Their names are wedded in our minds. They lived in Rome, Corinth, Ephesus, then again in Rome and back to Ephesus. Erratic or evangelistic? Theirs were beautiful feet (Rom 10:15). Their business served the gospel. Their home housed the assembly in Ephesus (1Co 16:19) and later Rome (Rom 16:3-5). Their hearts were united. Most remarkably, Priscilla and Aquila laid down their necks on the block (v. 4). Had the Lord not stayed the executioner’s hand, they would have willingly given their lives.
What could God do with one couple who placed their necks on the block? This couple merely salvaged Apollos’ life, saved Paul’s life, saw assemblies planted, and stayed the course until the end of the record. Their impact was so great that all the churches of the Gentiles owed them a debt of gratitude (v. 4).
Keep reading this magazine; you will meet some more Priscillas and Aquilas. Find them in the tributes to Ken Moore, the report of the work in Chihuahua, Mexico, and the Updates. Since June of 2004, the Updates have included at least 14 names of new workers, mostly men who are married.
But must a couple leave secular employment to lay down their necks? Priscilla and Aquila didn’t. At the present, many older and younger couples “stay by the stuff,” consistently help in their assembly, and reach out with the gospel. They have “laid down their necks” on their neighborhood block.
What couple hears the piercing cry of perishing souls and is willing to lay down their necks for the gospel? Perhaps the necessities of their work will take them to a new area. It may be within range of an existing assembly or it may not be. If – and this is crucial – they view this as an opportunity for the spread of the gospel and act with the full confidence of the overseers in their present assembly, their new location could be a beachhead to advance the kingdom. Several assemblies in North America began through a couple’s moving into an area, maintaining their secular employment, and shining as gospel witnesses. Such a couple deserves the prayers and spiritual support of fellow-believers. Visits to encourage them and participate with them in their gospel work – for a few days or an extended time – will help to sustain and preserve them in this work.
We must resist the spirit that prefers to pay someone else to teach or shepherd or evangelize rather than to lay down our necks for the Lord. To all would-be Priscillas and Aquilas, let the example of this couple deepen your burden, draw your priorities toward spreading the gospel, direct your vision to the possibilities, and develop steadfastness as you abound in the work of the Lord!
Working in the “Priscilla & Aquila Department” of the coming kingdom would be an unspeakable privilege! Promotion to that department requires laying down a couple of necks on some local block.