Priscilla And Aquila

Priscilla And Aquila

Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus.
–Romans 16:3

In Romans 16, Paul gave personal greetings to 24 individuals. In verses 3-5, he mentioned Prisca (or Priscilla) and Aquila. He said, “Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who for my life risked their own necks, to whom not only do I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles; also greet the church that is in their house.”

This couple, Priscilla and Aquila, were mentioned six times in the New Testament. Through these six references, we are able to piece together their life story. Priscilla and Aquila were Jews who lived in Rome and were tentmakers by profession. When the emperor Claudius instituted an empire-wide ban on Jews living in Rome, Priscilla and Aquila fled to the city of Corinth. And it was there that they were introduced to the Apostle Paul, who was there for 18 months.

Paul introduced Priscilla and Aquila to faith in Jesus Christ. They also probably were instrumental in teaching him how to become a tentmaker. They stood with him in Corinth, and then they went along with him to Ephesus. After Paul left Ephesus, they stayed there for a while, and it was while they were there that Priscilla and Aquila met a preacher named Apollos. Apollos was a gifted speaker, but he did not know much about the Scriptures. So they took him aside privately and taught him the Scriptures, and he became, next to Peter and Paul, the greatest preacher in the New Testament era. In fact, many people believe that Apollos wrote the book of Hebrews. All through the encouragement of this couple–Aquila and Priscilla.

After Claudius was deposed as emperor, Priscilla and Aquila returned to Rome and became an important part of the church there. So Paul sent greetings to his special friends. And notice what he said: “For my life [they] risked their own necks” (16:4). We do not know the details of what happened when Priscilla and Aquila helped Paul. Perhaps it was in Ephesus when Paul’s preaching against idols caused a great downturn in the idol-making business in Ephesus. The townspeople were so upset that they wanted to kill Paul. Perhaps Priscilla and Aquila were ones who helped Paul escape from Ephesus. Or maybe as tentmakers in Ephesus, they risked their own livelihood by being associated with the Apostle Paul.

When I read this passage, I think about church members through the years who have stood with me through unpopular stances. I think about a church we served in a smaller town. The chairman of the deacons owned a store in that town. I had taken a biblical stand that was unpopular, so some of the members of the community went to his store and said, “If you stand with this pastor, we are going to boycott your store.” He said, “I am standing with the pastor. I am standing for the Word of God.” I am grateful for a man like that–somebody who is willing to risk maybe not his physical life, but his livelihood to stand for God’s truth. That was Priscilla and Aquila.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Power Of A Positive Word” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2014.

Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.