Partners in life, Partners in Christ
Recently, our congregation hosted Vacation Bible School. It was very exciting since it was the first VBS since 2019. During this week of learning we studied people with fearless faith, and one of the lessons talked about was Aquila and Priscilla. I loved this lesson because it had a personal meaning to me.
About 5 years ago, I was a newlywed enjoying all the new and exciting things that come with being married to the man who I was so thrilled to be spending the rest of my life with. With all the splendor that comes with being newly married there are also some challenges and adjustments that have to be made. One adjustment that I was trying to figure out is my spiritual role in evangelism.
Our congregation was doing a door knocking ministry that Dean and I were a part of. In this ministry, our job was to simply ask a few questions and gauge interest to find an opportune time to “close the deal” and set up a future bible study. Simple enough right? Well, I was having a hard time figuring out my place once the door opened. I would get nervous and talk too much OR I would get scared to speak as a woman so I would go completely silent. Neither one was helpful for the mission of Christ, so what was I to do? After one Saturday of door knocking, Dean and I asked one of the elders for guidance; he just happened to be the same one we did marriage counseling with so we had a great relationship with him and his wife. He pointed us to Aquila and Pricilla.
There is a specific account we went to, but before we get to that, let’s dive into who Aquille and Priscilla are. We meet Aquila and his wife Priscilla during Paul’s second missionary journey.
Acts 18:1 - 4 says,
1 After these things Paul departed from Athens and went to Corinth. 2 And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla (because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome); and he came to them. 3 So, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked; for by occupation they were tentmakers. 4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks.
We learn a few foundational things from this passage: Aquila and Pricilla were husband and wife who recently made a journey from Rome; they were tent makers by trade; and, most importantly, they made themselves available to Paul and opened up their home to him. We know they were hospitable because later in the same chapter in verse 18 we learn that Paul stayed with them for a year and a half. We do not know if they were Christians or Jews when Paul arrived, but we do know they did convert at some point. Not only did they convert, they had a church in their home. In 1 Corinthians 16 Paul writes,
19 The churches of Asia greet you. Aquila and Priscilla greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.
Aquilia and Priscilla were also mentioned in Romans for having a church in their home which tells us they eventually moved back to Rome after being in Corinth and Asia. Romans 16:3,5,
3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, 5 Likewise greet the church that is in their house.
We see that, wherever they went, they were serving the Lord! Now that we know who they are, what can we learn from them regarding evangelism as husband and wife? While in Ephesus, they meet a man named Apollos. I had read their account before, but as a new wife the text had new meaning to me.
Acts 18:24-26 gives an account of Aquila and Priscilla's brief interaction with Apollos.
24 Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. 25 This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.
This short but powerful interaction taught me so much. Focusing on Verse 26 we see the short interaction and ministry of Aquila and Priscillas, but it gives us all we need to know.
1- They had a private conversation and not public embarrassment. They pulled him aside to teach him. This should teach us that the setting is everything. It doesn’t seem appropriate for a husband and wife to publicly teach someone, and, frankly, the Christian should never seek to publicly shame. We have to remember that saving the soul is always the goal, not showing that we are right.
2- This was an explanation. Apollos simply did not know any better so they taught him. They did not seek to condemn him, they wanted him to know better so that he could use his inference to teach others the right way.
3- This involved both male and female cooperation not domination. The bible says they, meaning they both went and they both explained. Although the role of the woman in the church is clearly laid out in scripture, this doesn't mean women do not have a role in evangelism. This verse shows us that women can and should participate in furthering the kingdom of God.
I will close with how powerful a couple can be when they submit to God. Paul write that they saved his life in Romans 3:4,
3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, 4 who risked their own necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.
Women and men all have a duty to use what we know to teach others Christ and Him crucified. We have a Risen Savior, and He has empowered us to teach the soul saving message to the lost.
Source: Apologetics Press Inc. Fearless VBS