What does it say?
Following his time in Athens, Paul travels to Corinth where he ministers in the synagogue and a new church results. Here, Paul meets the husband and wife team of Aquila and Pricilla. After a lengthy ministry in Corinth, Paul returns to Antioch via Ephesus and Caesarea, leaving Aquila and Priscilla in Ephesus. There, they meet a powerful teacher of scripture that knew only of John the Baptist’s baptism. Aquila and Priscilla take him aside and share the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Following his return to Antioch with a visit to Jerusalem for a Jewish feast, Paul begins his third missionary journey by returning to Ephesus. He finds there other disciples of John the Baptist to whom he explains the Gospel more fully, and God does a mighty work in Ephesus, one of the great cities of the time. So powerful is Paul’s ministry that it begins to economically affect those who profited from making religious images of the goddess Diana, and Paul narrowly escapes death at the hands of an angry mob in the large amphitheater of Ephesus.
What does it mean?
God has a place for every believer in his mission, and every believer is equally important.; however, God also uses certain uniquely gifted individuals in key roles of leadership. In this reading we see high-impact individuals such as Paul, Aquila, Priscilla and Apollos, all of whom exert great positive influence in advancing God’s kingdom. Whatever one’s gifts or role may be, we are all part of God’s missional team advancing the kingdom among all the world’s peoples. The mission is not to have a nice church and get more people to attend our nice church, but to reproduce our lives and our church among those who still have not heard the Gospel.
This passage gives great insight into how disciples make disciples that make disciples, and how churches that make disciples reproduce themselves in other churches that make disciples. Paul invests in Aquila and Priscilla, and they invest in Apollos. Paul devotes some two years of ministry in Ephesus making disciples, and churches result all over Asia Minor (modern Turkey). Probably all of the seven churches to which Jesus writes letters in Revelation 2-3 are begun during this time.
How will I respond?
God has given me life in Christ that I might invest in reproducing this life in others. Is my life resulting in the fruit of other disciples of Jesus Christ? What step or steps can I take this week to maximize my investment of life in the lives of others? What can I learn from the examples of Paul, Aquila, Priscilla and Apollos?