted to travel and further share the message of salvation in another location, they informed him regarding the brethren in Corinth and also wrote to the church in that city to welcome him upon his arrival.—vss. 25-28
Our Key Verses describe Paul’s appreciation of the brethren who labored faithfully with him in the promulgation of the Gospel. We especially note that from the divine standpoint, all followers of Christ are encouraged to utilize their talents in serving God whether male or female, since both Priscilla and Aquila received Paul’s written commendation in his epistles.
It continues to be just a “little flock” that will be receptive to the message regarding God’s kingdom as being the only solution to the myriad problems affecting the entire human family. Nevertheless, each of us should be energized in witnessing to the Truth to anyone who may have a hearing ear, despite the fact that the promises of a righteous government and the establishment of lasting peace on earth may seem fanciful to the majority of those we encounter.
A final reference to the devoted service of Aquila and Priscilla was penned by Paul when he sent them greetings shortly before he was scheduled to be executed. (II Tim. 4:19) May we emulate this same spirit which his example prompted in all who would heed his counsel. “For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward.”—I Cor. 9:16,17