October 31, 2010

Building Community:  5 minutes

An “unsung hero” is a person who does something very important, but does not get credit for it.  They seem very content not to receive recognition.  Ask participants in the group to make a short list of “unsung heroes” they know.  Why do they consider these people heroes?  What positive differences did these unsung heroes make?

Praise and Worship:  10 minutes

Jesus Christ is the greatest “unsung hero”.  He often does not get credit or recognition for the wonderful things He does for us.  Have your participants take turns completing the following sentence.  “Jesus, I praise you because ____________________________.”

Study the Word: 30 minutes

            Key verse: 2 Timothy 4:19

“Greet Priscilla and Aquila and the household of Onesiphorus.”


“Say hello to your wife.”…  It’s a nice gesture.  A polite way to finish a conversation.  We usually respond in kind.  “Yes! And give my best to your wife as well.”  In 2 Timothy 4:19 it seems like the Apostle Paul is doing the same thing.  “And by the way, say hello to Aquila and Priscilla.”  We may assume that this is just a kind gesture, but Paul is actually sending official greetings to his dear and beloved friends.  Let us take a look at the testimony of these two tentmakers.

 

Even though Paul was a great evangelist and church leader, he had to make and sell tents in order to support himself.   While in Corinth he was delighted to meet two wonderful believers, a Jewish man named Aquila and his wife Priscilla.  (Some references call her Prisca).  Perhaps Paul met Prisca and Aquila while picking up supplies at the local tent maker’s market .  Maybe they met at a great tent makers convention.  However they may have met, it seems they became very good friends. 

 

 Aquila and Priscilla are mentioned six times in the New Testament.  Have your students look up the following passages.  Discuss the unique relationship this couple had with the Apostle Paul. What did they do to help make Paul’s ministry more effective?  What positive character traits did they have?

 

 

·         Acts 18:1-4

1After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, 3and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. 4Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.

·         Acts 18:18-19

18Paul stayed on in Corinth for some time. Then he left the brothers and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. Before he sailed, he had his hair cut off at Cenchrea because of a vow he had taken. 19They arrived at Ephesus, where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila. He himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews.

·         Acts 18:24-27

 24Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. 25He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.  27When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. On arriving, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed.

·         I Corinthians 16:19

19The churches in the province of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the church that meets at their house.

·         Romans 16:3-5

3Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus. 4They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them. 5Greet also the church that meets at their house. Greet my dear friend Epenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in the province of Asia.

·         II Timothy 4:19

19Greet Priscilla and Aquila and the household of Onesiphorus.

Catacomb inscriptions hint that Priscilla was from a distinguished Roman family.

 

Application:

1.  Which positive character traits do you see in yourself and in other members of the group?

2.  What are some areas in which you feel you need to improve?

3.  What are a few important steps you need to take in order to develop and grow?

4.  What can you do this week to get started?

Prayer: 10 minutes

After each person has had a chance to respond invite the group members to pray for each other.  Prayers should be uplifting and encouraging.  Be sure to name the particular areas of need that have been addressed.  Invite the Holy Spirit to refine their character and teach them ways in which you can be supportive of others. 

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