Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus:…
Aquila was a Jew, of Pontus who had made his residence in Rome. But a company of thieves in Judaea, having fallen on one Stephanus, a servant of the emperor, robbed his baggage, and slain the soldiers who guarded it, an edict was passed requiring all Jews to leave that city. In consequence of this edict, Aquila, with his wife, came to Corinth, and there wrought in his occupation, which was that of a tent maker. Paul coming from Athens to Corinth, meets with them and takes lodging in their house, working at the same occupation. It was probably at this time that they first gained the knowledge which they were able to impart to Apollos. Paul's residence with them laid a foundation for a friendship which lasted till death (2 Timothy 4:19). How worthy they were of his affection and esteem we learn from the text.
I. THEY WERE HAPPILY UNITED IN ALL THEIR CONCERNS, AND ESPECIALLY IN THE GREAT CONCERNS OF RELIGION. On all occasions they are both mentioned together, and appear patterns of conjugal union. They dwelt together in days of tranquility, and jointly shared in the calamities of banishment. With united hands they laboured in the occupation by which their household was supported. As this is the most important relation in life, they who sustain it ought, above all things, to study mutual peace. The Christian pair, animated by one soul, will readily participate in each other's labours and sorrows, and will cheerfully communicate to each other their own pleasures and joys. Little differences of opinion will be composed by mutual condescension. Unavoidable infirmities will be viewed with the comforting eye of pity, not with the insulting eye of disdain. In the important concerns of religion, they will walk, as being heirs together of the grace of life. A family, educated under the care of heads thus united, will, by the smiles of heaven, grow up in knowledge and piety, and become a little Church of Christ.
II. THEY WERE THE APOSTLE'S HELPERS IN CHRIST JESUS.
1. By their hospitality. For a considerable part of the time that he preached in Corinth, he abode in their house. The minister is to preach the gospel, not for filthy lucre; but then, they who are taught must communicate to him who teacheth, so that he may wait on his teaching without distraction.
2. By a faithful attendance on his ministry. Heads of families in this way greatly assist their minister. This shows a good example to their children, and invites others to accompany them. Thus they animate their minister and raise his hopes of success. But then let your attendance be grave and devout, and on what you hear let your remarks be made at the proper time and place.
3. By their conversation and example (Acts 18.).
4. By their prayers.
5. By their self-sacrifices (ver. 4).
III. THEY HAD A CHURCH IN THEIR HOUSE. We, then, who have the care of families, ought to make them Churches. For this end we must dedicate our children to God, and bring them up in His fear. Greater societies are formed from smaller; Churches grow out of families; and the spirit and complexion of the latter will be transfused through the former.
(J. Lathrop, D.D.)
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