Priscilla and Aquila - Romans 16

Priscilla and Aquila

Romans 16:1-27

The names Priscilla and Aquila do not rhyme.  The latter is pronounced a-key-yah.  Both names were Romans names, even though Aquila was a Jew.

In this 16th chapter of Romans the apostle Paul sends greetings to many Christian friends who were living in Rome.  More than twenty-five are mentioned by name with Priscilla and Aquila heading the list.

"Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus."  Romans 16:3.  Paul first met them in Corinth, where the Jewish couple had moved from Italy because of an edict by Claudius, the emperor.  They first worked together as tentmakers, an occupation which they shared.  Paul also lived together with them.  Acts 18:1-3. 

When the apostle left Corinth and went to Ephesus, Priscilla and Aquila accompanied him.  Acts 18:18, 19.  Paul's visit to Ephesus was brief.  He moved on to Syria, but his fellow workers remained behind.

"Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, and eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus.  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."  Acts 18:24, 25.  This powerful preacher didn't know that Jesus the Christ had come, had died on the cross for our sins, and rose again.  "When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately."  Acts 18:26.  They dealt with Apollos privately and persuasively.

Priscilla and Aquila had not only labored with Paul, they also had "risked their own necks" for him.  Romans 16:4.  We don't know when this occurred.  Active missionaries are always at risk.  This was true in the early church and is just as true today.  Some places are more volatile than others, but missionary service is hazardous duty.

Paul was not alone in giving thanks to Priscilla and Aquila.  "Also all of the churches of the Gentiles" knew of their courageous ministry and were thankful.  How wonderful that this Jewish couple were well received by Gentiles!  They had been banished from Rome, but found acceptance elsewhere.

Paul's greeting was extended to "the church that is in their house."  Romans 16:5.  The apostolic church often met in private homes.  Even today many churches were born in someone's house. 

The last reference to Priscilla and Aquila is found in 2 Timothy 4:19: "Greet Prisca (another name for Priscilla) and Aquila...."  We first met them in Corinth, where they moved from Italy.  Next they went to Ephesus with Paul.  Later they returned to Rome, and received this greeting from Paul.  Finally, they are together with a young pastor named Timothy back in Ephesus.

This pair are always mentioned together.  They lived together, worked together, served God together, and faced danger together.  Their names do not rhyme, but they were obviously in harmony with each other.  How the church of Jesus Christ needs couples like them today!   

 

Heavenly Father, thank You for the wonderful testimony of Priscilla and Aquila in Your Word.  We can see You at work in them and through them.  May we follow their example.  In Jesus' name.  Amen!

 
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