Life lessons from Aquila and Priscilla, husband and wife whose testimony has been an example of humility and helpfulness for families for two thousand years.
We are introduced to them when Paul arrived at the city of Corinth –
I. They took him unto themselves.
Acts 18:2 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.
Acts 18:3 And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.
They opened unto him –
A. Their business
B. Their home
C. Their hearts.
We see that while they helped Paul, being a blessing to him, they found that they were the ones being blessed. They heard the truth of the Gospel and turned to God for salvation. They gave their hearts, their home, and their business to the Lord and submitted to the Lord and applied the instructions of the Word of God from His apostle, Paul, to their lives.
We see that –
II. They trained under the instruction of Paul.
They became partners in the ministry of the Gospel for the next eighteen months.
A. They were instructed in the fulfilment of Biblical Prophecy. Acts 18:4,5
Jesus of Nazareth, the promised Messiah, had come and fulfilled the Scriptures written of Him. (Family members could discuss some of the promises of God that were fulfilled in the life of Jesus).
B. They were instructed in the preaching the Gospel to all the world. Acts 18:6-8
The command of the Jesus to witness unto Him (Acts 1:8), beginning in Jerusalem and “…unto the uttermost part of the earth” was seen in action through Paul’s preaching to the Jews the Greek proselytes, first at the Synagogue in Corinth and then turning to the Gentile residents of the city.
C. They were instructed in the power of God to overcome opposition to the ministry of the Word of God. Read Acts 18:6 and 12-17. (Discuss some of the trouble they faced. How were the problems solved?)
Do you have problems that must be dealt with? Do you see that God helped Paul, Aquila, and Priscilla and He will help you too.
Have a family member read Psalm 46:1 and Hebrews 4:15 and 16.
III. They traveled with Paul to Ephesus
Acts 18:18-20 And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow. And he came to Ephesus, and left them there: but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews. When they desired him to tarry longer time with them, he consented not;
A. Their reception in Ephesus.
Aquila and Priscilla arrived in the city with Paul. He led the group to visit the Jews of the city at the Synagogue and preached the Gospel.
“…he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews.”
It seems that at that time they were welcomed and had no resistance to the message of truth being preached. Following this, Paul departed as he had planned for Jerusalem and left them in the city.
When Paul departed, we see –
B. Their reliance upon the Lord.
“…When they desired him to tarry longer time with them, he consented not…”
They had been with Paul in the establishment of the church in Corinth. Aquila and Priscilla had grown in the grace and knowledge of God and His work, but were anxious about Paul leaving them to minister alone. He knew them and that they would indeed trust God. He left them to continue doing what they had been doing in Corinth, to do as he had done, trust God to lead them in the preaching and teaching of His Word. He comforted them with the promise that, if the Lord willed, He would return to them.
C. Their residence in Ephesus.
They established a residence in the city along with a relationship with the Jewish community. Their influence, along with Paul’s preaching of the gospel to this group, may have allowed the preacher Apollos to have an opportunity to speak in the synagogue. It is obvious that they listened intently to the message and found that Apollos had not been taught the whole truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Acts 18:25 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.
Their ability to teach Apollos reveals the careful and full instruction given by Paul in his ministry of the Word to them –
Acts 18:26 And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.
D. Their receiving of the church into their home.
Following Paul’s return from Jerusalem the church grew and disputations arose in the synagogue. Paul began preaching at a school and also in the home of Aquila and Priscilla. They had given themselves wholly to the Lord to serve Him in any way they could.
1 Corinthians 16:19 The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.
IV. They trusted the Lord to direct their lives.
Romans 16:3-5 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. Likewise greet the church that is in their house…
Sometime between Paul’s final departure from Ephesus and his writing the letter to Rome, they returned to the city of Rome, from whence they had been expelled along with all of the Jews about 8 years before. They were examples of those believers who had presented their “…bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” They had been helpers to all and were well known throughout the churches. They again gave what they had to the Lord, opening their home to the church.
Aquila and Priscilla understood and applied the truth that Paul declared in his letter to the church in Philippi –
Philippians 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
The word ‘conversation’ means our citizenship, our home. The believer, while alive here on earth, is on a journey to his home. Our Lord Jesus Christ is preparing this home even at this time –
John 14:1-3 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
Their desire was to be “vessels unto honour” in the hand of the Lord and be where He wanted them, when He wanted them, and doing what He wanted them to do. We see this testimony in their lives in the final mention of them in Scripture. Following Paul’s final imprisonment in Rome, he wrote to Timothy in Ephesus and we find that Aquila and Priscilla were again residing in that city.
2 Timothy 4:19 Salute Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus.
We see in their lives a couple who dedicated their lives to the Lord and did not make plans, asking God to bless their plans, but they asked God to reveal to them His plan for them. Do we think like them, simply wanting to be where God would have us to be?
If God would lead someone to write a brief outline of our lives, would we be an encouragement to others? Would it be said of us that we were truly as stated in 2 Corinthians chapter 15 that we are “in Christ, he is a new creature…” and that “we are ambassadors for Christ…”?
Will you give your life to the Lord tonight?
Will you be like Aquila and Priscilla and be ready to help others, opening their hearts, home, property – giving of themselves as unto the Lord.