Jesus In The House - Priscilla - The One Year Women in Christian History Devotional

Jesus in the House - Priscilla

Acts 18; Romans 16:3; 1 Corinthians 16:19; 2 Timothy 4:19

In this age of megachurches, we often forget that the church started in people’s houses. Oh, the day of Pentecost erupted with preaching to crowds, but soon afterward the converts were meeting in homes (see Acts 2:46). Throughout Acts and the Epistles, we find evidence of “house churches.” There was the occasional lecture hall, but generally Christians met in rather small groups. Remember that Jesus said he would be present “where two or three gather in my name” (Matthew 18:20, NIV).

In major cities of the Roman Empire, many workers would live in tenements or shacks, but noble families would have more spacious homes. Typically the entrance to such a house would lead to an open atrium, which would be ideal for group gatherings, holding thirty, fifty, even a hundred people. The early church had a mix of socioeconomic classes: slaves, workers, public officials, and patricians. Those with bigger homes would host church meetings.

Priscilla and Aquila probably had money, whether inherited from their noble families or earned from their tent-making business. In any case, we find them hosting house churches in at least two locations—Rome and Ephesus—and maybe also in Corinth. Imagine how important this would have been for the early church—to have a home in a new community, a place to meet, a foothold.

Wealth is dangerous. Jesus often warned against trusting in money, but he also challenged us to be good stewards of what we have. This stewardship was modeled by Priscilla and Aquila, who used their substantial resources for the good of the church—supporting missionaries, hosting churches, and establishing good relationships all around.

What resources do you have, and how are you using them for God’s purposes? Can you use your home for a prayer group? Could you open up a spare room for a traveling missionary? Can you use your business connections to create flexible earning opportunities for Christian ministers (as Priscilla and Aquila may have done for Paul)? Could you consider moving to a new location to start a church there (as Priscilla and Aquila did)?

Don’t feel bad about what you have. Use it!

Give my greetings to Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in the ministry of Christ Jesus. . . . Also give my greetings to the church that meets in their home.

Romans 16:3, 5

From the Book:

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The One Year Women in Christian History Devotional
By Randy Petersen and Robin Shreeves

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