The Book of Acts often seems to focus on the big names but in this chapter we come across Aquila and Priscilla who are the most amazing, encouraging and obedient couple in the New Testament. They also appear in Romans Ch.16, 1 Corinthians Ch.16 and 2 Timothy Ch.4 as an example to us today.
In A.D.49 the Roman emperor Claudius had expelled all the Jews from Rome due to the disturbances of the Christian message in the Jewish synagogues. Aquila and Priscilla arrived in Corinth, a politically and economically influential city 46 miles west of Athens.
Here they focused on what they could do rather on what they couldn’t do, a message and example for us today. They set up home working their trade as tent makers and provided Paul with the security and support of a base for his ministry. 1 Corinthians Ch.9 says Paul supported himself rather than seek assistance from the Corinthians, this is the ministry of Aquila and Priscilla – remember Paul was also a tentmaker (what they could do not focusing on what they could not do!)
Paul is also joined by Silas and Timothy while speaking the Gospel to the Jews in the synagogue. The outrage of the Jews directs Paul to preach to the Gentiles. Many believed and God spoke the encouraging words to Paul “Do not be afraid but go on speaking”. The Jews try to bring him to justice but just end up infighting amongst themselves! Paul stays 18 months in Corinth teaching the Word of God amongst them, a secure base indeed.
Paul then moves to Ephesus taking Aquila and Priscilla with him, he leaves them there whilst moving on to Antioch in Syria – strange decision you might think. God is at work because in Ephesus we read of Apollos a Jew eloquent, competent in the Scriptures and teaching accurately the things concerning Jesus. Priscilla and Aquila heard him and took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. Notice they didn’t criticise him in public but taught him out of the limelight. Apollos grew in his ministry and appears throughout the New Testament; Paul refers to him – Apollos waters.
What an amazing, faithful couple we see in Aquila and Priscilla. They carried on through the disruption of oppression and then moved again when led rather than circumstance. Others benefitted from their ministry and grew from it. Certainly they are an example to us that none of us are a one person ministry, we thrive as team and learn from each other through life’s circumstances and the Lord’s ministries given to us.