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The Pastor's Blog

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As Paul’s second missionary journey was drawing to a close, he came to Corinth where he labored for “a year and a half, teaching the word of God” (Acts 18:11). Silas and Timothy were among his companions and coworkers, as was a Jewish couple, Aquila and Priscilla. “Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome” (Acts 18:2) were, like Paul, “tentmakers by trade” (Acts 18:3). Apparently, they established “Tents r Us” and Paul “stayed with them and worked” (Acts 18:3).

It's unclear whether Aquila and Priscilla became followers of Christ before coming to Corinth or if Paul led them to saving faith. Regardless, in Paul’s company, their faith was strengthened, and they became important partners in the spread of the Gospel across the Roman empire.

After establishing a Christian church in Corinth, “Paul said farewell to the brothers and sisters and sailed away to Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila” (Acts 18:18). The first port of call was Ephesus, on the southeastern shore of the Aegean Sea, “where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila” (Acts 18:19, NIV). While Paul was in Jerusalem and Antioch, Aquila and Priscilla were busy bi-vocational ministers. They split their time, making tents and making disciples.

“Now a Jew named Apollos, a native Alexandrian, an eloquent man who was competent in the use of the Scriptures, arrived in Ephesus”(Acts 18:24). In the first century, Alexandria was the capital of Egypt and home of the Empire’s largest library. It was the most learned and scholarly city in the world.

Apollos “had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he was speaking and teaching accurately about Jesus, although he knew only John’s baptism” (Acts 18:25). Though he was sincere and bold in his preaching, he wasn’t preaching a complete Gospel. He was preaching John’s message of repentance without Jesus’ message of grace.

“After Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained the way of God to him more accurately” (Acts 18:26). The tent-making duo told Apollos about the finished work of Jesus at Calvary and the great gift of God’s Spirit given first at Pentecost. Armed with the Glorious Gospel, Apollos was soon commissioned to serve in Athens and Corinth where “he vigorously refuted the Jews in public, demonstrating through the Scriptures that Jesus is the Messiah” (Acts 18:28).

On Paul’s third missionary journey, Paul returned to Ephesus where he was reunited with Aquila and Priscilla. During this time, Paul wrote his First Epistle to the Corinthians. In his closing remarks, Paul wrote: “The churches of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Priscilla send you greetings warmly in the Lord, along with the church that meets in their home” (1 Corinthians 16:19). Did you catch that? Aquila and Priscilla were church planters. There was a church that met in there living room.

A little later, at the end of Paul’s third missionary journey, he addressed a letter to Rome: “Give my greetings to Prisca and Aquila, my coworkers in Christ Jesus, who risked their own necks for my life. Not only do I thank them, but so do all the Gentile churches. Greet also the church that meets in their home” (Romans 16:3–5). Apparently, the couple had returned to Rome where they established another home-church.

They must have returned to Ephesus, because at the end of Paul’s life he penned a letter to Timothy, the young pastor at Ephesus. “Greet Prisca and Aquila… and all the brothers and sisters. The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you all” (2 Timothy 4:19–22).

They were just simple tent makers… but they walked with Jesus…


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