When Paul came to Corinth he was entering a city filled with the kind of carnality and depravity which made it an obvious target for the gospel of Jesus Christ.
He was coming from Athens, which he had ventured to alone. Athens was a city of the elite, an ancient capitol of philosophy and knowledge, and a great seat of learning. It is interesting in those halcyon days of great human enlightenment they still understood there must be ‘something’ greater than themselves, and they readily capitulated themselves to the pagan gods of their day. It is notable Paul apparently had little success reaching the intellectuals gathered there to hear his teaching about Jesus Christ.
And so, when Paul arrived at Corinth – still alone – he may have brought with him a sense of defeat or possibly frustration over his inability to reach the ‘best and brightest’ of his day.
He was in great need of Christian fellowship. Encouragement. Friendship.
It was at this time God arranged a divine appointment to provide Paul exactly what was needful in his life.
We don’t know much about Aquila and Priscilla except they were great people. (We know this because the Bible always speaks of them in a great light.)
This was a married couple, together in their fellowship with Christ – and on the run from persecution in Rome under the heavy hand of Claudius, who had made an edict all Jews must leave Rome. (This was one of the earliest waves of strictly religious persecution experienced by the Jews in their history.)
Since the Bible does not speak of Paul sharing the gospel with them, or of them being saved under Paul’s instruction, we can only conclude these were Jewish believers – already saved – who had probably fled to Rome under the persecution of Saul of Tarsus – who was none other than the very Paul they now encounter.
Can you imagine all they have experienced in their married life together? Can you imagine having to flee for your life not just once but twice? And having to attempt to re-establish normalcy in a foreign land?
It says much about their faith in Christ they immediately bonded with Paul in his ministry outreach to Corinth. It was a port city, and merchant marine seaman prowled its streets, which lay below the massive Acrocorinth, a large rocky plateau that rose above the city upon which sat the Temple of Aphrodite, which was in clear view from the city below.
This was not a place nominal Christianity could survive, and Aquila and Priscilla were not nominal Christians.
When we think of Priscilla, we are considering a woman who was a mothering influence of faith in Christ. It was a faith which could survive the test of time and place and even persecution, and it was the kind of faith Paul needed to be in fellowship with when he arrived at Corinth.
Today is a time when Priscilla’s mothering example of faith is more powerful and more needful than ever. It becomes easy to identify with Paul in his need for encouraging fellowship in Christ – met by his divinely-arranged meeting with this wonderful couple.