Friday, August 1, 2008

A look at Priscilla - the outline

Here is the short list of scripture references that mention Priscilla; Acts 18:2-3, Acts 18:18-21, Acts 18:24-28, Romans 16:3-5 and 2 Timothy 4:19. I will post the actual scripture that I’m referring to later on, but here is just a brief summery of each segment of scripture.

  • Priscilla and Aquila were Corinth when Paul met them, they were there because all Jews were forced to leave Rome, they all worked together making tents. They were together in Corinth about a year and a half. (Acts:18:2-3)
  • They then sailed with Paul to Syria and then “as far as Ephesus.” Paul left them at that point, they remained there. (Acts 18:18-21)
  • Priscilla and Aquila meet Apollos, they take him aside, (though it doesn’t say to where or for how long) they teach him, he goes his way. (Acts 18:24-28)
  • Eventually they went back to Rome and had a home church there. (Romans 16:3-5)
    Some years later they ended up back in Ephesus, still hosting a church in their home. (2Timonthy 4:19)

That’s basically all that you can realistically gather from scripture about this couple. There are obviously other information resources that look deeper into time and circumstance, however, strictly from reading about them in the bible, this is it.

Now, you may at this point be feeling like “So what? This lady moved a lot, whatever…” But if you look into her circumstances and place yourself in her shoes, you’ll find there is a wealth of character in her.

The first thing that stood out to me about Priscilla, or rather about this couple, is that their names were ALWAYS mentioned together, and never in a particular order. Never once was one name said that you didn’t immediately read the other. What does this say about there relationship? What does this say about there ministry?

The Second thing that stood out to me, which dramatically goes along with the first thing, is that Priscilla probably wasn’t Jewish, biblical scholars agree that she was probably Roman and of a high standing family. She didn’t have to leave Rome, only her Jewish husband did, She went with him though, and left a position of comfort, influence and reputation to follow her husband. (Not to mention, she left her family there)

The third thing that stood out to me was Priscilla’s hospitality. After just 2 years of marriage, I’ve found that when we open our home to someone, it’s not really Mark that cares what it looks like, or what we have to offer the people that come. It’s me, as the woman of the house I feel a sense of responsibility to serve the people that enter out home, whether it’s for a few minuets or for a year. Priscilla’s record of hospitality is incredible, she just didn’t take a break opening up her home to the local church body. How exhausting that must have been from time to time. Wherever they moved, their house was open as a place to fellowship with other believers.
The fourth thing, which I suppose isn’t really just specific to Priscilla, but rather the early church as a whole, is there commonality. I know that in our recent attraction to the “hippie commune” we’ve earned ourselves some strange looks and a bit of a weirdo reputation. Which is partly why it’s been something we’ve kept on the down low, but we’ll let you know when we’ve transcended from closet communers (don’t worry, I didn’t say communists) to public communers. At any rate, I thought it was so cool that Priscilla and Aquila were tentmakers, and so was Paul, that’s their original purpose that they started living together, they worked on there common trade. They weren’t just doing “church ministry” all the time, but were using their skills to earn money for their ministry. I’ve read that from time to time, Paul would stick to one place for a while in order to make enough tents to sell and then use that money to keep him going in ministry, probably until he ran out of money and needed to sell more tents. Seriously, read about the financial state of the early church, it makes so much sense. It’s inspiring! (Maybe that will be my next topic of study to post up here?…)

So, That’s pretty much what I’ll be focusing on for the time being. Remember, this is just what God’s got me hanging on for a while, I don’t know if it’s going to make any difference to you at all. Blogging is the new paperless journal I guess…

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