There is a Pentecostal Christian woman that we first meet in the Book of Acts, and then we see her name scattered throughout Paul’s letters. She may be the most prominent woman among all of the Apostle Paul’s companions and probably is responsible for spreading the Gospel more and farther than any other woman recorded in the Bible.
Scripture doesn’t tell us if she had children of her own but she is certainly the spiritual mother of more Christians than we will ever be able to count!
Prisca is her birth name. She is a Jew, and most likely a freeborn Roman (just as Paul was). She is from the prominent Acilius family, so combined with Prisca her name is called Priscilla. She married Aquila and they both worked as leather makers (also known as tentmakers).
Let’s take a look at Priscilla’s travel itinerary—
Pricilla left Rome because of Emperor Claudius’ decree in 49 AD and traveled to Corinth, where she met Paul (Acts 18:1-3, 11, 18-19).
After spending almost 2 years with Paul in Corinth, they traveled to Ephesus with Paul, where she met and mentored Apollos (Acts 18:24-26). Apollos became a trusted friend to Paul; in fact, Paul calls him a synergos (where we get our English word for synergy). In other words, Paul thought his ministry was more effective because of his partnership with Apollos, but that is all thanks to Priscilla’s involvement!
Priscilla returned to Rome sometime after Claudius’ death in 54 AD. She probably returned home to prepare the way for Paul’s visit there (Romans 1:10-11; 15:23-24; 16:3).
And at some point she returned to Ephesus, probably to help Timothy as he pastored the church there (2 Timothy 4:19).
Here are 5 lessons we can learn from Priscilla’s life—
- Be baptized in the Holy Spirit. This is what she taught to others, so it is undoubtedly how she lived as well.
- Use the gifting God has given you. Except for one place, Priscilla is always listed first ahead of her husband. This is unprecedented anywhere else in the New Testament. That tells us that despite what the Greco-roman culture tried to enforce, Priscilla was the predominant teacher/preacher in her family.
- Work hard. Priscilla had to be fairly well-to-do to be able to travel to at least three major cities and to host churches in her home, and yet we see her working with her hands to provide for her family and for the church.
- Be bold. Jesus said the baptism in the Holy Spirit would give us boldness, and Priscilla demonstrated that powerfully (Romans 16:4).
- Be synergistic. Paul also called Priscilla a synergos. Paul used this word sparingly for people who had put everything on the line for the sake of the Gospel. He used synergos for people like Apollos, Timothy, Titus, and Luke. Priscilla is the only woman who gets this invaluable term.
We don’t know if Priscilla was a biological mom, but she was definitely a spiritual mom. She was empowered by the Holy Spirit, and probably is responsible for spreading the Gospel more than any other woman recorded in the Bible. You can follow in her footsteps!
Join me next Sunday as we continue to learn about the power for Pentecost that is still available to all Christians today.