Romans 16:3-5b NLT - Give my greetings to Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in the ministry of Christ Jesus. 4 In fact, they once risked their lives for me. I am thankful to them, and so are all the Gentile churches. 5 Also give my greetings to the church that meets in their home.
John 15:13 ESV - Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
Aquila and Priscilla were a fascinating Christian couple. Circumstances beyond their control (as well as commitment to supporting ministry) often forced them to move around - a lot. They served in the churches at Rome, Corinth, and Ephesus. Here is a tradesman… a family business couple who were united in their desire to serve God and help the apostle build God’s church. They were serious students of Scripture - enough so that they were able to confidently convert the eloquent preacher, Apollos, after showing him that his beliefs and understanding were incomplete. In both Ephesus and Rome, Aquila and Priscilla opened their home for church ministry purposes. Perhaps we would liken them to some of the first small group leaders - those who strengthened and built up the church by ensuring that worship, communion, Bible study, and prayer was regularly occurring with Christians in their home. God inspired Paul to note that in two different cities, their home was a source of strength and life-giving ministry that honored God and made disciples. They were not apostles. They simply were Christians who had a family business. But their work was not who they were, it was just part of what they did. Their home was not an idol, it was a worship and training center - where disciples were made, where freedom was discovered, and where Jesus was worshiped. Paul celebrated this couple who literally put their lives at risk for Him. It’s who they were. Even in the middle of persecution, they always opened their home to honor Jesus and make disciples. Aquila and Priscilla… just a “working couple” that God memorializes in Scripture because they modeled what it means to have a marriage rooted in the mission. How different would the churches of Rome, Corinth, or Ephesus have been without this normal, working family whose priority was the mission? What tends to distract most “normal Christian couples” from such dedication to Christ’s mission? Would we be willing to joyfully sacrifice for the cause of Christ - especially in life-giving small group ministry - like they served?
For more detail on this couple who always seemed to be where the action was in terms of meaningful ministry, see http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2013/06/12/Aquila-and-Priscilla-A-Godly-Marriage-for-Ministry.aspx#Article