Priscilla – Using the home for sharing God’s Word

Is this how an imaginary interview with Priscilla towards the end of her life might have proceeded?

Can you explain why you’re named in God’s records as both Priscilla and Prisca?

Ah, that’s because Paul used my proper name, ‘Prisca’(1), but Luke used the less formal ‘Priscilla’(2) which implies ‘ancient’! Ever the perfect gentleman was Paul! It’s Italian, as Aquila and I were born and raised in Italy. We lived there until a dispute between Jews and Christians in AD49(3) led Claudius to expel all Jews and so we moved to Corinth.(4)

You seem to have moved around Asia Minor during your life and had many amazing experiences.

We did have the privilege of Paul living with us and working in our tent-making business for over a year.(5) He was a great example of how to work hard, as he didn’t want to take us for granted; yet he spent so much time serving the Lord, too. Later, as we relocated twice, we were privileged to host first the Church of God in Ephesus – and then in Rome – in our homes.(6,7) We have found using our home for the Lord’s work has brought us such blessing personally.

Don’t you find all this hospitality a burden?

The Lord has given us a home, so we try to use it for Him. We both know God expects us to be hospitable(8) – particularly with others in our church.(9) Sharing everything should be usual practice in a church of God – homes, food, money – so no one is left in need. This is an effective witness of the love of the Lord Jesus in action.(10)

Luke recorded an incident in Ephesus when the scholarly Apollos arrived in the city and preached and it would seem as if you helped to correct his understanding.(11)

For some reason, my name often comes before Aquila’s when we are spoken about, so people think I am in charge! It could be because I am more outgoing than Aquila. I may have occasionally needed to encourage Aquila, but that’s Christian marriage, supporting and encouraging one another to serve the Lord wholeheartedly.(12)

Apollos had such a conviction about Jesus being the Messiah that he spent all his time in the synagogues preaching. His knowledge of the Scriptures was second to none, but he preached baptism as a sign of repentance as taught by John the Baptist. We didn’t want to embarrass this man who loved the Lord and was so courageous, so we invited him over so that we could share what we had learned from Paul’s time with us in Corinth, which of course he had been taught from the Lord directly.(13)

How did you go about bringing relevant truths to Apollos’ attention?

Paul had made it quite clear to us that it is the man’s role to teach,(14) so it was always Aquila who led. We always find time spent over a meal generates a good atmosphere for learning. But my role isn’t just catering! I listen carefully to the discussion and then use appropriate questions to tease out something that has been missed, or help to explain things if they have not been properly grasped. We have found this works well. We love working together for the Lord. With all the persecution, we know we have to make the most of every opportunity.(15) We are so grateful for all Jesus has done for us. If we have to, we will die for Him! I just hope it’s together.

What was the impact on Apollos?

Apollos became a fearless teacher.(16) Aquila could never have stood up and debated in public like Apollos did, handling the Scriptures so eloquently. But, if the Lord hadn’t used our home and Aquila’s gifts, perhaps Apollos would never have been able to do that. It’s so encouraging to think that when you give your home to the Lord amazing things can happen.

Thank you for sharing your experiences with us Priscilla. No wonder Paul called you and Aquila his ‘fellow-workers’.(17)

We are all the Lord’s co-workers! Remember that and it will impact your lives every day.

References: (1) e.g. 2 Tim. 4:19 ESV (2) e.g. Acts 18:2 (3) New Bible Dictionary, IVP, 1962, p.51 (4) Acts 18:1-2 (5) Acts 18:3,11 (6) 1 Cor. 16:19 (7) Rom. 16:3,5 (8) 1 Pet. 4:9 (9) Gal. 6:10 (10) Acts 2:44-47 (11) Acts 18:24-26 (12) Eph. 6:7 (13) 1 Cor. 15:3 (14) 1 Tim.2:12 (15) Eph. 5:16 (16) Acts 18:28 (17) Rom. 16:3

Tony & Joy Jones, Aberkenfig, Wales

Bible quotations from NIV