Ready to Help
Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus. They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them. Romans 16:3–4
The apostle Paul arrived in the port city of Corinth around 51 BC. The bustling trade route center, infamous for its immorality, would be the last stop in his second missionary journey—one that had included an imprisonment in Philippi and a riot in Thessalonica.
Paul may have been exhausted, both spiritually and physically, when he disembarked in Corinth. Graciously, the Spirit intervened and introduced Paul to a Jewish couple, Aquila and Priscilla.* They owned a tentmaking business in the poor working-class district of the wealthy city and became two of Paul’s closest friends.
Paul spent eighteen months in Corinth, teaching in the synagogue, working alongside his new friends, and establishing a church. Some Jews opposed his work, as they did in every city the apostle visited, but many Corinthians responded to the gospel, including Aquila and Priscilla.
When Paul left Corinth and traveled to Ephesus, Aquila and Priscilla accompanied him. When he returned to Jerusalem, they stayed in Ephesus to minister in the church there. At some point they returned to Rome and worked in that church (Romans 16:3). Later, they came back to Ephesus to help Timothy (2 Timothy 4:19).
The scriptural snapshots of Aquila and Priscilla indicate that they ministered faithfully in every church to which they belonged. They were the extra hands and feet for more celebrated New Testament Christians such as Paul and the other apostles. The couple labored with grace and diligence, with humility and integrity. Not only did Paul owe them an unpayable debt—they “risked their lives for me”—but he also said that every Gentile church owed them a debt of gratitude.
For every Paul God calls, there are dozens of Aquilas and Priscillas—faithful friends who make it possible for the Pauls to do their work effectively. Who is the Paul in your church? How can you support them? Who are the Aquilas and Priscillas in your church? How can you express your gratitude to them?
Read Acts 18:24–27. In what ways did Aquila and Priscilla minister to Apollos? What does this passage teach us about biblical friendship?
Read 1 Timothy 4:11–16. What advice did Paul give Timothy? Based on the Acts 18 passage above, how do you think Aquila and Priscilla supported Timothy?
Read 1 Thessalonians 5:12–24. How can we support other Christians in our circle of influence? Pray that God will show you how to be a better Priscilla or Aquila.
Denise K. Loock
This devotion is part of our series, Not-As-Famous Men and Women of the Bible.
*Unger’s Bible Dictionary says that Aquila and Priscilla fled “from Rome in consequence of an order of Claudius commanding all Jews to leave that city” (p. 90). Apparently that order was later rescinded because Aquila and Priscilla returned to Rome (Romans 16:3-5).