Sunday, 9 February 2014
…who risked their own necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. Romans 16:4
Speaking of Priscilla and Aquila, Paul says that they “risked their own necks for my life.” The Greek term is literally rendered, “placed under” their necks. In other words, they had risked their lives, even to the point where they could have been placed under the axe, thus having their heads chopped off at the neck. What they did for Paul isn’t recorded, but he was in trouble so often and out of favor with so many, that just being around him would inevitably lead to danger. And so those near him could point and say “there he is,” or they could risk themselves for his sake. These two chose the latter.
How unlike them were those who Paul later writes about in 2 Timothy 4:9-16 –
“Be diligent to come to me quickly; for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica—Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry. And Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. Bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas when you come—and the books, especially the parchments. Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm. May the Lord repay him according to his works. You also must beware of him, for he has greatly resisted our words. At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them.”
Priscilla and Aquila were steadfast in their friendship and devotion to their beloved companion and he desired them to be so noted. For this, he wanted them recognized individually, but he knew that many others had been there for him in the past as well. And so he notes “also all the churches of the gentiles.” Wherever he went and wherever churches were established, the gentiles had understood the gospel, received Christ, and emulated Him in their care for Paul. The message was going forth by his hand and he was grateful for their concern as it went out.
Life application: What kind of friend will you be to those Christians who stand on the gospel when it becomes more and more unpopular to do so? As the times progress, persecution will only increase for those who stand fast on the word of God. Will you be noted like Priscilla and Aquila, or will you abandon those who are willing to give their life for the truth contained in the Bible? Decide now and be ready.
Great God Almighty – I know that tougher times are ahead for those who stand on Your word. The message about sin, perversion, and unrighteousness is no longer considered “tolerant.” It is also not popular to hear Jesus’ claim that He is the one and only way to be right with You. Give me strength to stand on what You have stated and not to waffle on what is just, right, and holy. Amen.