Lydia persuaded Paul and Silas, and the rest of the companions, to stay with her. This is a pretty radical decision for the heavily steeped in tradition, previously Jewish now turned Christian Apostle Paul. Even today, Paul carries a reputation of criticizing the very idea of women’s leadership in teaching or serving in ministry. Does that reputation fit Paul?
The text states that in Paul’s vision, he saw a man. But we learn that as he encountered Lydia, and the other women gathered there, he spoke - even preached - to them. That is not so surprising, as Paul understood the Good News was to be spread to everyone. The new twist though, for some, is that Paul not only considered these women receivers of the Good News, but also advocates for, preachers of, and colleagues with other men and women who were known leaders of the church.
Prisca and Aquila, custom of time was to refer only to the husband. Paul not only named them both, but named Prisca first.
Philippines, Paul calls Eudora and Syntyche fellow laborers in the service of the Gospel, laborers involved in public ministry
Romans: Phoebe was a diakonon, clearly an officer, minister
Receive her in the Lord as befits the saints; do whatever she tells you.
Greet Mary, Rufus and his mother, Julia, Nereus and his sister.
So Paul and Timothy sat down on the riverbank, and talked with the women, one of whom was Lydia.