1I have good things to say about Phoebe, who is a leader in the church at Cenchreae. 2Welcome her in a way that is proper for someone who has faith in the Lord and is one of God's own people. Help her in any way you can. After all, she has proved to be a respected leader for many others, including me.
3 Give my greetings to Priscilla and Aquila. They have not only served Christ Jesus together with me, 4but they have even risked their lives for me. I am grateful for them and so are all the Gentile churches. 5Greet the church that meets in their home.
Greet my dear friend Epaenetus, who was the first person in Asia to have faith in Christ.
6Greet Mary, who has worked so hard for you.
7Greet my relatives Andronicus and Junia, who were in jail with me. They are highly respected by the apostles and were followers of Christ before I was.
8Greet Ampliatus, my dear friend whose faith is in the Lord.
9Greet Urbanus, who serves Christ along with us.
Greet my dear friend Stachys.
10Greet Apelles, a faithful servant of Christ.
Greet Aristobulus and his family.
11Greet Herodion, who is a relative of mine.
Greet Narcissus and the others in his family, who have faith in the Lord.
12Greet Tryphaena and Tryphosa, who work hard for the Lord.
Greet my dear friend Persis. She also works hard for the Lord.
13 Greet Rufus, that special servant of the Lord, and greet his mother, who has been like a mother to me.
14Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, and Hermas, as well as our friends who are with them.
15Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all of God's people who are with them.
16Be sure to give each other a warm greeting.
All of Christ's churches greet you.
Paul names 26 people by name in this passage and alludes to many others. Why has the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to name each person individually? What do these personal greetings add anyway? It’s almost certain that the majority of people named here would have forever remained unknown had he not mentioned them in this letter.
What a remarkable attentiveness demonstrated by Paul! He mentions how much he remembers so many of them, who they are and what they have done!
These greetings not only give us a glimpse of his personal qualities but also give evidence of the quality of his character. These qualities are, obviously, an example and an inspiration for all of us.
Have we thought of taking the time as Paul did here to openly care and concern ourselves for others? Think of it, busy as he was, he actually took the time to greet every person that he knew individually!
Paul could have very easily become proud and self-sufficient because of his many accomplishments and impressive works, yet he remained humble and appreciative of what others had done. Never once did Paul look upon himself as being superior to others. He genuinely valued and appreciated each person’s contribution to the work of God. He fully understood that he could not do everything by himself.
We must never lose sight of the fact that we, as the Church, are dependent on one another as we seek to accomplish the work that God has assigned to us! We need to be able to recognize the intrinsic value that each person brings to his work.
May our words, like the example Paul left us, be encouraging, heart-warming and may they have an encouraging effect on all who hear them. Here’s the question: Can I, in my local church setting, identify and kindly express thanks to each one for what they have specifically contributed to God’s work?
Lord, make me attentive to the people that surround me and aware of your working in their lives. Help me to adequately express in a very personal way the appreciation that I have for them. In Jesus’ name. Amen.