Acts 18:1-11 recounts Paul’s experience in Corinth, where he would stay for one and a half years. Aquila and Priscilla would become Paul’s lifelong friends (Rom. 16:3, 2 Tim. 4:19). The account implies they were already Christians when they came to Corinth, probably because of the deportation of Jews from Rome by the Emperor Claudius.
Roman historian Suetonius seems to indicate that the deportation occurred due to disturbances in the Jewish community associated with the name of “Christ” (Claudius 25.4), which would perhaps be the result of the preaching of the gospel by local Jewish believers. Thus, it is possible that Aquila and Priscilla themselves had been involved in such activities. In any case, besides sharing the same faith and the same Jewish background, Paul and his new friends also shared the same trade.
Read Acts 18:4-17. What was the result of Paul’s missionary activities in Corinth?
When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, they brought some financial support from the churches there (2 Cor. 11:8-9), which allowed Paul to devote himself entirely to preaching. Paul’s policy was to live at his own expense during his ministry, though he also taught that “those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel” (1 Cor. 9:14, NKJV).
Despite the strong Jewish opposition to Paul’s message, some Jews did believe, as well as some Gentile worshipers of God. Among the converts were Crispus, the synagogue leader, and his entire household. Many Corinthians also believed and were baptized. The situation among the Jews, however, was rather tense, as the following episode demonstrates (Acts 18:12-17), and Paul was possibly planning to leave Corinth soon, but in a night vision he received divine encouragement to stay on (Acts 18:9-11).
On his way back to Antioch, Paul took Aquila and Priscilla with him and left them in Ephesus, where he spent a few days before resuming his trip. While there, he had the opportunity to preach in the local Jewish synagogue, whose positive response made him promise that, God willing, he would come back (Acts 18:18-21). This happened right in his next journey.
|Paul, frustrated by his reception, needed encouragement from the Lord in regard to the salvation of souls there. What do the Lord’s words to him (Acts 18:10) say to us when we might feel something similar to what Paul felt?|