How many of you want to get married when you grow up? (hands up) Well, that is a very special thing to aim for. We all think we are going to be happy every day of our lives if we fall in love with someone. They will be absolutely perfect! But not every day is perfect – even if you have the most wonderful husband and you are the best wife. Many days you feel sick or tired or unhappy for some reason. But we all want to do our best don’t we. Tonight we are going to look at a lady called Priscilla and see what her marriage was like.
Priscilla was married to a man named Aquilla. Every part of the Bible that talks about them, has both their names together. This is because they always did things together. They shared the same values and interests, and they even worked at the same job.
Priscilla and Aquilla were both Jews and they lived in the city of Rome. They studied the Old Testament books of the Bible and learned all about the special person God was going to send to earth – who was that? (Jesus)
Yes. And then one day Priscilla and Aquilla heard about Jesus and how he had come to earth, that he died on the cross and then amazingly how he had come alive again. They heard the stories the disciples told about seeing Jesus alive again and then watching him float up in the clouds to Heaven. They accepted Jesus into their hearts and became what we call Christians. This made them even more determined to live in a way that would best please God. They did their best to consider each other and try to be kind and helpful in their marriage – what else might they have done to live the way God would like? (ask for ideas).
Yes, Priscilla and Aquilla tried hard to do all these things. But then one day the Governor of the land said “All Jews must leave the city of Rome. We don’t want you here any more.” Wow! That was their home. What will they do? Well, they may have been a bit frightened at first – but they would have prayed and asked God to guide them. Then, along with many other Jews, they packed up their possessions and left Rome.
They had to leave behind their houses and land. They might have bought 2 bullocks and a cart and travelled a long slow trip with their possessions on the cart – just like many people still do in some countries today – to the coast. There they would get on a boat, and travel to some other place. Priscilla and Aquilla decided to go to Corinth. This was a big city in Greece. Here they settled down and began working again. They both did the same job. It was making tents. Maybe they even went to the edge of town and lived in one of their tents. They would have had to get specially cured goatskins, cow skins and camel skins and sew them together into large tents. Some people still live in tents like this today too – but back then there were lots of people who lived in tents, so they would have had plenty of work to do.
One day the great apostle Paul came to Corinth. The Bible talks a lot about Paul. Paul began preaching and teaching people all about Jesus. Priscilla and Aquilla heard him speak, and after he had finished they asked him to come and stay at their house with them. Paul was a tentmaker too so he could help them in their business while they helped him with shelter and food. Together they all made tents, and also told people about Jesus and God. Paul lived with them for 1 ½ years. They all worked hard together, loved God and helped each other.
But now it was time for Paul to leave Corinth and Priscilla and Aquilla decided to go with him. They travelled to Ephesus in a country called Turkey. Paul didn’t stay long here, but Priscilla and Aquilla did. They began a church there and shared Jesus with the people. One day a very clever man called Apollos came to Ephesus. He preached about God and was so interesting that everybody wanted to hear him – even if they weren’t interested in God they still wanted to hear Apollos talk. But although Apollos spoke about God, he didn’t know about Jesus and that Jesus was God’s son. He knew God had promised to send someone to save people from their sins, but he didn’t know he had already been.
So Priscilla and Aquilla took Apollos home with them and had him stay at their place. There they talked to him and shared from the Bible all about Jesus and how he was the one God had promised to send. So when Apollos preached again he knew more about God and Jesus, and so lots of people gave their hearts to Jesus and promised to follow him.
Priscilla was a female. In those days many ladies and girls were badly treated. If a man got tired of his wife he was allowed to divorce her. If he saw someone else he liked or even if she burnt his meal he could tell her to go. There were very few people in those days who stayed married to one person all their lives, but Priscilla and Aquilla did; and they showed others how to be happy and loving.
Remember the hard times they faced? They had to leave their country, their home, and their job and start again all over. But they didn’t lose their faith in God or their commitment to each other.
The Bible tells us about ordinary people like Priscilla and Aquilla so we can learn from them.
QUIZ (in teams)
1. Name the three cities that Priscilla lived in. (Rome, Ephesus, Corinth)
2. What was the name of Priscilla’s husband? (Aquilla)
3. What was their job? (making tents)
4. Who lived with them for a long time? (Paul)
5. Who didn’t Apollos know about? (Jesus)
6. What nationality were Priscilla and Aquilla? (Jews)
7. Who told them to leave Rome? (Governor)
8. What country is the city of Corinth in? (Greece)
9. What country is the city of Ephesus in? (Turkey)