Priscilla Aquila
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Priscilla Aquila
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Wealthy Business People

Paul and ApollosThough Saint Luke the Evangelist's description was not completely clear, it would seem probable that Saint Apollos had no knowledge of the risen Lord until Aquila and Priscilla who were two wealthy business people informed him. He had merely been impressed with the preaching of John the Baptist who foretold the coming of one mightier than himself, the Lord Jesus Christ. Dr. Michael Green the British author and evangelist, (1930-present) tells us that Priscilla and Aquila were wealthy and generous people who owned homes in several cities. They were prepared to take lodgers like Saint Paul and Saint Apollos and they were willing to open their home up further to the Christian community with all the inconvenience that must have sometimes involved.

Open Home

Roman Era HouseA household of faith church met in Priscilla and Aquila's homes in Corinth, Ephesus, and Rome. They kept open house and went to the trouble of writing commendatory letters for their visitors upon departure, putting them in touch with other Christians friends elsewhere. They did not forget absent friends either but were diligent in sending greetings to them. There must have been something infectious about their Christian faith and their relationship to one another which impressed visitors to their home.

Learned The Way

The WaySaint Apollos learned "the Way" from his stay in Priscilla and Aquila's home. "The Way" was an early probably derogatory description of the Christian community and its disciples. They were initially considered as a sect. Their name probably came from a saying of Jesus in John 14.6 "I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man comes to the Father, but by me." Acts 24.14 also described the Christian church as "The Way" when Saint Paul said, "I admit that I worship the God of our ancestors as a follower of the Way, which they call a sect." "The Way" by the way, is also a description of the pilgrimage route called "the Way of St James" from France into Spain. Although Saint Apollos was already an able expositor of Scripture, we read that he learned to show from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Messiah.

An Encouragement

Academy of AthensThe Priscilla and Aquila house welcomed Saint Paul and encouraged him in the Christian Faith. When Paul met Priscilla and Aquila, he appears to have been somewhat depressed after his comparative lack of success in Athens. Dr. Michael Green (1930-present) explains, "Companionship in their household revived him. He began to argue in the synagogue weekly and convince both Jews and Greeks about the truth of Jesus."

Jesus the Messiah

Moreover, we read that he became gripped by the Word while he was staying at Priscilla and Aquila's home. Is this a result of the daily family study of the Scriptures in which they engaged? Though much is guesswork as we try to look at the lives of these early Christians, it is clear enough that they had a warmth of faith in Jesus Christ and love for him that led them to sacrifice privacy, security, finances, and even personal safety (on one occasion they risked their lives for Paul) in order to spread the Gospel. Priscilla and Aquila's homes must have been exceedingly effective in the evangelistic outreach of the Church. This is a wonderful model for Christians to follow today.

Early Christian House

Justin MartyrAnother Early Church house became a center in which people like Justin Martyr were converted to the Faith. Not only was the conversion of an Early Christian House the natural or even the necessary way of establishing a new religion in unfamiliar surroundings, but early Christian houses remained the soundest basis for the meetings of Christians. In several cases, the preachers were entertained and requested to carry on their activities from that platform. Among the persons to whom greetings were sent in one letter, for instance, three sets represent early Christian houses, and two others were drawn from inferior members of households whose heads are by implication, not Christians. This latter phenomenon suggested a looseness in the groups concerned, though it is still significant that even when detached from their group for religious reasons they remain a coherent body.

Christian Faith House

Aquila and PriscillaA Christian faith house such as Priscilla and Aquila's where they prayed daily became the center of operations for Christian ministry in an area. Saint Paul used Christian faith houses to offer hospitality and teach the Scriptures. He showed his loyalty to the hope of Israel, and his deep conviction that in Jesus salvation was to be found. Dr. Michael Green (1930-present) adds in "Evangelism in the Early Church," "when Paul claimed in his farewell address to the Ephesian elders that he had taught them, in public and from house to house, testifying both to Jews and Greeks of repentance to God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, it was no idle boast. One Christian faith house belonged to a first-century couple, Aquila and Priscilla. Whether or not they were Christians before they met Paul at Corinth is disputed, but thereafter there could be no doubt about the matter. It was, obviously enough, one of several worshiping Christian faith houses."

Teach the Scriptures

As Jews, Priscilla and Aquila and would have prayed daily in their home together, as Christians, they would have done no less. They were probably regular attendees at the synagogue, and it was here that they discovered Apollos, and seeing that they could be of help to this most promising and talented man, they invited him round to their home and instructed him further in the faith. "What uses did early Christians make of their houses? Which of these methods could be useful today?"

Christian Gospel House

Paul's Hired HouseMany a Christian gospel house in Rome was used as a center of faith where believers gathered and from which they went out to evangelize the city. Christian homes were used in various ways in the service of the Gospel. The Acts of the Apostles shows us many a Christian gospel houses being used for prayer meetings, for an evening of Christian fellowship, for Holy Communion services, for a whole night of prayer, worship, and instruction. They were also developed for impromptu evangelistic gatherings and for planned meetings to hear the Christian Gospel, for following up enquirers, and for organized instruction.

Center of Evangelism

Group at PrayerIn Rome, we also find Saint Paul making the most interesting use of his hired house. Dr. Michael Green (1930-present) explains in "Evangelism in the Early Church", "He [Paul] was no longer able to go out to preach the gospel, so he invited leading Jews to come to his residence for a full day of talking and discussion. His approach is superb. He takes the initiative and explains the reason for his presence in Rome before they could produce any garbled accounts that may have reached them from Judea. He was brief, factual, conciliatory and to the point." The Christian Gospel House like Priscilla and Aquila's was an effective means of doing evangelism.

"Priscilla Aquila"
by Ron Meacock © 2019

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