#26 Women of God: Priscilla
Updated: Aug 24, 2021
Paul had come from Athens, where he had had a hard time, to Corinth, a commercial city with 2 harbours. There he met a married couple named Priscilla and Aquila who had recently arrived from Rome after an edict of the Emperor Claudius expelled all Jews living there in 49-50 AD (Acts 18:1-3, 18-26). (Priscilla is the Roman diminutive for Prisca which was her formal name).
Paul worked well with Priscilla and Aquila in tent-making, evangelising, living in their home and attending the church in their home. After Corinth they travelled with Paul to Syria where Paul stayed a short while but the couple settled in Ephesus. They had great affection for Paul and remained loyal until Paul’s death.
Priscilla stands out as the leader and teacher, rather than Aquila. She established a house-church in their Ephesian home and privately instructed the scholarly Apollos about what Jesus did, said, and taught so that he could continue to skilfully evangelise in public.
From Ephesus, Aquila and Priscilla returned to Rome, established a house-church full of men and women. Paul singles them out as his “fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their own necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles” (Rom. 16:3-4).
I find it interesting that Paul wrote that Aquila and Priscilla had a substantial impact on the way the Christian movement grew amongst the Gentiles then, and ultimately, today. How much impact they had I think can be read between the lines for Paul wrote that when he was in Corinth, he was there in weakness, fear and trembling and his speech was feeble, inadequate and anxious (I Cor. 2:3-4).
Whilst Paul demonstrated the Spirit and power, it was up to others to bridge the gap in teaching and preaching. Since both Aquila and Priscilla had already been singled out as articulate and persuasive instructors of the Gospel I would assume they filled a large part of the education in the early church.
May we be amongst the ones who fear God and receive instruction so that our place of refuge will remain forever (Zeph. 3:7). In that day when Jesus reigns there will be no more edicts to expel you for: “The LORD has taken away your judgments, He has cast out your enemy, The King of Israel, the LORD, is on your midst; you shall see disaster no more” (Zeph. 3:15).
The most beautiful promise to the saints of God follows: “The LORD your God is in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing” (Zeph. 3:17).
No matter how you are persecuted, where you live, who you are married to, what sex you are, what your job is, God can use you powerfully. All God wants is a willing heart.
Quotes are in the NKJV.