Friday, June 7, 2013

Priscilla Power

In Acts 18, we read the story of Priscilla and Aquila's encounter with Apollos.

Before we look at that encounter, I want to look more closely at Priscilla. Married to Aquila, she was from Italy. (Acts 18:2) She had recently (at the time of the writing of Acts) come to Corinth with her husband due to persecution; Claudius had commanded that all Jews depart from Rome. Acts 16:19 tells us that Priscilla and Aquila had a church in their house. Paul stayed with them in their home because he had the same occupation; they were tent makers.

This brief glimpse into the Priscilla's life speaks volumes about this amazing woman. She was not a silent bystander while her husband did everything. She was not in the background simply cheering him on, praising him for what he was doing. She was hands-on. The Scripture says "they" were tent makers. She was a tent maker. She had suffered the same persecution as her husband. She was right in the thick of that church in her house. She and her husband traveled on a missions trip with Paul, first to Syria, then to Ephesus (Acts 18:18).

While in Ephesus, Paul left them there and went to various places. While in Ephesus, Priscilla and Aquila met Apollos, an eloquent man who spoke mightily in the Scriptures. Verse 25 says he was "instructed in the way of the Lord," was "fervent in spirit," spoke "diligently the things of the Lord," but that "he only knew the baptism of John." His information was incomplete, yet he "spoke boldly in the synagogue." Guess who was there and heard him? Priscilla and Aquila. As soon as they heard him, they pulled him aside and they "expounded" (explained) the Scriptures "more perfectly" (accurately) to him.

Priscilla and Aquila did this, together. The Scripture gives no indication whatsoever that Aquila did all the talking while Priscilla silently listened. They explained the Scripture to Apollos. They gave him the full, accurate story. They.

God treats men and women as equals.

I met a traveling evangelist once. I spoke to him, introduced myself and shook his hand. He did not look me in the eye one time. I was very frustrated about that and said, "Is there something wrong?"

His reply shocked me. He said, "I don't look women in the eye, and generally don't talk to them. My wife can't always travel with me, so looking at and talking to women can be a problem."

This man has a problem all right. If he can't so much as look at a woman and talk to a woman, his problem is severe and he is not qualified to be an evangelist or in any spiritual leadership position. Imagine! How would he take it if Priscilla confronted him? Would he listen? Apollos listened, took her and her husband's advice and went on to "convince the Jews, and publicly, that Jesus was Christ."

Priscilla was not afraid to be grounded in Scripture. She was not afraid to talk to anyone about doctrine and straighten them out if she needed to. Priscilla was  not a silent bystander who only listened while her husband did the work of the ministry. She was in the thick of it, boldly serving, speaking out about incomplete doctrine and serving and traveling right along with the men.

And God approved.

Ladies, don't let anyone ever minimize your role in the church, in the influence of those around you (male and female) and treat you like you are not allowed to be spoken to or listened to. That is spiritual abuse and you can rise up and demand it stop. Do not allow yourself to be minimized. You have a voice for Jesus Christ and you have every right, and even obligation, to use it.


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