The Book of Acts Chapter 18: (pt 3 of 15)

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Something we didn’t address yet, but the point was made that “Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome . . .” It should be noted that twice within a matter of years, the Jews were expelled from Rome-first in 19 AD and then in 49 AD. This second expulsion had a dramatic impact on many people, including the two people mentioned, Aquila and Priscilla, a couple who had been living in Italy.

Forced to leave their homeland, they settled in Corinth, where they met the apostle Paul. They all shared a Jewish background and were tentmakers. A bond of friendship formed, and Paul “stayed with them” (v. 3).

They remained in close contact during Paul’s 18 months in Corinth. When he left, Priscilla and Aquila left with him, traveling to Ephesus. But when Paul moved on from there, Priscilla and Aquila stayed behind. As a result, they were in a position to encounter someone we will meet soon, Apollos. When they heard him speak, they realized he needed some correction. So “they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately” (v. 26).

Now we can complain and shake our heads in disgust in Claudius’ move to force all the Jews to leave Rome, but if he hadn’t been expelled them from Rome, it is unlikely that Priscilla and Aquila would have met Paul or Apollos and had been so instrumental in the advancement of the Gospel. I guess we can try to imagine how Aquila and Priscilla may have felt when they were forced to leave Rome, but then imagine how God used this seemingly unfortunate event to transform their lives and accomplish great things for His Kingdom.

We can learn something from all this. You can trust in God in every circumstance. In every situation just remember the principle Paul learned: “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). Have faith that the Lord has a plan for your life. He will use the actions of men and nations to accomplish His purposes in the world and in your life.

If interested, you can download the entire study of The Story of Acts


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