Originally published Tuesday, 29 July 2014.
Last Tuesday we learned how Priscilla and Aquila entertained Paul (and thus probably his traveling companion, Luke) and equipped Apollos in the complete knowledge of the gospel. Today we consider how they endangered their lives for the gospel and encouraged the Body of Christ, His church. Finally, we will consider what women of the 21st century can learn from the life of Priscilla.
Endangering Their Lives for the Gospel:
Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks but all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks as well. (Romans 16:3-4)
We are told that Priscilla and Aquila risked their lives for the Apostle Paul but the details surrounding the specific event are not made known to us. They considered Paul's life as more important than their own and his ministry of greater importance for reaching the Gentiles. Moreover, they demonstrated they were committed unto Christ Jesus even unto death.
Priscilla and Aquila followed in the footsteps of Christ Jesus in true love and friendship outlined in John 15:13:
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
While their offering was sincere, they would be spared along with Paul to proclaim the gospel message. Additionally, like Paul, they would later give their lives for the salvation message they proclaimed. Tradition has it that Priscilla and Aquila were martyred in Rome. (Exploring Church History, J.P. Eckman, 2002)
Encouraged the Body:
Priscilla and Aquila were transient. They moved multiple times in the Bible. From Pontus to Rome to Corinth and Ephesus then reportedly back to Rome. In city after city, Priscilla and Aquila opened their home to preaching and teaching of the Word. They viewed their home as an extension of ministry; a commodity to be used for living out and sharing the gospel. Priscilla and Aquila grasped the reality that earthly life is temporary and true citizenship is granted beyond death.
What can women learn from the life of this influential woman of the Bible?
- She lived a life of ministry. (Mark 10:45)
- She was an exemplary partner in the ministry with her husband. (Ecclesiastes 4:9)
- She equipped and evangelized. Priscilla was a woman bent on fulfilling the Great Commission. (Matthew 28:19-20)
- She followed the teachings of Paul in that she learned and ministered in line with scriptural mandates. (2 Timothy 2:11-12)
Jesus' earthly ministry and the teachings of his followers validated women more than any other religion in history. Priscilla's actions fell in line with the mandates of God and we can follow her lead. We know this because Paul was accustomed to call out women within the church who were outside the mandates of God in his other writings. He does not do this with Priscilla. She is a woman who kept ministerial boundaries in accordance with the scriptural mandates.That is the type of women we need in the church today.
We should strive to become women and couples who follow in the Christ-centered footsteps of this God-fearing, God-honoring couple.