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There he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, and, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them, and they worked together—by trade they were tentmakers. (Acts 18:2-3)
Happy Friday, Dear Friend! My prayers are for you to be blessed on this day and tomorrow and so by Sunday, you'll be bursting with joy and blessings as you enter God's House to worship Him! Whatever is troubling or worrying you, turn it over to the Lord. "Come to me, all who are heavy-laden and I will give you rest."
The passage for today introduces us to a Christian Jewish couple. They were forced out of Rome by Claudius and his anti-Semitic policy. As the verse says, this couple, like Paul, were tent-makers. Any vocation of Christian workers not fully supported by the ministry is called a tent-making ministry. You may find in some small towns, where a pastor will be a teacher in the schools during the week (that's his or her tent-making ministry), and on Sundays, they preach the Gospel. This is where the term originated.
Priscilla is known in some circles, as the first presbyter; fully ordained woman to preach the gospel. She is also known as the silent author of The Letter to the Hebrews, an awesome book, written in an eloquent style that some believe to be the produce of her hand. Think of the powerful verses that bless our lives from that letter: Look at 11:1, for example: "Faith is the assurance of things hoped for; the conviction of things not seen." And let us not forget, 13:8: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever."
Priscilla is the diminutive of Prisca and it means "worthy or venerable." We find her formal name mentioned in 2 Timothy 4:19, when Paul asks to "Greet Prisca and Aquila." In most other references, she is always mentioned as the wife of Aquila; but together they blessed the early Church as well as the ministry of Jesus through Paul. It is believed she was converted to Christianity in Rome, and even though expelled because of her heritage that only served to strengthen her faith. She and her husband arrive in Corinth and there they meet Apollos, an eloquent preacher and speaker, but he did not yet know the way of Christ. He was a follower of John the Baptist and his teachings, and it was Priscilla who instructed him in the knowledge of Christ's crucifixion and resurrection, making him a more effective evangelist for the sake of Jesus.
Many have noted that the zeal of Priscilla and her husband, bless many in the knowledge that together they were one in their faith in Jesus. They worked together for the sake of God's work in Jesus. Others have noted that they were one in marital bliss. Their love of Christ fueled their love for one another and made their lives stronger. They were also one in their secular occupation as tentmakers. They worked side by side and even allowed Paul in to work with them. Eventually, they opened their home for other believers starting a house church where the faith was shared with new believers.
Here's our take-away from this amazing woman of faith: A strong, solid faith in Jesus Christ will see you through any thing, including a forced deportation by a government who opposes and despised you. A strong, solid shared faith with your spouse blesses them and you, and ultimately those who know you. A strong, exciting faith in Jesus will allow you to open your home and heart to others in the hope they that too, can come into faith in Jesus Christ.
We do not know how they died, but Paul knew they stood with him even as he died, citing they "risked their necks" in trying to save him. But one thing we know, their love for God through Jesus and love of God's people assured them a place in the eternal kingdom of God.
PRAYER: Loving God, let me where I am right now, serve You. I should not wait for things to get better or easier, to enter into dedicated, committed service to You and yours. Anoint me with Your Spirit that I may bring wonderful blessings all around me. This I pray in Christ Jesus' precious and powerful name, amen.
Have a great and blessed day in the Lord! Start blessing God right now with what you have!