This week, we’ve been looking at a woman who is mentioned a few times in the New Testament: Priscilla. I know Rachel found our study of Lydia very inspiring last week, and I’ve found Priscilla to be similarly inspiring.
The verse we focused on was from Romans 16:3-5:
Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus. They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them. Greet also the church that meets at their house.
So who was Priscilla?
Priscilla is mentioned six times in the New Testament, and always with her husband, Aquila. So she was Aquila’s wife. Interestingly, though, she is very much Aquila’s equal and partner in ministry. His name is mentioned first three times, and her name is mentioned first three times.
They were Jewish tent-makers who lived in Rome and converted to Christianity. We don’t really know when this was, but they travelled with Paul and were missionaries with him.
In the verse we have studied, we see that Paul says, “They risked their lives for me.” This was a time when it was incredibly dangerous to be a Christian, and tradition does actually say that Priscilla and Aquila were later martyred, although we have no proof of this. So Priscilla’s faith was strong; she was brave and dependent on Christ.
This not only challenged my own faith – would I risk my life for Christ? but also made me think about persecuted Christians around the world. I’ve spent some time praying for Open Doors this week and for those who are persecuted for their faith.
There is a church that meets in their home. It’s very likely that Priscilla and Aquila established this church and led people to Christ there. In one of the stories about them, in Acts 18, they gently correct Apollos, taking him to one side to explain to him fully about the coming of Christ. So Priscilla is a teacher and church leader.
I find this very, very encouraging. In the UK, in some churches, there are still whispers about women in the church. We’ve only had women bishops for a few years. In so many churches, the leadership tends to be male. We know Jesus saw women as equals: Priscilla is also seen as an equal in her church.
Ministry with her husband
In our Facebook group, I asked about having a joint ministry with your husband, if you have a husband and if he is a believer. Did we think it was an essential? Did we think it was important? Desirable? Something we should strive for?
The women in our Facebook group shared openly and honestly. Some people felt they had a very clear ministry with their husband and that they complemented each other effectively. Others felt that it was something that would be nice, but that certainly wasn’t essential. Their own area of ministry was quite different to their husbands’. Others felt that their husbands – while perhaps not sharing their ministry – really supported that ministry.
Many of us have small children, and raising those children is a big part of our ministry. I’ve felt challenged this week to pray for how I can minister with my husband while juggling two small children – not an easy challenge.
Next week, we move on to look at Lois and Eunice in 2 Timothy 1:5: “I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.”
Don’t forget, you can also join in with the discussion in our Mummy Meditations Community over on Facebook.